By Gary Anderson

A new partnership has been announced that will see the West Indies provide support for cricket in the US ©Getty Images A long-term partnership agreement has been signed between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) with the aim of developing the sport in the US. 

The collaboration is set to provide more playing opportunities for talented players in the USACA member leagues to join clubs and special player programmes in West Indian domestic cricket.

A member of the WICB Board of Directors will sit on the USACA Board while the new USACA chief executive will be given a position on the WICB's Executive Committee in a move that the WICB said will help develop stronger economic best practices moving forward in the US market.

"We are going to be engaged on a day-to-day basis on the three core pillars for development," WICB President Dave Cameron said.

"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.

"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."

The announcement comes at a time when USACA is facing questions about its future role and governance over cricket in America.

In March this year Australian Darren Beazley resigned as chief executive after just 14 months in the role reportedly due to a lack of support from the USACA Board of Directors to implement sweeping governance changes to the organisation's administrative structure.

An independent review carried put last year recommended the USACA Board be reduced, the introduction of independent directors, limits on term time, more athlete representation on the Board and a redefining of membership categories.

Beazley, who is yet to be replaced, and International Cricket Council (ICC) global development manager Tim Anderson had campaigned in October 2013 to get backing for the proposed changes but a decision was taken at the USACA Annugal General Meeting in November to postpone the implementation of any changes until at least the summer of this year.

Under the WICB and USACA partnership promising American players will be allowed to play in the West Indies domestic leagues ©Getty ImagesUnder the WICB and USACA partnership promising American players will be allowed to play in the West Indies domestic leagues ©Getty Images

Prior to Beazley's resignation a financial report revealed that USACA was more than $3million (£1.8 million/€2.2 million) in debt at the end of the 2012 tax year due in large part to the legal battles that arose from the disenfranchisement of two-thirds of the member leagues ahead of that year's elections.

Most of those 32 leagues were expected to vote for challenger Ram Varadarajan in the Presidential election but instead incumbent Gladstone Dainty was re-elected.

Many of the USACA member leagues, including the largest 72-team Commonwealth Cricket League in New York City, have defected to the American Cricket Foundation (ACF) which was formed in the wake of those 2012 elections and is threatening to usurp USACA as the main cricketing body in the US.

That could put USACA's position within the ICC in jeopardy as under the world governing body's associate membership is dependent upon a board proving it is "the sole recognised governing body for cricket in the country."

The ACF has formally sought recognition from the ICC as a national governing body.

USACA has been suspended twice before in 2005 and 2007 over issues of governance and on both occasions Dainty was in charge.

Commenting on the new partnership with the WICB, Dainty said: "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.

"Having the opportunity to work closely with another full member country offers exciting opportunities for US players looking to sharpen skills and experiences with world-class cricketers."

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