Former Jamaican and West Indies batsman from 1999 to 2005, Ricardo Powell spends time in a remote area of Suwanee/John Creek, Georgia, USA.
During the winter, the High-Performance Clinic occupies the ATL Indoor Cricket Zone in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, where the Ricardo Powell Cricket Academy (RPCA) operates. During the summer, he trains more than 20 potential professional cricketers who are looking to take their careers to the next level.
Right now, the United States is focusing on cricket and the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup is also scheduled to be held.
Powell has imparted his knowledge in 2012, first in Florida, then in Houston, and now in Georgia. He added that there are several academies with over 600 children.
“When I moved to Houston back in 2013 there was no academy there and now you have several academies with more than 600 kids in academies in Houston, so that gives you an idea in terms of the growth over the last couple of years.”
He also explained that due to the current rate of development and investment in America, cricket in America will overtake West Indies in about two years.
“I really feel that in another couple of years, US cricket will go past the West Indies in terms of development and talent because of the professional way in which they are going about developing cricket here.”
Former West Indies player Shivanrine Chanderpaul is the coach of the USA women’s under-19 team and last July the women’s under-19 team came to the Caribbean islands and claimed the CWI Rising Stars title undefeated.
Also, the USA Women’s Under-19 team defeated the West Indies U-19 Women’s team 4-1 in Florida last August.
Further commenting, Powell says that the Asian community is very interested in the sport, so the interest in American players is even greater.
“I believe the interest in America is more. The zeal and the love for the game is greater because of the Asian communities, so I think it is more love than money because the players here are more passionate and they are willing to learn and get the right level of development from a mental, educational and physical standpoint, compared to the Caribbean.”
Currently, Powell is employed as a coach by former Jamaica and West Indies batsman Brenton Parchment Academy, which has overseen the development of former Jamaica and USA batsman Steven Taylor as well as US players Sagar Patel and Jessica Vilathgamuwa.
Also, a T20 franchise tournament is planned to be held in the coming July. Powell emphasized that it will consist of six groups,
“They will be starting this year with six franchises with teams in Dallas, DC, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco and based on that, I think franchise cricket will become even bigger than the USA National team because when you look at it, every sport in America is almost franchise.”
Some of the players expected to play in the new Major League Cricket are New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson (now in Dallas), former Pakistan batsman Sami Aslam (San Francisco), former South African spinner Dane Peed (North Carolina), former England is Fast bowler Liam Plunkett (Philadelphia), and former India Under-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand (San Francisco). (Information: Jamaica Gleaner)