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USA Cricket Association secures first national team sponsor

Smart Choice Auto Group (SCAG) has agreed a one-year deal with the USA Cricket Association (USACA) to become the first sponsor of the men’s national team, according to the espncricinfo.com website.

The car dealership is based in Texas, but its owners have stated in a press release that they have business interests in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The USA team is due to take part in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 qualifier there in November, and this will allow SCAG to gain increased local exposure in the region as a result of the partnership.

In addition, the USACA has appointed former Australian Test player Colin Miller as an ambassador. Miller will assist in coaching programmes to help support the growth of cricket as a whole in the USA.

Sakhi Muhammad, president and chief executive of SACG, said: “My intention is to try and develop this high performance program where we have stuff happening in the regions. If we could get Funky (Miller) to go and work with some of the guys on the west coast from time to time, we just think that's going to add a bit of value too.”

Darren Beazley, USACA chief executive, said the funding from the partnership will allow the USACA to develop professionally and become less dependent on ICC funding.

He added: “This is the first sponsorship. I'm hopeful there's going to be more. As more revenue comes in, we can start to extend our program. When we go to a tournament, we get a certain amount of funding from the ICC but there are costs that USACA has to bear that are above and beyond that. So this allows us to recoup some of that cost.”