Ricardo Powell claims the USA cricket is getting stronger
By Sandy - Oct 6, 2018 2:45 am
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Former West Indies cricketer Ricardo Powell recently claimed that the USA cricket is getting stronger with the time progresses as more guys are becoming qualified in US cricket. He also spoke about the Caribbean cricket future.

Ricardo Powell

In a recent talk with Sportstar, Ricardo Powell, the chairman of selectors for the USA team, seemed optimistic on USA cricket.

Talking about USA cricket, Powell said, “There are quite a few players who have played first-class cricket in India and are now in the US. Couple of them are qualified to play. USA cricket is going stronger by the year. More guys are becoming qualified and cricket is growing around the United States. What we are lacking more than anything else is the right surface to play cricket consistently. We are division-three qualifiers coming up in November and we are optimistic. The team is well prepared and are now playing the West Indies 50-over championship and that’s a good lead, going into the division three.”

As many Indians are living in the USA, the talent pool is automatically growing. Powell believes the USA cricket landscape will change in next few years.

Ricardo Powell

He added, “You have naturally a lot of Indians living in America, but most of them are kids, who are 15,16,17. They are now in the U-19 squad. 100 per cent of these kids are US-born, but are of Indian descent. It shows the talent pool is growing and USA cricket landscape will change in the next five or so years. That is the time which will take your cricket to a different level.”

Coming to the West Indies cricket, Powell believes their talent scout structure is not very strong, especially for the Test cricket level.

Powell said about the Caribbean cricket, “It has been looking like this for a while, especially at the Test level. We have been rebuilding for a very, very long time and the problem is that we don’t have a structure in terms of how much players have come through the system, and how much of experience they gain. Unlike India, where you need to play the first-class level and you need to dominate, the West Indies Cricket picks players based on talent alone. If you play one first-class and you score a 100, you are immediately in. The structure in West Indies cricket is no longer where you have quality across boards. You might have one or two first-class teams which are outstanding, then the others are not so good in parts. We are producing players who have talents, but a majority of them are not ready for this level yet.”

However, Powell believes the West Indies cricket can grow up in the next two-three years.

Windies cricket team

Talking about that, Powell said, “Maybe, in the next two-three years, these guys who are playing now will be different players. Shannon Gabriel came into the scene as a fast bowler. He was pretty much a raw talent, now he is heading the attack. That’s what is going to happen.”

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t allow their players to participate in the foreign leagues, Powell doesn’t believe that it is possible for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) to take the similar step that can help them to grow up their cricket.

Powell said, “I don’t think they can afford to do it. It is that simple. I don’t think the West Indies board can afford to keep their best players in the country, playing around the year. They have a system which works for them and financially they can invest. The respective boards in the Caribbean cricket do not have that much of revenue to shout at players and say, ‘Hey, we want you to play or want you to do this or that.’ That is not possible at the moment.”