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National Finals Found Wanting In Vital Areas

By Orin Davidson
The national finals have come and gone almost unnoticed in New York.

Of course the New York team was missing from this year's playoffs in Florida which would explain the non-interest.

That is despite efforts to provide our team a chance to qualify through the back door.

After losing the only game they played in the Eastern Conference qualifying series that was ruined by rain in August in New Jersey, there was talk of arranging to have New York have their rained out game against Florida (South East Region) rescheduled at a later date.

The plans obviously petered out by the time the finals came up last weekend.
No one it seemed was willing to go the extra mile trying to convince the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) to give New York a fairer deal to regain the national title they last won two years ago.

Our neighbors New Jersey which won the Eastern Conference playoffs by upsetting New York – the lone game we contested - for the second year in succession, was expected to coast to their second straight national title.

But they were left just as anguished as New York, after an incomprehensible poor batting display against Texas (Central West) sent them packing in a solitary semi-final round.

They crumbled for probably a record low 73 despite fielding the powerful batting lineup that carried them through in 2006.

Without having the chance of rebounding in a round robin playoffs as was the case in the past, it was sudden death for the defending champions right at the start.

New Jersey's Director Shelton Glasgow laid the blame squarely at the feet of his batsmen, but he was well in order to note the finals' brevity and its scheduling timing.

Obviously money was a factor in USACA's decision to condense it from three days to two and from teams having a minimum of three games to one.

And before long one is sure to hear USACA defenders warning that half a loaf is better than none, in that a reduced Finals is better than none.

Nevertheless, United States cricket is made to look worse than ever having its biggest competition reduced to its barest minimum.

And staging the finals closer to the end of the year in November rather than the middle, is surely disadvantageous to regions who have to put up with the inconveniences of winter.

Players will obviously be under-prepared having not played since summer which was evidently the case with New Jersey last week.

Also the decision to make the Miramar field the first choice venue which is without a turf pitch as opposed to Brian Piccolo Park's number one field which has one, is counter productive.

Everyone knows USACA is broke.
It therefore means that every attempt must be made to have its premier competition more noteworthy where money is not a factor.

Southern California (South West) decision to withdraw after claiming it had no money to pay for airline tickets, which it is understood will be reimbursed, was a cowardly attempt at a protest.

The richest Region in America's cricket could have funded the entire series in its entirety with out any outside help, much less fuss over airline tickets for 16 representatives.

The world knows the whole of California is vehemently opposed to USACA, and if they wanted to protest the latter's handling of the sport, they should act like real men and state their position without hiding behind a flimsy excuse.

If they to intend to run the country's cricket that way, as is their thinly veiled intention, those California officials will not impress stakeholders with spineless acts.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage

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