Did you know?: Major cricket event in USA

If your stereotype of cricket is that it lasts several days, you may be in for a shock. More and more cricket is being played these days in its abbreviated forms — the “one-day” format and the even shorter “Twenty20” game, which can easily be shorter than a typical baseball game.

And yet its competitions go on for years and years.

So when we tell you the World Cricket League Division 4 will be in Los Angeles, starting this weekend, we need to give a bit of context.

First, this is neither Test cricket nor Twenty20. It’s one-day cricket, which takes pretty much the whole day.

“Division 4” implies promotion and relegation. And indeed, there is. But it’s really more of a rolling tiered qualifier for the 2019 World Cup.

The 2019 World Cup will have 10 teams, down from 14 in 2011 and 2015. It will feature:

  • 8 teams from the One-Day International (ODI) Championship — basically, the 12 teams with full “ODI status,” which are the 10 nations with “Test” status (see below), plus Ireland and Afghanistan.
  • 2 teams from the World Cup qualifier.

The World Cup qualifier, in 2018, will feature:

  • 4 teams (the bottom four) from the ODI Championship.
  • 4 teams (the top four) from the World Cricket League Championship, an ongoing (2015-17) competition for the second tier of national teams.
  • 2 teams promoted from Division 2.

Division 2, in 2018-ish, will feature:

  • 4 teams relegated from the World Cricket League Championship.
  • 2 teams promoted from Division 3

Division 3, next year, will feature:

  • 2 teams already relegated from when Division 2 last played in 2015.
  • 2 teams that kept their place when Division 3 last played in 2014
  • 2 teams that will be promoted from Division 4.

Which brings us back to Los Angeles. And you guessed it — in addition to the two teams that will be promoted to Division 3, two will remain in Division 4, and the bottom two will play in Division 5 whenever this whole cycle starts again.


Yes, I’ve had to get all this from Wikipedia, because good luck finding an explanation elsewhere.

Here’s who’s who:

TEST STATUS (10; all also have ODI status): Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies have all participated in all 11 Cricket World Cups. They’re also the only winners (Australia 5, India 2, West Indies 2, Sri Lanka 1, Pakistan 1, England nil, New Zealand nil). South Africa has played all seven since apartheid ended. Zimbabwe has been in the last nine, Bangladesh in the last five.

ODI STATUS ONLY (2): Ireland and Afghanistan. Ireland has been in the last three World Cups. Afghanistan debuted in 2015.

WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP (8; top four advance to World Cup qualifier): In order of current standings, it’s Papua New Guinea, Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nepal, Namibia and United Arab Emirates. Kenya used to be great in this sport, qualifying for five straight World Cups and reaching the semifinal in 2003, but they missed out in 2015. Netherlands have made it four times, Scotland three, UAE twice, Namibia once.

DIVISION 2 (6): Will be the bottom four from the World Cricket League Championship and the top two from Division 3.

DIVISION 3 (6): Uganda and Canada were relegated from the last Division 2 competition in 2015. Malaysia and Singapore kept their spots when Division 3 last played in 2014. Then it’s the top two from Division 4 …

DIVISION 4 (6): USA and Bermuda were relegated from Division 3. Denmark and Italy kept their spots. Jersey and Oman were promoted from Division 5.

So yes, the USA could make it to the World Cup. Just finish in the top two in Los Angeles, then in the Division 3 tournament, then in the Division 2 tournament, then in the World Cup qualifier.

Piece of cake, right?

All of this is happening just as the USA has yet another plan for a professional league on the table. The problem is that this isn’t the first attempt. Here’s a quick timeline:

2004: American ProCricket. Twenty20 with a designated hitter who doesn’t have to field, plus fewer restrictions on bowlers. San Francisco Freedom? Los Angeles Unity??!!

The final was held on a baseball field with the infield dirt in place:

2000s: Major League Cricket. Had no support from the fractious U.S. federation and never actually played.

