Monday, August 10, 2009

USA invites England and Australia to play in Florida

by DreamCricket USA

By Peter Simunovich

Don Lockerbie, the USACA Chief Executive Officer, has made a rushed trip to London to meet with Australian and England administrators in a bid to get the teams to play practice matches against the US national team early next year before the T20 World Cup tournament in the Caribbean.

Australia and England are now playing in the Ashes Test series and will meet in the Second Test at Lord’s this weekend.

Lockerbie, who left the US on Monday and is expected back this weekend, has already spoken with all the other leading cricket nations, including India, the West Indies and Pakistan, about playing the US in lead up matches to the T20 tournament.

“So far they have all said they are interested, but no firm decision has yet been given by any of the countries,” Manaf Mohamed, the USACA Second Vice President and Director of Cricket Operations told in an interview.

“The idea is to give the US team the chance to play against the best players in the world before the T20 tournament in the Caribbean next year. It will also help promote the game in the US. It would be a great experience for the US team.”

The US would also get international coverage of the matches, which would also give it an opportunity to showcase its talent of players.

The matches, if agreed upon, would be played on a turf wicket at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, which is about five miles from Fort Lauderdale. Mohamed said the stadium has 5,000 seats and can accommodate up to 20,000 with extra seating.

He said that Lockerbie also planned to talk to the top countries about using fields in Florida as practice sessions before moving to the Caribbean for the T20 tournament.

Mohamed said that Lockerbie was hoping to have the matches recognized by the ICC to add status to the contests.

US captain Steve Massiah was excited about the potential matches when he was told about them. “This is amazing,” he told

“This is really a blessing and a great opportunity for the US team to play against the top players and the best teams in the world.

“I think this will benefit us as a team in many, many ways. It will be a confidence booster for our guys to have played against the best players and teams in the world.

“I have always believed that the better the opposition is then it raises the level of the standard of competition. This is terrific news.”

Lockerbie has said since he became the first CEO of USACA that he wants top cricket countries to visit the US to play against the national team.

His philosophy is to promote cricket in the US and give the US team the chance to play against the best and to see what it takes and how much improvement is needed to be ranked with the elite of cricket.

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