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Posts Tagged ‘usa’

Afghanistan, everyone’s favourite heartwarming warzone-based cricket team of the last year, have won the ACC Twenty20 Cup, beating the UAE in the final by 84 runs. Mohammad Nabi starred with both bat (73 from 38 balls) and ball (4-7 from just nine deliveries) as the Afghans won the trophy which they had to share with Oman two years ago.

Afghanistan will shortly play their first ‘official’ Twenty20 International matches in the next World Twenty20 Qualifier, where they have been drawn in a group alongside Ireland, Scotland and the USA.

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The American Premier League seems to have run into difficulties (and not just because of its shocking website), but any American-based Twenty20 fans need not despair, for the USACA (the USA Cricket Association, the official body in the States which is affiliated to the ICC) has put out a Request for Proposals from interested parties to set up a ‘USA Premier League’ Twenty20 franchise competition.

According to ESPN, the league would start in 2011, and it would certainly chime with the ICC’s plan to get the USA involved in Twenty20 cricket (as seen in the recent decision to fast-track the US side into the next round of World Twenty20 qualifiers). Whether or not ‘mainstream’ American sports fans would be interested in cricket is unclear, but the number of expatriate Indian, Pakistani and even English cricket fans based in the USA might mean that there is sufficient support to make the competition a viable prospect for sponsors even without what might be called ‘crossover’ appeal.

Certainly, Twenty20 cricket is the form of the game which would seem best suited to Yankee consumption, at least initially. At least there would be no snide comments about matches last five days and ending in a draw.

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It seems a slightly amateurish website hasn’t hindered the fledgling American Premier League from attracting players. Although the ICC has deemed the competition ‘unauthorised’ and the ECB has discouraged county players from taking part, the likes of Astle, Gillespie, Hick and Hollioake.

Whether or not October in New York will be a little too cold for cricket doesn’t seem to have been addressed yet. The baseball season will still be underway, which suggests that there is an appetite for outdoor sport in the city, but whether the players already signed up will convince NYC’s expatriate population to come out in force remains to be seen.

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Inzamam ul-Haq could be amongst a host of Lahore Badshahs players about to take a bite of the Big Apple (or rather the big APL) as Jay Mir of the American Sports & Entertainment Group (me neither) plans an ‘American Premier League‘ Twenty20 tournament based at a converted baseball field in New York.

The last man to try and sell cricket to the Americans, of course, was Allen Stanford. The less said about that, I think, the better.

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