WI Cricket Umpires Association Banquet

Cricket Has Arrived In The US, Says Hall Of Fame’s President

NEWS August 7, 2015 admin0

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Elaborating on the state of cricket in the U.S., president of the world’s first Cricket Hall of Fame (CHOF), Michael Chambers, said that with the advent of Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) located in Florida and the American Cricket Federation,  the sport, the second most popular in the world, has arrived in America.

Chambers, the keynote speaker at the Presidential Banquet which concluded the 27th Biennial Convention of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) held at the Radisson Hotel in New York, Friday, July 24, praised the association for the leadership role that it is playing.

I am pleased with what you are doing,  he said, then pleaded with them to continue their good work and requested that they reach out to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in an effort to train their leadership how to work with the U.S. cricket stakeholders to help with the development of the game in the U.S.

“With sponsors such as Bedsessee Sporting Goods, the role of the Hall of Fame, the United States of America Cricket Umpires Association (USACUA) who are officiating at the games, the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) and ACF who are providing governance, and the CCUSA promoting the game, yes the game has arrived in the U.S.,” he said.

Chambers, who is also president of the Sportmen’s Athletic Club in Hartford, Connecticut, and honorary president of the CCUSA, spoke briefly about the history of the game in the U.S. informing that the first international game of the sport was played between the U.S. and England in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1859.

He said that he was somewhat disappointed by the low number of U.S. league presidents present at the function, then paid tribute to Cliff Roye, president of the Metropolitan Cricket League, for being the only one in attendance.

Crediting present president of USACA Gladstone Dainty for his attempts to help develop the game in the country, Chambers said that they have been playing the game in the U.S. for more than 150 years, but it did not come under any real organization until 1965, when a very interested enthusiast of the sport, John Marder, got some of his colleagues together and organized the U.S. association.

Speaking about the association’s link with the International Cricket Conference (ICC), Chambers quickly pointed out that from information he retrieved from the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, ICC was not in favor of the USACA becoming a part of the international cricket scene. “It is therefore not surprising,” he said,  “that USACA has been underfunded for many years, which as a result has made them not able to develop cricket in the USA,” he said.

“We see women’s cricket moving and youth cricket in New York forging ahead under the leadership of Commissioner Chris Thompson,” he stated. “In December, Lauderhill will once again host the largest T20 tournament in the world, thanks to CCUSA,” he said.

Talking about the existence of the Hall of Fame, which was created to be used as a vehicle through which individuals who contributed to the growth and development of the game in the U.S., Canada and around the world could be honored, he thanked the members of the USACUA for their input to the institution that helped to define how individuals were selected for induction. Recognizing Hall of Famers Mohamed Baksh and Lloyd Dixon, who were present, he said that the institution which was organized in 1980, held its first Induction Ceremony in 1981.

At the gala affair which was sold out, New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry welcomed the visitors who came from 10 Associate Caribbean and West Indian countries. President of the WICUA expressed how pleased he was with the events associated with the convention and the attendance at the function and thanked host the USACUA for a job well done.

The evening ended with General Secretary Vivian Johnson making presentations and awards to those individuals who had successfully completed their examinations as umpires.


WHAT WAS HALL OF FAMER Dr. Edwards saying


Dr. Geoff Edwards.

Los Angeles, Rome, Paris and Budapest will be cities bidding to host the Olympics in 2024.    Under new regulations, there is an opportunity to add five sports to the Games.   Simone Gambione, impassioned and enthusiastic FICA President, asserts that the Rome organising committee, has given a firm commitment for cricket’s inclusion once again. France Cricket is also attempting to achieve a similar commitment for Paris.  We have heard nothing from LA and Budapest to date.

With drop in pitches technology available, turf pitches are already in use worldwide.  With multiple purpose stadia for soccer, rugby and/or cricket available, infrastructural developments can be minimized.   International Cricket should utilize such games to explore covered stadia for use worldwide.   Frustrating rainouts, delays and associated huge revenue losses can be avoided and mitigate any required investments.

