October 15, 2012
On October 6, USYCA President Jamie Harrison was inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut. The induction ceremony was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Hartford Hilton hotel. Also inducted were West Indies Test players Basil Butcher and Joe Solomon, along with former USACA Exceutive Secretary John Aaron, Samuel Belnavis, president of the Metropolitan League, Dale Holness, Joseph Buffong and Mohamed 'Mo' Ally. Andrew 'Buster' Headley received the Golden Age Award and Laurel Scott, the Presidential Award.
Several hundred were in attendance for the event, including a number of elected officials and local dignitaries. Proclaimations from the governor of Connecticut and the mayor of Hartford were given to each inductee, who afterward spoke to those assembled.
In his address, Harrison spoke about the way forward for cricket in the United States, and the role USYCA is fulfilling in making America a cricket-playing nation. He began by hitting head-on the notion that American children will not accept cricket as their game:
"How often have we been told that Americans do not understand cricket, Americans will not understand cricket," said Harrison. "That American children have enough games - American games. And yet, the United States Youth Cricket Association's programs have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of American kids being introduced to cricket and falling in love with the game.
The problem isn't cricket. Cricket in its essence, cricket in its purest form, hitting the ball with the bat, running back and forth between the wickets, that is pure joy."
Harrison closed by telling the audience that the power to change the future lay with them, and that volunteers, regardless of background or expertise, could rapidly advance the day when cricket would be considered once again to be an American game.
Video excerpt of Jamie Harrison's induction speech.
There to celebrate the event with Jamie were USYCA Treasurer Michael Thomas, Board Member Rakesh Kallem, Jamie's daughter, Sarah and wife Laurie.