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United States of America
US national cricket team logo
US national cricket team logo
ICC membership granted 1965
ICC member status Associate member
ICC development region Americas
World Cricket League division Five
ICC Americas Championship division One
Captain Steve Massiah
First recorded match 24 September 1844 v Canada at St George's Cricket Club in New York
One Day Internationals
ODI matches played 2
ODI wins/losses 0/2
First class cricket
First class matches played 4
First class wins/losses 2/2
List A cricket
List A matches played 21
List A wins/losses 5/15
ICC World Cup Qualifier
Appearances 8 (First in 1979)
Best result 6th place, 2001
As of 1 October 2008

The United States national cricket team is the team that represents the United States of America in international cricket matches. The team became an associate member of the International Cricket Council in 1965. The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) was suspended by the ICC for – amongst other things – failure to hold office-bearers elections under the terms of a new constitution. However, as of April 1, 2008, the necessary reformations have been made under the supervision of the West Indies Cricket Board and the ICC has welcomed the USACA back into the council.[1]





Cricket was first played in the United States in the 18th century.[2] It is understood from anecdotal evidence that George Washington was a strong supporter of cricket, participating at least one occasion in games of cricket with his troops at Valley Forge during the American Revolution.[3] John Adams was recorded as saying in Congress that if leaders of cricket clubs could be called "presidents", there was no reason why the leader of the new nation could not be called the same.[4]

In 1844, the United States participated in the first international cricket match. This was played against Canada at the St George's Cricket Club Ground, Bloomingdale Park, New York.[5] This first international sporting event was attended by 20,000 people and established the longest international sporting rivalry in the modern era.[6] Wagers of around $120,000 were placed on the outcome of the match. This is equivalent to around $1.5 million in 2007.[7][8]

Sides from England toured North America (taking in both the USA and Canada) following the English cricket seasons of 1859, 1868 and 1872. These were organized as purely commercial ventures. Most of the matches of these early touring teams were played "against odds", that is to say the home team was permitted to have more than eleven players (usually twenty-two) in order to make a more even contest.[9]


In spite of cricket's popularity in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the game was supplanted by baseball in the 1850s and 1860s. As interest in baseball rose, the rules of that game were changed slightly to increase its popularity. For example, easily manufactured round bats were introduced to contrast the flat bats of cricket.[10]

Another reason cricket's decline in popularity may be that in the late 1800s American cricket remained an amateur sport reserved for the wealthy while England and Australia were developing a professional version of the game. As cricket standards improved with professionalism elsewhere in the world many North American cricket clubs stayed stubbornly elitist. Clubs such as Philadelphia and Merion abandoned cricket and converted their facilities to other sports. Some city cricket clubs unknowingly contributed to their own demise by sponsoring auxiliary baseball teams. By 1900 baseball had taken over the American scene and created its independent mythology. The formation of the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 also helped to keep the popularity of the game down. It certainly undercut any momentum to professionalize cricket in the USA, although whether the momentum would have developed even in the presence of a more open ICC remains a question.[5] Regardless of its cause, the game did not flourish in the United States the way it did in the British Empire. From the 1880s until the outbreak of World War I, the American game was dominated not by the national side, but by an amateur team from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphian cricket

The Philadelphian cricket team, shown here on an 1884 tour of England, were the premier American cricket team for several decades after the US Civil War

The Philadelphian cricket team was a team that represented Philadelphia in first-class cricket between 1878 and 1913. Even though the United States had played the first ever international cricket match against Canada in 1844, the sport began a slow decline in the country.[11] This decline was furthered by the rise in popularity of baseball. In Philadelphia, however, the sport remained very popular and from the end of the 19th century until the outbreak of World War I, the city produced a first class team that rivaled many others in the world. The team was composed of players from the four chief cricket clubs in Philadelphia–Germantown, Merion, Belmont, and Philadelphia. Players from smaller clubs, such as Tioga and Moorestown, and local colleges, such as Haverford and Penn, also played for the Philadelphians. Over its 35 years, the team played in 89 first-class cricket matches. Of those, 29 were won, 46 were lost, 13 were drawn and one game was abandoned before completion.[12]

Arguably, the greatest American cricketer ever played for Philadelphia during this period. John Barton King was a very skilled batsman, but really proved his worth as a bowler. During his career, he set numerous records in North America and at least one first-class bowling record.[13] He competed with and succeeded against the best cricketers in the world from England and Australia. King was the dominant bowler on his team when it toured England in 1897, 1903, and 1908. He dismissed batsmen with his unique delivery, which he called "the angler", and helped to perfect swing bowling in the sport. Many of the great bowlers of today still use the strategies and techniques that he developed.[14] Sir Pelham Warner described Bart King as one of the finest bowlers of all time,[15] and Donald Bradman called him "America's greatest cricketing son."[16]

On 28 June 1913 the Philadelphians played the last first-class game on the mainland for more than 90 years. Games were played in the US Virgin Islands in the interim, which is considered as part of the West Indies by the ICC. The team had played an American national side 6 times between 1885 and 1894. The United States team won one of these matches, lost two, and earned a draw in three. Cricket remained a minor pastime in the United States until the mid-1960s, when ICC reforms allowed associate members to join.

