May 10, 2012
The Cricket Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut has revealed its nominees for induction in the Class of 2012, and the list includes Jamie Harrison, president of USYCA, as well as West Indian fast bowler Courney Walsh and former USACA Exceutive Secretary John Aaron.
Harrison is a former high school history teacher in Baltimore, where he directed the only prep-level cricket program in the United States outside of New York. His school was closed in 2010, but rather than walk away from cricket, he pushed on with a pilot program, sponsored by DreamCricket.com, where he delivered a cricket set and training to schools. The program went so well that DreamCricket expanded their support to 100 sets, and with that, the idea for the United States Youth Cricket Association was born.
And so it was that in April 2010, Harrison, Edward Fox of Kansas and Rakesh Kallem of Connecticut joined together to create USYCA, which now has delivered cricket sets and training to over 800 American schools, and brought our game to tens of thousands of children. USYCA is now beginning to create new summer youth cricket programs that will allow these children to play outside of school and receive proper coaching. This will be the start of what will eventually become new junior teams and leagues all across America.
Harrison recently traveled to Toronto, Canada, where he attended the ICC Americas Regional Development Forum and delivered a presentation on youth cricket to the delegates, many of whom sought him out to express their interest in duplicating the USYCA program in their home countries.
Learning of his nomination, Harrison said, "Frankly, I am staggered that I have been nominated for the Cricket Hall of Fame, and am being mentioned in the breath as Courtney Walsh, and at first blush, this high honor seems to be completely undeserved.
"Of course, I then realize that any recognition of me is in fact a recognition of the impact of USYCA, and so I share this honor with all of those in USYCA who have worked so hard to get American children playing cricket," Harrison said.
"The high honor is really theirs, not mine," said Harrison.
Harrison's name was put forward by Orville Hall of Florida, with supporting testimony from Vasu Ram of Massachusetts.
Walsh, a Jamaican fast bowler and former West Indies captain, was at one time the holder of the record for most Test wickets taken and is one of only four bowlers to have bowled over 5000 overs in Test cricket. In the 1990s, his partnership with Curtly Ambrose was one of the most feared bowling attacks in world cricket.
In addition to serving as Executive Secreatry of USACA, John Aaron has been the USACA Regional Director of New York, president of Atlantis Cricket Club and president of the Eastern American Cricket Association.
Also being inducted on October 6 are Samuel Belnavis of New York and Rick Nugent of Maryland. For tickets to this year's ceremony, click here.