By Dyon Ravello
US Open is being pitted as America’s premier cricketing event. Cricket Council USA is hosting their US Cricket Open for the third year beginning on December 1st through 4th. In its inauguaral tournament Washington Tigers pipped New York Destroyers to take home the $10,000 prize. A year ago US captain Steve Massiah led United Chargers to pocket the $25,000 purse. Massiah will be leading the Chargers again as he looks to take make a personal hattrick of championships, albeit with differing teams. This winter the pole prize has double to $50,000 and there will be 31 teams pushing Massiah and his chargers to pocket the loot.
The 32 team champions will have eight groups of four teams from which each group winner will qualify for the quarterfinals. It’s a “do or die” scenario where all the effort would count especially the extra enthuasiam that a prestigeous tournament extracts from top players. Each mistake will be taken into account during and after each match. The lesser the number of mistake the close each team shall be to the $50,000 booty. The eight quarterfinalists will face off for four semifinal places from which the two winners will contest the final. The teams are grouped as follows:
Group 1 **** United Chargers/Midwest Bears/Blue Angels/Boom Boom Giants
Group 2 **** NY Destroyers/NW Moose/Memphis Super Kings/Virginia Warriors
Group 3 **** Cool Tech/Dulles CC/Orlando Thunder/North Atlanta
Group 4 **** Fooglies/NY Steelers/MC Eagles/US All-Stars
Group 5 **** FL Destroyers/Metropolitan Giants/DC Knight Riders/
San Francisco Blasters
Group 6 **** US Tigers/Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Legions/
Urbana Panthers/Connecticut Huskies
Group 7 **** Sixersports/US Masters/Washington Tigers/BPL
Group 8 **** Pakistan Magic/Team MJ/Sri Lankans/Camelot CC
Matches will be played at three venues across Lauderhill Florida, Central Broward Regional Park, Miramar Regional Park and Brian Piccolo Park. Two venues will host three matches per day with evening match under light while Brian Piccolo is only able to host two games per day in the daylight. On December 1st Central Broward will host the Opening Ceremony from 8:30am-9:15am. At 9pm on Day 1 there will be a reception at Holiday Inn & Suites – Sunrise the tournament Command Center. On Saturday 3rd the Command Center will host the Gala Dinner – Cricket in America at 9 pm. The tournament closes on Sunday 4th with semifinals at Central Broward at 10 am, Half-Time Musical Festival at 1pm and the Championship Trophy Presentation at 5 pm after the Final which begins at 2 pm.
Teams across the country have been bracing the cold fall weather in an effort to prepare their units for the tournament. Florida in December provides to perfect launching pad for the winners with the holiday season and the New Year around the corner. The first prize is truly a neat bonus to look forward to, and for the athletes the national selectors won’t be too far off taking notice of the abundance of talent from which American Cricket can move forward. May the best unit buy the best gifts this holiday.
For more information: Cricket Council USA