Now that’s a super bowl! Cricket is finally up and running in America

First soccer scored, now the US is hosting a national season-long one-day league

US Correspondent

The sports fans of America are learning a new sound: that of leather on willow. This year, 17 teams from across the US are competing in the country’s first-ever season-long national cricket competition, the American Cricket Champions League (ACCL).

The contest is due to culminate in October, when six of the teams will meet in Florida for a play-off tournament to decide the US national champions. Each one-day match in the competition consists of 40 overs per side.

The launch of the ACCL coincides with a surging demand for new cricket pitches in US cities including Washington DC, Dallas and Chicago. In Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, cricket has exploded in popularity as tech companies take on more and more workers from South Asia. In New York City, the sport is so fashionable – and space so limited – that cricket enthusiasts must compete in a lottery to play in some parks.

John Aaron, the executive secretary of the American Cricket Federation, said cricket was now in a similar position to football. “When soccer first started here, people said it’s not going to go anywhere – American football is the thing,” Mr Aaron said.

“Soccer has not replaced American football, but it has certainly taken off now, hasn’t it? It’s attracting  international teams coming here to play. Cricket can do the same thing.”

John Adams High School's Derick Narine celebrates after bowling out a Midwood High School batsman, during a Public School Athletic League cricket match in Brooklyn, New York (AP) John Adams High School's Derick Narine celebrates after bowling out a Midwood High School batsman, during a Public School Athletic League cricket match in Brooklyn, New York (AP)
According to the United States of America Cricket Association (Usaca), the US has an expanding base of cricket enthusiasts, with more than 1,100 teams playing in local leagues. Most of the 30,000 players are immigrants from former British colonies, but the association hopes to expand its reach by introducing American schoolchildren to the sport that comedian Robin Williams once described as “baseball on valium”.

The US Youth Cricket Association has donated some 1,500 sets of cricket equipment to community youth programmes in states across the US.

Not every cricketing initiative has proved successful. Indianapolis spent more than $5m on a cricket pitch in one of its parks. But last week the city pulled out of hosting a Usaca tournament in August, claiming a communications breakdown. Sunil Kumar, of Usaca, explained: “The costs for teams, families and fans to travel and stay in Indianapolis were just exceptionally high.”

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all