Mr. Darren Beazley - CEO of US Cricket
Reflections on US Cricket in 2013
The Holidays are almost upon us and cricket in the USA comes to a halt after an incredibly busy year. 2013 heralded a year of positive change for cricket in the USA. My first year in the role as CEO of USACA has been an enjoyable one and I have been most impressed with the tremendous work that is taking place in the Regions. The health of any sport can be gauged by the level of the contribution made by its volunteers and US cricket is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers that give so much to developing the game.
The enthusiasm and commitment made by our Regional Boards is also worthy of note at this time. Cricket is a game that is growing in the USA and as such, it faces many challenges in order to ensure that this growth is managed such that the game can benefit. The Regional Boards and their Representatives contribute a great deal and USACA is better for their involvement.
There were many significant cricket achievements in 2013 including the wonderful effort of the USA National Men’s team to reach the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier being hosted by the UAE. This was the result of an undefeated effort in ICC America’s Division One T20 Championships held in Fort Lauderdale earlier in the year. Although the team did not fare as we would have liked, there efforts are to be applauded and there is no doubt that our coaches and players learnt a great deal from the experience.
This year USACA released its Strategic Plan 2014 – 2016 with a vision to grow the game throughout the nation. The Plan is cricket’s ‘road map’ for the next three years and highlights the focus areas for the sport, explains where effort and resources will be dedicated and specifies how cricket will monitor our progress each year. The focus is on raising the profile of US cricket and including more participants, boys and girls from an early age. It is an important stage in the development of USACA and its goal to make ‘cricket a sport for all Americans”.
The USACA Board commenced its Governance Review process in earnest from early in the year engaging an independent company TSE Consulting to work with USACA members and cricket stakeholders from across the country. After an exhaustive process, the 2013 AGM will consider the outcomes of this process and recommend a pathway forward that will strengthen USACA’s position as the national governing body.
Other exciting developments this year came in the form of additional cricket infrastructure. The efforts by Broward County to upgrade the facilities at the Lauderhill Stadium are to be applauded. The addition of nets will make a significant improvement to the venue as will a new center pitch. In the north of the country, USACA’s three year partnership with the City of Indianapolis will see the unveiling of the World Sports Park which will host the 2014 US National Cricket Championships.
USACA needs the support of government stakeholders and we thank Broward County, the City of Lauderhill and the City of Indianapolis for their vision and support of cricket.
Junior and Youth cricket received a great deal of focus and attention this year. USACA’s youth aged partnerships with the NYPD School Cricket Competition, the New York Mayor’s Cup and the Public Schools Athletic League were formalized and strengthened.
At the elementary and middle school level, the launch of the Cricket Let’s Play USA! Programme in October was met with a great deal of enthusiasm by teachers and volunteer coaches alike. The programme will be the subject of an ICC America’s ‘pilot programme’ in New York and Florida in 2014, with a goal of taking the programme national in the coming years. The future of US cricket lies in our ability to develop the game at the ‘grass roots’ level and the importance of the Cricket Let’s Play USA! Programme to US cricket cannot be understated.
USACA’s sponsors this year were very important in their support and I wish to acknowledge their contribution. To Smart Choice Auto Group, Boom Boom, the Sheraton Suites (Plantation) and CricHQ, thank you all for your contribution to US cricket. Without the generous support of our corporate partners, progress is almost impossible. We look forward to your continued involvement in the coming years.
I would like to acknowledge the support of our closest cricketing neighbors in Cricket Canada and the West Indies Cricket Board. USACA is committed to working closely with its partners in the coming years to ensure that our programmes are of a high standard and that there are pathways for our talent whether this be in the field of coaching umpiring, scoring or playing.
2013 has provided a strong foundation on which to build a strong and sustainable future for cricket in the USA. I look forward to an even bigger and brighter 2014
Wishing you and your family a very safe and happy festive season.
Chief Executive Officer