2009: American Premier League, also unsanctioned, and federations worked to sandbag it.

2009: USA Premier League, announced by U.S. federation to start in 2011.

2011: American Twenty20 Championship, a tournament pitting region vs. region, played once.

2012: Cricket Holdings America announces franchise process.

2015: American Pro Cricket, announced by Lloyd Jodah of American College Cricket.

September 2016: USA Cricket Association and Global Sports Ventures reach $70M licensing deal.

Will the international tournament on U.S. soil help prod a pro league into existence? We can only hope. But first, maybe someone in the media will notice that it’s actually happening?




Cricket player aims to make soccer club farewell pay off

Ellyse Perry has represented Australia in cricket and soccer. But to play for Australia in the World Twenty20, she had to say goodbye to her soccer club, Canberra United.

A few months later, she found a new club, Sydney FC. But before then, she has some business in Sri Lanka.

Perry gave up six runs per over in Australia’s World Twenty20 opener as her team won handily over India.


Weekend picks: Cycling, cricket and golf championships … of sorts

Three events this weekend are “championships” that are overshadowed by other events in their sports. One common thread: All three are condensed versions of sports that have longer, fairer tests of skill.

Cycling: We’ve already had three three-week tours (in men’s cycling, at least) as well as the Olympics. Pending future doping developments, we have a Tour de France champion and several Olympic medalists. So now we crown world champions?

A one-day race doesn’t tell you that much, anyway. Perhaps a breakaway gets lucky. Perhaps a sprinter sees a rival caught up in traffic and pounces to take the win. Maybe an uphill finish favors climbers. Over the course of a Grand Tour, many of these things even out, and the yellow and green jerseys are well-deserved.

But the good news: Cyclists still care about the world titles at stake, and that means we’ll see the best fields since the Olympics. Universal Sports

Cricket: Twenty20 cricket has caught on in the 10 years or so since its introduction, mostly because people can see all the action without investing an entire day or more. If you see big crowds at England’s county cricket four-day matches, the economy is either in amazing shape or in the toilet. Purists don’t like it because it takes away a lot of the game’s tactics. No room for defensive, game-prolonging shots here. Swing, swing away.

Maybe the top Test-playing country is the best team in the world, and maybe the World Cup (one-day, but 2.5 times longer than Twenty20) has more history. But this is fan-friendly. ESPN3

Golf: Here’s the event that needs a change. The Tour Championship takes place well after all the majors — this year, it’s also right before the Ryder Cup. And it’s all based on a yearlong points competition, anyway, so the tournament includes a lot of extraneous math.

Why not make it like combined sports at the Olympics (Nordic combined, modern pentathlon)? Convert the points to strokes. If you’re 500 points behind, you’re five strokes behind. Best score at the end of tournament is the season winner. Golf Channel/NBC

Also this weekend: Plenty of good soccer matchups, UFC 152 and a college water polo game you should watch just because Michael Hiestand was snarky about it.

Monday Myriad: Twenty20 just not cricket; injury-free Giro goal

A little late and short this week due to free-lance deadlines and a nervous trip to the auto dealer’s service department. (It lived.)

Also, these are going to be more Oly/international/MMA and less soccer because I’m already rounding up soccer elsewhere. As are other people.

Starting this week, though, with a complaint about:


Twenty20 cricket already takes a long, complicated game and makes it a short, extremely complicated game. But then when you have a little rain, it’s like racing to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

That’s one way of describing the way West Indies beat England 60-191 in the World Twenty20 tournament. (Cricinfo)

That leaves England needing a win over Ireland, one of the outsiders in a sport that accords “test status” to a small group of countries, to advance to the “Super Eight.”

Afghanistan didn’t pull off some sort of miracle on grass in its opener, but Noor Ali helped the team post a respectable score. (Guardian)


MLS: Full recap coming tomorrow. For now, read DuNord’s recap and be sure to follow the link to the story on RSL’s Andy Williams, whose wife is cancer-free but has been hospitalized a couple of times with infections, nearly causing Williams to miss a game.

