CHAPTER IX

The Long And Winding Road

From bullets to balls/ From Gats to bats/ From streets of concrete/ To grass and mats/ That's Cricket.

The United States was the first associate member of the ICC, joining in 1965, but it was soon overtaken by rapidly developing cricketing nations such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and, in time, many others. Since then the national team’s progress has been fitful. In 2004 they qualified for the Champions Trophy in England and played against the Australian and New Zealand one day teams. But the following year the same side took two massive steps backwards when they were humiliated in a World Cup qualifying series in Ireland. The rest of the decade was mostly spent trying to dig themselves out of an administrative and developmental hole that was arguably of their own making. This chapter traces this process, uncovers unusual approaches to team selection and describes the US national team’s long and arduous road back to respectability.