Cricket in the US? The New American Dream...

USA cricket has created a 10-year strategy elaborated on in their “Foundational Plan” which outlines both long and short-term objectives for the USA Cricket administration. By 2030 US cricket hopes to be a member of the ICC cricket board and be competing regularly on the international stage


The US is known for the dominating triumvirate of Baseball, Basketball and American football, with cricket being a mere mirage in what is a heavily congested sporting country. Whilst cricket is on the sidelines and will inevitably be for a period further beyond 2030, the contribution of a first world nation as significant as the US in today will help drag cricket further into the foreground and onto the global sports stage.

Currently cricket dominates central Asia as four of the top 10 most populated countries in the world, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India, have cricket as the dominant sport. Cricket is further played heavily in Southern Africa, through the likes of South Africa and to a lesser extent, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Additionally the leading nations of Oceania of Australia and New Zealand top the rankings of cricket, demonstrating crickets global appeal as a sport. However, cricket has barely penetrated the Americas, with only the West Indies of central America playing the wonderful game. Neither North America or South America possess any members of the ICC or have domestic leagues of any significance. The US hope to change this.


"USA Cricket sets a vision for cricket to become a mainstream sport in the United States and for USA Cricket to become a Full Member of the International Cricket Council by 2030"


Whilst the benefits of the US joining the cricketing world are clear the practicality and implementation of such a plan within the ten year time frame is less transparent. For example, within the 1o year plan the US cricket strategy discusses a 12 month strategy plan in which it discusses focusing on the women's game and elevating it to the same level as the male game. However, less is said on how they will do this and while the attitude and targets are good there were no or little suggestions of a women league. Although their timeline suggests they will announce a 'plan' in 2021 on how they will tackle the issue of marketing and growing the women's game. Their timeline frequently refers to how the US will use u19 world cups and world cup qualifiers to focus production of strong youthful players so that a new generation of American cricketers are created, a generation that is planned to challenge or more likely, participate, at the 2028 Olympic games.


One of the problems with American fans is that whilst they are often avid and extremely patriotic, is that they often possess a very ethnocentric approach to new sports. America believes they are the best at what sport they play which is partly true, as the three central sports they do play, are only played within the US and thus they are inevitably the top ranked country in these sports. For fans to engage in a sport that they will have to acknowledge they are not the top of the tree in, rather the bottom, will be a challenge. In addition to this the prospect of test matches, the cornerstone of cricket, is not included within the focus of the 10 year plan in America.


This ten year plan "builds a platform to support the future growth and success of American Cricket"


In fact, with t20 cricket the epicentre of their plan, stadiums, domestic leagues and marketing will all be built around the 20 over format. USAC says they will “position T20 cricket at the centre of our plans” however, this focus is justified given the US"s potential bid for cricket in the 2028 LA Olympic Games. A significant benefit of the US joining the cricketing world is of the global marketing which will be boosted by the potential for cricket in the 2028 olympic games. The pool of potential new spectators and fans within the US, with over 2/3 of all adults in the US avid sport fans, will help lift cricket to become a more globally watched sport.

Finally, US cricket outlines 6 key components in which they will measure their success;

- Grow engagement

- Increase participation

- Improve performance of National teams

- Deliver financials stability

- Build trust within the community

- Develop adequate infrastructure


Developing a domestic major Twenty20 league is key to facilitating greater production of domestic talent but also attract, in the long term, international players who will bring both fans and a higher calibre of cricket. Therefore on the home front, USAC plan to add two additional ODI-accredited venues by the end of next year. Developing infrastructure is also central to encouraging domestic growth at grass root level and amongst teenagers, as they can identify with local stadiums more and thus become better engaged within the sport. The question of growing the women's game alongside the male game may be more complicated but expanding marketing and tv coverage will help this.


Interestingly, the US report does produce a 12 month priority action plan which hints at the possibility of a women super league for cricket. Although the nature and timing of this competition is less fleshed out than the men's. Ultimately this does sound promising and leagues will be especially critical in the US in providing frequent competitive matches for the US nationals as international series and matches will be hard to come by until they are an established cricket nation. The key to the success of the American ten year plan is generating a new wave of cricket fans and whilst the feasibility of such a plan can be questioned, the addition of the US into the cricket world will no doubt benefit cricket and its ever growing status as a global sport.




The following is a timeline confirmed by US cricket in their cricket foundation plan.

2018

- USAC incorporated with first ever independent Chair and other directors appointed - Launch USAC website and social media platforms

2019

- Landmark strategic partnership with American Cricket Enterprises Inc entered into

- Men’s National Team achieved ODI status and secure first ever ODI victory on US soil

- Professional playing contracts awarded to Men’s National Team for first time ever

- First ever Chief Executive appointed

- Long-term planning and work commenced on development of infrastructure and turf pitches nationwide

2020

- Minor League Cricket – player draft and Exhibition Games

- Zonal/National Championships for Men, Women and Youth commence

- Launch new USA Cricket membership portal

- Finalise LongTerm HighPerformance Plan

- Launch USA Cricket umpire pathway and supporting programs

- Finalise LongTerm National Development Plan

- Announce first Major League venue

2021

- Announce plan to increase participation levels of Women and Girls in the USA

- ICC Women’s T20 & ODI World Cup Regional Qualifier

- Launch High Performance Center Announce plan to increase participation levels of Women and Girls in the USA ICC Women’s T20 & ODI World Cup Regional Qualifier

- Bid to host future ICC events in 2024-2031 period

- Publish long term international playing calendar

- National soft-ball tournament

Late 2021

- ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup (Boys) Qualifier

- Launch USA Cricket coaching program and pathway

- Launch USA Cricket entry level program for schools and community

- Launch full season of Minor League Cricket

- Launch USA Cricket entry level program for schools and communityICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier

- Launch full season of Minor League Cricket

- Work completed on 12-15 new turf pitches nationwide ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Regional Qualifier

- Announce 2nd and 3rd Major League venuesLaunch USA Cricket coaching program and pathway

- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier

2022

- ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup (Boys)Complete unification of USA cricket community within USA Cricket

- Complete unification of USA cricket community within USA CricketICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier

- Launch USA Cricket college program

- US Olympic Committee recognition A

- Announce 4th and 5th Major League venues

- ICC Women’s World Cup

- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

2023

- ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup (Boys) Qualifier

-ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup

- ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup (Girls)

2030

- USA Cricket becomes Full Member of the ICC

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All