WPS: Heard the phrase “league of parity” a few times after Saturday’s Freedom game. Atlanta is falling off the pace at the bottom of the league but has not yet played at home — the Beat will open their soccer-specific stadium (shared with Kennesaw State University) Sunday against Sky Blue. Looks great.

Europe: DuNord’s recap also tracks the title battles (Chelsea, Bayern set to clinch in the finales this weekend). Hannover (Steve Cherundolo) won to climb out of the Bundesliga relegation zone.

Mexico: Pachuca (Jose Francisco Torres) takes a 1-0 lead into the second leg as they try to upset top seed Monterrey in the quarterfinals.

South America: As long as we’re scanning roundups, you can’t beat this Copa Libertadores roundup at BigSoccer.

TV midweek (times ET):

  • Tuesday: Barcelona-Tenerife, 2 p.m., GolTV – Barca lead by one point in Spain with three games to play.
  • Tues/Wed/Thurs: Copa Libertadores round of 16, second legs, Fox Sports Espanol
  • Wednesday: Roma-Inter Milan, 2:45 p.m., GolTV –
  • Wednesday: Tottenham-Manchester City, 3 p.m., ESPN2 – Teams tied for fourth Champions League spot with two to play.
  • Wednesday: D.C. United-Kansas City, 7 p.m., ESPN2 – One of four midweek MLS games.


  • Tour of the Gila: Levi Leipheimer is the winner, with a lot of help from Lance Armstrong. Side note in the results: Floyd Landis finished ahead of Armstrong. (Velo News)
  • Tour de Romandie: Alejandro Valverde made up a one-second gap in the overall standings on the final stage for the victory. (Velo News)
  • Mountain bike World Cup: Willow Koerver finished second over the weekend to move up to first in the season standings.
  • Looking ahead: The Giro d’Italia starts Saturday. U.S. rider Christian Vande Velde is blunt about his goals: “Ideally, not break seven bones in my body.” Gotta dream big. (Velo News)


  • Track and field: Chris Solinsky is a pretty good 5,000-meter runner. He decided to dabble in the 10,000, running it for the first time at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford. The result: He’s the first non-African to break 27 minutes. (IAAF)
  • Gymnastics: Dominant run for the U.S. teams at the Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne, winning men’s and women’s team titles and 27 medals. Rebecca Bross won the women’s all-around.
  • Beach volleyball: No upset on the men’s side at the AVP’s Santa Barbara stop, with Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers winning. The women’s bracket was a little less predictable — Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson-Jordan won for the first time in two years. Their last win was in this event.
  • Wrestling: Tervel Diagnev and Justin Ruiz won golds at the Pan American Championships, where Cuba won six of seven men’s freestyle classes.
  • Judo: 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey, who may one day make an MMA promoter’s day, returned for her first major competition since Beijing and won her sixth U.S. title.


  • ATP Rome: Rafael Nadal is back in winning form on clay, beating David Ferrer in the final.
  • WTA Stuttgart: All hail Justine Henin, showing good form on clay in her comeback.
  • Roundup: Joe Fleming is back at the helm of USA TODAY’s Weekly Net Post, where you’ll read more about the Bryan brothers‘ 60th career title and yet another Borg-McEnroe epic. When their legs give out, those guys will be playing epic matches in table tennis. Or on a Wii.


  • Boxing: Floyd Mayweather zzzzzzzz battered in second round but zzzzzzzzzz won every other round zzzzzzzzzz to beat Shane Mosley. Talk immediately turned to when he might really fight Manny Pacquiao.
  • Chess: While I was fretting over my car, world chess challenger Veselin Topalov played a really aggressive opening with the black pieces to try to force the action against Vishy Anand. The champion couldn’t come up with a win but held on for a draw to maintain a one-point lead at 4-3 through seven games of the 12-game match. (Susan Polgar blog)