When everyone looked away and looked at their own purses to ensure that they were safe, one man stood in the cold, braving the harsh reality which is politics in cricket administration to make sure that the game of cricket survived in his adopted land.
Two years ago, when the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave USACA their march orders, cricketers from America went into panic mode. The offices of Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) located at Atlantic Boulevard in Margate was inundated with calls from desperate men, worried about their future. The cricketers were wondering when and whether there will ever be organized cricket in America again. They wanted to know whether CCUSA would continue the ever popular US Open T20 tournament because it was seen as a gateway to the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament.
A number of players who considered themselves fringe in terms of getting contracts in the CPL were left with their ambitions crushed. At the time there was no other tournament of note in North America. Chairman of CCUSA Mahammad Qureshi calmed the nerves of the players by ensuring them that he was going to continue with his event for their sake, whatever the costs involved. This he did and at the end of the tournament, Muhammad Ali Khan was given a contract by the Trinbago Knight Riders. Qureshi’s point at the time was: “Why to allow the players to suffer if the administrators can’t get their house in order. We have talent coming through in America but we must not suffocate it. We have to put all differences aside in order to help develop the sport which is the main goal. I have put on blinders as far as everything else is concerned and kept a singular focus in terms of pushing the game forward.”
Now with the ICC putting USA Cricket in place, there is a clear way forward but CCUSA continues to be the strength that supports the national body.