Cricinfo has a fairly instructive piece on the challenges facing cricket in America (which will host a New Zealand v. Sri Lanka T20 shortly). Generally, I’m a skeptic; I don’t see people other than expats or immigrants (from the West Indies and South Asia, in particular) carrying this game forward. But I don’t know much about sports development.
I did want to point out another thing: when Americans talk about cricket, they usually view it as a upper-class game. On NPR’s Fresh Air show last year, the host told the author of Netherland — a cricket novel — that she was surprised his book centered around Indian/West Indian immigrants, given that the game is so British. (And ‘British’ was code for upper-class, along with Wimbledon and tea.) A couple of years ago, Esquire magazine did a spread on “cricket fashion,” and it was what you would expect: prep boys dressed in Test cricket sweaters and whites.
In 2005, two authors of a New York Times editorial relied on the classist argument to explain cricket’s mysterious death in America after the 19th century:
This elite appropriation played into the hands of baseball entrepreneurs who actively worked to diminish cricket’s popularity. A.G. Spalding, described in the Baseball Hall of Fame as the “organizational genius of baseball’s pioneer days,” was typical. “I have declared cricket is a genteel game,” he mocked in “America’s National Game,” his 1911 best seller. “It is. Our British cricketer, having finished his day’s labor at noon, may don his negligee shirt, his white trousers, his gorgeous hosiery and his canvas shoes, and sally forth to the field of sport, with his sweetheart on one arm and his cricket bat under the other, knowing that he may engage in his national pastime without soiling his linen or neglecting his lady.”