Status from 1965

In 1965, the Imperial Cricket Conference changed its name to the International Cricket Conference. In addition, new rules were adopted to permit the election of countries from outside the Commonwealth. This led to the expansion of the Conference, with the admission of Associate Members, including the United States. Today cricket is played in all fifty states.[17]

The USA have played in every edition of the ICC Trophy, though they didn't pass the first round until the 1990 tournament in the Netherlands. They reached the plate final of the 1994 tournament, but opted not to play due to prior travel arrangements. They finished twelfth in 1997 and sixth in 2001, their best performance to date. They have also played in every edition of the ICC Americas Championship, winning in 2002.[18]

In 2004, the United States cricket team played a first-class match as part of the first ICC Intercontinental Cup. The matches against Canada and Bermuda were the first in many years.[18] The team won the ICC 6 Nations Challenge beating Scotland, Namibia, the Netherlands, and the UAE on net run rate by 0.028 of a run.[19]

Winning the ICC Six Nations meant that they qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 in England. Here the USA played their first ever One Day International match against New Zealand at The Oval on 10 September 2004.[20] The US side was beaten by New Zealand and lost to Australia in the tournament, as well.[21]

The 2005 ICC Trophy represented a chance for the USA to re-establish themselves on the world stage and qualify for the 2007 World Cup. A poor showing saw them finish at the bottom of their group, with four losses and a match abandoned due to rain from their five group fixtures. This failure robbed the USA of the prize of full One Day International status on offer to the World Cup qualifiers.[18] This failure was compounded on August 9, 2005 when the ICC expelled the USA from the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup.[22]

The USA made their return to international cricket in August 2006 when they participated in Division One of the ICC Americas Championship in Canada.[23] They finished second in the five team tournament.[24]

In May 2007 the USA were to visit Darwin, Australia to take part in Division Three of the ICC World Cricket League.[25] A top two finish in this tournament would have qualified them for Division Two of the same tournament later in the year.[25] Unfortunately, the United States of America Cricket Association was suspended from the ICC and the team was pulled from this competition.[26] The suspension was due to an internal dispute over a constitution for the USACA. The dispute was resolved in early 2008, and the suspension was lifted on April 1 of that year.

The team's reinstatement permitted them to enter the World Cricket League in Division Five for 2008 in Jersey. The team made it through the Group Stage tied for first in their division with a 4-0-0 record (one match abandoned),[27] but lost both their semi-final match with Jersey and their third-place play-off with Nepal.[28] They will play in Division Five again in 2010.[29]

Tournament history

ICC Champions Trophy
ICC Intercontinental Cup
World Cricket League
ICC Trophy
ICC Americas Championship

The future

The USA recently announced they will be taking part in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates, to compete for a place in the final tournament in the West Indies.[30]

They will take part in Division Five of the World Cricket League again in 2010.[28][29]


For a list of American ODI cricketers, see List of American ODI cricketers. The following players formed the USA's squad at Division Five of the World Cricket League in Jersey in May 2008:[31]

See also


  1. ^ United States of America Cricket Association re-recognised by ICC | ICC Cricket News
  2. ^ "Smithsonian Institution Magazine: Cricket, Anyone?". Retrieved 2006-12-05.  
  3. ^ "The American Revolution Webpage: The Winter At Valley Forge". Retrieved 2006-12-05.  
  4. ^ USA cricket history at cricinfo
  5. ^ a b Das, Deb (None Given). "Cricinfo - Cricket in the USA". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-03-09.  
  6. ^ "Canada Versus United States of America Cricket 1844 St George Cricket Club Ground, Manhattan, New York". Cricket Club. None Given. Retrieved 2007-03-09.  
  7. ^ "Canada Cricket Online". Canada Cricket. None Given. Retrieved 2007-03-09.  
  8. ^ Harris, Jon; et alia. (2002). "Some stories, some history, some facts, some observations: Canadian Cricket History". Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  9. ^ Alan Gibson, The Cricket Captains of England, The Pavilion Library, 1989, ISBN 1-85145-390-3, 4-7.
  10. ^ "Early Baseball and Cricket in America". Seattle Cricket Club. None Given. Retrieved 2007-03-09.  
  11. ^ Das, Deb (7 April 2005). "Cricinfo - Pennsylvania's hidden secret". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  
  12. ^ See summary of first-class matches here.
  13. ^ Rolfe, John (1994). Everything You Want to Know About Sports (Sports Illustrated for Kids). New York: Bantam Books for Young Readers. ISBN 0-553-48166-5.  
  14. ^ Synge, Allen (2007). "SABR UK Examiner no.10: Baseball and Cricket: Cross-Currents". Society for American Baseball Research (UK Chapter). Retrieved 2007-01-31.  
  15. ^ "Wisden - 1966 - Obituaries in 1965". John Wisden & Co. 1966. Retrieved 2007-01-31.  
  16. ^ Bradman, Donald (1998). The Art of Cricket. Robson Books.  
  17. ^ "The Organization". United States Cricket Association. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Timeline of USA cricket at CricketEurope
  19. ^ ICC 6 Nations Challenge 2004 Points Table at Cricket Archive
  20. ^ a b c List of ODIs played by the USA
  21. ^ a b Points Table from the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy at Cricket Archive
  22. ^ a b ICC suspends USA from Intercontinental Cup, Cricinfo
  23. ^ a b Americas Division One at Cricket Archive
  24. ^ Americas Division One points table
  25. ^ a b World Cricket League Structure
  26. ^ a b Cricinfo - ICC suspends USA Cricket Association
  27. ^ Points tables at WCL5 Official site
  28. ^ a b c Results at WCL5 Official site
  29. ^ a b World Cricket League to continue and expand by Andrew Nixon, 25 May 2008 at CricketEurope
  30. ^ Cricinfo, Accessed 27 June 2009
  31. ^ USA squad at WCL Division Five Official site

External links


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