Pro Cricket

From Academic Kids

Pro Cricket is a professional cricket league in the United States. It is operated by American Pro Cricket LLC, a private company independent of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA). As such, it has no official recognition within the formalised international structure of cricket.

The league was formed in 2004 as one of several independent efforts by different organisations to develop and promote cricket in the U.S.

The league consists of eight teams in two divisions, listed with home grounds:

East:

West:

The competition involves round-robin home and away games between all pairings within a division, followed by interdivisional semi-finals and a final. The schedule runs from the opening game on 19 June, 2004, to the final on 4 September, 2004. In addition, Pro Cricket has a policy of not playing the games that have no importance to them on the points table. The game scheduled for August 21, 2004, between Chicago and Los Angeles was cancelled due to the lack of importance of the game. Neither team could have made the playoffs even if they won the game therefore Pro Cricket chose to not play the game.

The format of the games is 20 overs a side, similar to Twenty20 cricket. However, there are two major changes from the rules of cricket used elsewhere:

  • Overs consist of 5 balls instead of 6.
  • Bowlers may bowl up to 5 overs each (25% of the total), meaning only four bowlers will be needed rather than five.

Additionally, the league uses a "designated hitter" rule, in which teams consist of 12 players, 11 of whom field and 11 of whom bat. This is similar to such rules exisiting in some domestic List A cricket competitions. All of these changes have been designed to shorten the game and produce more aggressive batting, which the league administrators believe will help make the sport more appealing to the U.S. public.

Each team is allowed a limited roster of global players from professional cricket teams outside the U.S. The ICC however ruled that because Pro Cricket was not organised by the USACA, contracted players from ICC Test nations could not be released from their contracts to play in Pro Cricket matches. However, several notable players without contracts, such as Ajay Jadeja, Darren Ganga, Merv Dillon, and Rahul Sanghvi are taking part in the competition.

Pro Cricket is notable as being the first concerted attempt to begin a professional cricket competition within the U.S. Although cricket had a strong following in the U.S. up to the mid-19th century, its popularity dwindled with the rise of baseball, and it remained an almost unknown sport throughout the 20th century. The U.S. was one of the first nations to become an Associate Member of the ICC, in 1965, but growth of the game there languished until the late 1990s, when the ICC focused development efforts on the country. Progress since has been slow but steady, and Pro Cricket may prove to be a turning point in the popularity of the sport in the U.S.

Champions

  • 2004 - San Francisco Freedom.

External link

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