The United States of America (USA) is considered one of the superpowers in the modern world. Recently Joe Biden swore as 46th President of the USA replacing Donald Trump. As a country, the USA is leading from the front in every aspect i.e Politically, Internationally, Economically etc. In sports, the USA always is in the 2nd spot in the Olympic medal tally. They have a strong National football team & Rugby team while their national sport is Baseball.
In modern times Cricket is emerging as the main sport after football and make a major contribution to the world economy. But in the USA, Cricket is not so popular which is so unfortunate for cricket fans. The USA is not a full-fledged member of ICC. ICC recognized USA cricket as an associate member in 1965. After that, the cricket of the USA is growing day by day. As an example, In 2006 it was estimated that 30,000 people in the United States play or watch cricket annually. By 2017, this figure had risen to 200,000 people playing cricket in 6,000 teams.
Cricket History for the USA
Cricket was played in the USA from 1709. According to William Byrd II’s diary, cricket was played on the slave plantations of Virginia, including on his Westover estate among neighbours and slaves. Haverford College in Philadelphia has formed a cricket team in 1833 and it emerged as the first-ever cricket team for the Americans. In recent times, Haverford College is one of the few to field a cricket team at the varsity level.
The governing body of Cricketers in the USA is USA CRICKET. After the consecutive suspension faced by the former governing body United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) by ICC, USA cricket took the charge replacing USACA in 2017.
USA cricket team in international level
- USA cricket team Ranking in ICC- Unranked in Test; 19 (ODIs); 34 (T20s)
In July of 1895, an international cricket match between Canada and the United States was played on the Manheim grounds in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. But from that time, The presence of cricket culture in the USA is getting minimal significance and importance.in ODIs, their highest team total in International Cricket is 282/9 against Scotland in 2019, while their lowest score of 35 has come against Nepal in 2020. The biggest victory of the USA has been come against UAE IN 2019 by 98 runs in 2019 and by 5 wickets against Namibia in 2019.
In the T20s, the highest team total for the USA is 158/6 vs UAE in 2019 and the lowest one is 60/5 came against Cayman island in 2019. Their largest victory of the USA in this format is by 10 runs and by 9 wickets both came again Cayman Island in 2019. These two victories are the only victory for the USA in T20 international.
They do not have any centurion in international cricket. But they have some promising player too. In ODIs, the highest scorer of the USA (As of 13/06/20201) Aaron Jones has scored 416 runs in 13 matches (Average- 34.66) with the help of Three Half-centuries.
In the T20s, Steven Ryan Tailor has scored 265 in 8 matches (Average- 37.85) with the help of 2 Half-centuries thus emerged as the highest scorer for the USA in this format.
While in Bowling, Indian origin player Saurabh Naresh Netravalkar is the leading wicket-taker in ODIs for the USA. He has taken 19 wickets in 12 innings. He has the only five wickets haul for the USA in international cricket against UAE in 2019 where he has taken 5/32. He is the present USA cricket team Captain.
In T20s, again an Indian Origin Player Timil Kaushik Patel has taken 11 wickets in 6 innings. His leg-break is quite outstanding sometimes and therefore batsman struggles against him. To date, TK Kaushik is the leading wicket-taker for the USA in international T20s.
WHY CRICKET IS NOT SO POPULAR IN THE USA
There is some significant reason for the unpopularity of cricket in the USA despite being a superpower and sports motivated country.
- Cricket got popular among British owned nations in the 19th century and the USA got independence in 1776. Hence, cricket is not so popular in the USA.
- The most logical and probable reason for the non-popularity of cricket in the USA is the contemporary rise of baseball. Baseball has the same instrument as bat & ball of cricket and less time-consuming. Therefore it has got vast popularity in the Americans.
- The absence of proper guidance at the basic level also damages the talent and future prospects of Cricket in the USA.
- Consecutive suspension of the former governing body United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) has made a major negative impact on the reputation of USA cricket future.
Future aspects of Cricket in the USA
Though in recent years, Cricket is not so popular in the USA. We can find some hope in the development of USA cricket team players. USA cricketer Ali Khan had made an impact in CPL T20 for Trinibago Knight Riders and got his maiden contract for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020. He becomes the first USA cricket player in IPL. Though he had been ruled out before making his debut for his team.
Just not this. As a contemporary of Major league soccer, the USA will host the first-ever Major league cricket in 2022. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and a host of Indian American tech executives, including Microsoft Chairman Satya Nadella, are among the prominent investors in Major League Cricket.
“There is a huge amount of demand from the U.S.-based audience to consume the sport in person,”Mr. Samir Mehta (Co founder of Major League Cricket)
Mehta said the U.S. is second only to India in terms of the number of fans who travel abroad to see matches each year and was home to one of the top five media markets for the game in the world. So we can hope for a bright future for USA cricket in near future & we can expect some outstanding and exciting results and performance from the USA team in near future.
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