The first of the USA Cricket Combines have been successfully delivered in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale with over 150 attending.
One common theme that appeared across all three venues was the passion for the game and the desire from players to improve.
The Combines were facilitated by a number of high profile international coaches, including Mike Young, Eldine Baptiste and Graeme West in conjunction with local US based coaches such as Ricardo Powell.
WICB selector Eldine Baptist noted the talent of the group from Los Angeles, “I was really pleased with some of the talent on show in LA. There were some players with good raw skills and the most pleasing thing was how keen they were to learn and improve.”
This raw talent also appeared in San Francisco where Graeme West, West Indies U19 coach, joined the cricket evaluation team:
“I was impressed with the quality of some of the women’s cricket that was played over the weekend. A number of the boys also demonstrated they have real potential, particularly four of five players aged fifteen and under.”
The dedication, and personal journey, the players have shown has been testament to the attitude in which they approached the various Combines.
Former West Indies international, and now US based coach, Ricardo Powell, acknowledged such:
“I thought the US Cricket Combine in Florida was a great experience for all involved. I know all those present learnt a lot about their games and themselves through the various activities and guidance from the coaches.
It is great to see such a program go nation-wide in a country that I know has lots of talent that is hungry for improvement. I really see this as the start of cricket in the USA reaching the potential we all know it is capable of. I think with hard work and dedication this can be achieved”
Whilst impressed with some of the talent, and the positive attitude, of players to date Tom Evans ICC Americas Cricket Manager highlighted and area for improvement, “One area that has been common across all Combines, thus far, is that the cricketers we have seen need to work a lot harder on their physical fitness”.
The second block of combine commences next Thursday, in Houston, followed by Chicago and Washington DC.
Story and photo courtesy of ICC Americas.