By Orin Davidson
Another controversial  decision by the New York cricket authorities has plunged  the Regional governing body under leader Selwyn Caesar, to a new low in the run-up to the United States of America Cricket Association  (USACA) Eastern Conference championship currently underway in Atlanta, Georgia.

Cameron Mirza. (Photo by Shiek Mohamed)

Apart from  the continued exclusion of  Linden Fraser, who coached New York to a title winning performance  last year,  this time around the selection  of batsman Cameron Mirza has left  the Committee’s tainted  reputation  in a worse state.

Prior to team selection, the criteria spelled out  for team selection was participation in the New York Inter League competition,  but  Mirza, a young New Jersey resident never took the field for either of the seven League teams that competed here.

He was selected  after national middle order batsman Rashard  Marshall withdrew  from the squad due to work commitments.  It left  better  qualified and accomplished players including  Romano Deane, Karan Ganesh and Kavesh Bridgepaul  sidelined, as a result.

According to reports, extensive lobbying was made for Mirza to be included in the Connecticut (North East) and New Jersey (Atlantic) teams , but  those attempts were rebuffed.

In trampling upon its principles,  the New York committee  is continuing to make a mockery of the Region’s once high standing in United States cricket.

Steve Massiah has been retained to captain New York which also includes national players Kevin Darlington as vice captain and Adrian Gordon while former West Indies fast bowler Adam Stanford  is picked for the first time. All-rounder  Barrington Bartley is also in the mix as is  promising batsman  Andy Mohamed and  New Zealander Stuart  Mills,  a student in New York. It is not clear whether Mills is qualified to represent the United States, which is a prerequisite for regional selection.

New York plays Connecticut in their opening game Friday  and  will oppose New Jersey in  the key clash Saturday.   They  take on Florida/Georgia ( South East ) in their last game Sunday. The team is handled by former  New York director Carlyle Miller as coach.

New Jersey has been boosted  by the inclusion of former Guyana and West Indies spin bowler Neil McGarrell as captain as well as ex West  Indies paceman Jermain Lawson. Former United States fast bowler Imran Iwan  is also in the lineup as well as fellow discard Clain Williams.