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Only in America

Orin Davidson
Cricket in America has seen it all from the good, bad and ugly to the hilarious and absurd.

And most of crap is perpetrated by administrators - individuals who are supposed to know better although some players and fans get into the act with insane field invasions and abuse of umpires and opponents.

This time around it is a group of officials who knowingly or unknowingly are continuing to demean the sport's image here.

For the record we understand there is a plan to have an Under-15 team from this country tour India later this year for a series of matches.

Now, this team is not just another team, because it is titled the official National Under-15.

The story on cricinfo website states that the squad is made up of players drawn from the national junior championships which comprised Under-15 and Under-13 teams.

If it is not immediately clear what is ridiculous about this undertaking, it will be pertinent to focus on the words 'national' and 'official' in its description.

Any follower of United States cricket would know that a ban was instituted on this country by the world ruling body - the International Cricket Council in March of this year and to date it is still in force.

Therefore no 'official national' team could possibly leave these shores anytime soon to oppose any other from countries affiliated to the ICC.

It leaves you to wonder whether the organizers of this tour are just being plain ignorant or are unaware of the restrictions the ban entails.

If the title of the team is terribly misleading, there is more wrong with the planning.
It is said the players were selected from the National Junior competition.

But as far as is known no such tournament was organized by the United States of America Cricket Association this year.

The calcricket website out of California states that a national junior competition in the Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 categories were held there in June.

However, unless USACA's operations have been transferred to California under a new name, this operation is nothing less than a fraud.

As a result the squad to tour could never be one truly representative of a national team, even if that was possible ,because that tournament merely comprised a handful of California teams and one from New Jersey.

No one is against individuals organizing tours for teams from America for overseas exposure, but it must be done properly without intent to mislead the public.
This tour is nothing less than a private undertaking involving a representative squad of American Under-15 players

But the miss-planning does not end there.

The organizers intend to have the youngsters endure a grueling schedule of 12 games in two weeks.
This is preposterous arrangement which will only cause the players more harm than good.

Youngsters should not be put through such torture because they will be worn out even before half the tour is over.

Even professional players are not made to play 50 overs games on successive days, but in this arrangement 15 year olds and younger ones will have only two days break in between 12 matches.

Only last year the national Under-19 team's World Cup participation almost unraveled because of the heavy load of warm-up games in India.

If nothing else the tour’s itinerary should be revised and the team title changed.

America's cricket can ill afford any more embarrassments at this time.
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