"--IANS/CMC"
St. John's -, May 9 - The West Indies Cricket Board - has signed a strategic, long-term partnership with the United States Cricket Association -, geared towards fast-tracking the sport's development in the United States.

The deal will see a WICB director take up a spot on the USACA board with the USACA's chief executive officer sitting on the WICB's chief executive committee.

According to the WICB, this partnership will result in top players from the USACA member leagues being incorporated into regional development programmes which will also help both parties foster cooperation on stronger economic best practices for the United States market.

This is the right way for us to help develop the US market. We are going to be engaged on a day-to-day basis on the three core pillars for development. The closeness of a full member country to the US means we can easily help develop pinnacle performance in US players as well as build a stronger base for economic development hand-in-hand with USACA, said WICB president Dave Cameron.

We will rapidly build plans and open up infrastructure for bringing top US players into the West Indian development system and we are supporting the finalisation of the current USACA governance changes.

USACA president Gladstone Dainty said the partnership was an exciting one as it offered critical opportunities to US players as well as enhancing the governance capability of his organisation and future economic growth.

The WICB will also, via their board member on the USACA board, support the governance change programme that the USACA board is currently managing. This is a long-term strategy to help build the three foundations for a highly successful US cricketing market: high performance development, models for economic growth and modern day governance, Dainty said.

The partnership is another step in the WICB expanding its influence in the North American market. In 2012, the West Indies played two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. These matches marked the first time a Windies bilateral series had been played outside the Caribbean.

--IANS/CMC

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