Category Archives: USACA U15 Tournament

Michigan Players Sought for C.E.R. U-15 Team

After a two-year hiatus, USACA (the national cricket board) has revived the national U-15 tournament, although the format is somewhat different from previous years. The Western Conference tournament will take place at the Woodley Cricket Field, in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, over Thanksgiving weekend ( 29 November– 1 December 2013). The team that wins this tournament will play the winner of the Eastern Conference tournament in June 2014.

The Central East Region, of which Michigan forms a part, is fielding a team, under the direction of Mir Ali, C.E.R. Youth Coordinator and an official of the Bollingbrooke Premier League in Chicagoland. Mr Ali has asked MCA to find up to four U-15 players for the team, which will be coached by Hasan Khan of the BPL.

Players interested in participating should contact the MCA Information Director, Michael Makin, as soon as possible, but should bear in mind the following:

  1. Almost all of the cost of participation will have to be borne by players’ families. Assuming that air tickets will cost at least $600, players should anticipate expenses in the region of $1,000. A generous sponsor has covered the cost of the coach’s travel, but players’ families will have to pay for accommodation, transportation, and meals.
  2. Players should fly to LAX on Thursday, 28 November, returning to DTW late on Sunday, 1 December or even, perhaps, very early on Monday, 2 December. It is hoped that the Michigan contingent will fly out together, ideally with at least one adult accompanying them (unaccompanied minors flying across the country present problems for ticketing).
  3. Each team will play three forty-over matches; cricket whites are required.
  4. The team hotel is the Airtel, opposite the ground
  5. The leading teams in this tournament will be very well-prepared. North West Region (essentially, Northern California) has already announced what will certainly be a strong team, based around players from the top cricket academy in the USA, the California Cricket Academy. The C.E.R. team will be travelling “for experience”, although, of course, everyone will work hard to try to win matches.

In the past, MCA has regularly contributed players to C.E.R. U-15 teams. For example, MCA players participated in the national U-15 tournaments in 2009 (Northern California), 2010 (New Jersey), and 2011 (Connecticut), with the C.E.R. team finishing third, third, and seventh, respectively in what was in those years a single, nation-wide tournament. Reports can be found in the archives on this web site.  The leading members of those C.E.R. teams had quite extensive experience of age-level tournaments and some had played several years of league cricket – for example, MCA’s three representatives on the C.E.R. team two years ago had played in many youth tournaments over several years (California, Chicago, Toronto, etc) and all had played a significant number of matches for teams in Mich-CA league tournaments – ie, they had played quite a lot of adult club cricket, in addition to age-level tournaments. While this year’s Michigan players are likely to be far less experienced, they should expect an enjoyable tournament and, with the squad size anticipated to be quite small, ample playing opportunities.

Players interested in participating in this tournament (preferably in the age range 14/15) and willing to countenance the expenses involved should contact Michael Makin immediately. C.E.R. hopes to announce the final squad on the 20th, possibly after a training session in Chicago.

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2012 Schedule for National and International Tournaments Announced by USACA

Amidst the continuing uncertainty over the future shape of the administration of cricket in the United States, next year’s schedule for national tournaments and international tournaments in which US teams will participate has been announced, DreamCricket has reported.

Of particular interest to MCA members will be the following:

“The USACA U-17 National Tournament, which was postponed from 2010, will be held February 17-20 at a site to be determined. … The first ever USA U-17 squad will then be picked to take part in the ICC Americas U-17 tournament from April 1-8 in Florida.

The USACA U-15 National Tournament is set for July 13-16 while the U-19 National Tournament is due to be held August 3-6. Neither tournament has a scheduled hosting site.”

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CER Lose to South East, Finish Sixth in USACA U15 Tournament

A tournament that began so brightly for CER ended in disappointment, as the Midwesterners lost the fifth-place 30-overs match by six wickets to South East at Riverside Park, Hartford, CT, on Monday. After being put in, CER posted a mere 47, but fought hard to defend their small total, taking four wickets and unnerving the Southerners. However, CER chose the wrong match to put down chances – at least three relatively easy chances went down – and what seemed a clear stumping to neutrals on the boundary was also denied them, so there was no miracle finish to the tournament for them, although a surprise victory remained a possibility for much of the South East innings. Thus the Michigan contingent on the team were able to leave Connecticut for the long drive home  far earlier than they had planned (or would have liked), while the Illinois players were left clicking their heels at the first-place match (won, in a repeat of last year’s final, by North West, who punctured New York’s run chase, despite a ton by the latter’s captain, Randall Wilson), before flying to Chicago.

The story of CER’s innings was simple and was what had been dreaded by the team’s support staff from the moment the team was announced: failure by both openers. Captain Rohit Mogalayapalli was run out for 8, after hesitating over what looked like a good single, and then Gordon Makin, apparently having lost concentration after the run out, flicked hesitantly at a ball he should have pulled for four and was out for seven, caught at leg gully. When Makin fell the celebrations among the South East players, staff, and fans told the whole story: the two key men were gone cheaply within seven overs. Sadly, the remaining nine batsmen scored six fewer runs in aggregate than CER’s bitterly disappointed openers, to reinforce the pattern of previous matches: over the entire tournament, Makin and Mogalayapalli scored a total of 307 runs (159 for Rohit, 148 for Gordon), while the rest of the team totaled 58 in four matches. In Monday’s match, the most resolute partnership after Rohit and Gordon departed was probably between Ryan Quinlan and Neil Makin, who fought hard until the former was beaten by a ball that kept low and the latter was bowled off his foot, but even that partnership produced just one run off the bat. Arsalan Babar, batting at no 10, added a second four to Rohit’s early boundary before falling lbw for six, and Reeshav Patel was 1 not out at the end.

However, it says much for the spirit of the team that they took the field with confidence and determination, feeling that a target of 49 was not as simple as it seemed. Nauman Khan, who was to take two wickets, opened the bowling, and his leg spin immediately troubled the openers, one of whom, caught between attack and retreat, fell lbw in the first over, while Imram Babar opened at the other end and bowled his best spell of the tournament. Unfortunately, a catch went down behind almost immediately, and relatively easy chances at short midwicket and at point were also grassed, while a very strong appeal for a stumping was denied.  With Arsalan Babar’s leg spin also effective, there was at least some optimism among CER’s staff and supporters until South East were within single figures of the target . When the captain came on his adrenaline was clear from two big, high no balls, but one of them was taken far down the leg side by a diving keeper and thrown back to the bowler for a spectacular run-out. South East wobbled, but CER could not rattle the batsmen quite enough, and a calm Sagar Patel, top-scoring with 9 not out, guided his men home. As in every other match, CER’s extras also helped the opposition.

CER were seeded sixth (despite finishing third last year) and finished in sixth place. A stronger batting line up would have taken some of the pressure off the openers, while a more experienced team might have been able to defend even a very low total in the fifth-place match. However, CER’s coach and manager told his charges at the end of the match that he was proud of them for their fight and commitment, and was confident that next year’s team, which will lose only three players to age limits, would come back strongly.

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DreamCricket’s Peter Della Penna Reports on Day Two of the USACA U15 Tournament

Peter Della Penna’s report on the second day of the tournament notes the efforts of the CER team.

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