Cricket was played at the 1900 Paris Games between Great Britain and France.  Proposed Co-hosts Belgium and Netherlands, withdrew only when their co-hosting bids fell through.  Cricket had been scheduled in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympics, was listed in those Athens Games original programme, but was cancelled because of insufficient entries!

Due to a “lack of facilities”, scheduled competition at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games was also cancelled at short notice.  Our wonderful sport has never again been included in other Olympic Games.  Why are we sabotaging our sport ?

The ICC, apparently in 2010, received IOC approval for the 2020 Games.  In fact, Olympic “recognition status” was received in 2007!    Cricket’s inclusion in the 2024 edition was once again discussed this year.  ICC officials admit that the majority of its 105 member countries support its inclusion as it would “do wonders” for globalization, infrastructural and player development and funding outreach.

Had Cricket been included before golf, for example, it is doubtful if major professionals and countries would have opted out because mosquito bites fears !  Cricketers are made of sterner stuff.    Usain Bolt’s three Olympics Triple Golds sets him apart from mere mortals who win World Championships!  Cricketers need to be able to realize the epitome of Olympic Sporting Excellence.

ICC must be bold and positive in their presentations.   We need to rise above narrow self-interests and foster and promote the growth and development of our sport globally.    Olympic broadcast rights revenues, sponsorships or gate receipts to the ICC, will be offset by  worldwide marketing exposure and sponsorship increases.  Most importantly, we must expose global youth, male and female, to the Spirit of Cricket and to our Code of Conduct.   In troubling times, anything less is a horrible dereliction of duty and responsibility.   Our youth and workers deserve better.

We support ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar’s attempts to save our modern day “Titanic.”   Adam Gilchrist, Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming, Kumar Sangakkara, VVS Laxman,  Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and others have supported Cricket’s inclusion in the 2020 Games!   120 years is far too long!

We  must join the fight, and follow the example of the 2016 Asian Games in China.





Every four years (a leap year) the nations of the world declare sports war on each other. They call this war, the Olympic Games.

The athletes of ancient Greece ran for the laurel wreath and to honor Zeus and the other deities on Mount Olympus. Today’s athlete compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and to bring fame to their country. Almost every nation on the planet makes do or die efforts to be represented at the games. Countries have been known to send one athlete whom we see at the march past and probably never again. But at least he/she represented his/her country at the Olympic Games, the most prestigious games in the universe.

It must bring a titillating sensation to an athlete and possibly tears to his/her eyes to stand on the podium and see your country’s flag raised above all others and to hear your national anthem being played. After all it was you versus the rest of the world and you came out on top.

Practically every sport under the sun is played out at we have soccer, tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball, fencing, archery, diving and synchronized diving, the list goes on. Why do we not have cricket at the Olympic Games? Cricket is the top sports in many countries in the world. India, one of two countries in the world with a population of more than one billion, ranks cricket very high on its sports ladder. It is also the top sport on the continent of Australia, England, the West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and many other countries are just as zealous about cricket as Brazil is about soccer.

I should like to think that these nations would like to see their teams play cricket at the Games. I am willing to wager that if an athlete has an Olympic medal along with others then he/she cherishes the Olympic medal above the others. On the other hand, if an athlete does not have an Olympic medal in his/her collection then he/she would fervently wish that there was one among the trophies.

The sport pundits may say cricket is too time-consuming a game. Hear me out, I am not thinking of a five-day Test match. I have in mind a 35-50 overs game. Cricket enthusiasts know how exciting such a game can be. A basketball game can be decided on the last second. A cricket match can be decided on the last ball.

If it will be too costly to produce clay for pitches at some sites then matting could be used to cover the pitch area. There are a number of soccer fields and games are simultaneously played. The same can hold for cricket. We can start with eight teams (which will appear at the games after elimination matches among the cricketing nations) on a round-robin basis so that no team ever draws a bye, since eight is a power of two.

When I can hear commentary like this: “He reaches his bowling mark, turns, begins his run-up, accelerates, passes the umpire, reaches the wicket, jumps and delivers. That was short, outside the off stump and the batsman gets into position and pulls it hard and high over the mid-wicket boundary for six runs,” coming from the Games, then I will be able to make a joyful noise and shout, “Cricket at the Olympics!”