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Captain Steve Massiah:
U.S. Confident Of Good Show vs Windies

By Orin Davidson

Steve Massiah realized one important cricket dream when he played in the Champions Trophy Mini World Cup two years ago in England.

This weekend another significant goal will be attained for the attractive right hand batsman when he takes the field for the first time in an international match with his boyhood friend Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Although they will not be representing the same team, Massiah does not mind being on opposing sides to his compatriot Guyanese right hander.

The fact he will be on the other end of the pitch from Sarwan, double world record holder Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, another member of his junior cricket fraternity days in West Indies competition, is a special accomplishment for the new United States captain.

“I will keep my personal goals within myself, but my most important aim is to help make the United States put up a good show,” said Massiah in anticipation of two-match series clash with the mighty West Indies team at Floyd Bennett Park today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday July 8 & 9).

Having scored centuries in every major international series he has contested for America, Massiah prefers the humble approach to big task ahead of him.

He will captain a strong United States squad which comprises a nice blend of experienced and young players for the two 50 overs a side games.

Despite the huge gap in standard between the two teams, with West Indies being two time World Cup champions and the 2004 Champions Trophy holders, and the United States yet to attain One day International status, Massiah is hopeful his squad will be competitive against their powerful opponents.

“The guys are all confident, they are not nervous, but all eager to play the biggest matches of their lives,” Massiah told Cricket International yesterday.

“We are confident that we could produce a good showing to gain some measure of recognition from the ICC (International Cricket Council), the captain added.

Massiah pointed out it is very important they get some attention from the world ruling body to stake a claim for One Day International status.

In that regard he will rely a lot on Grenada opening batsman Smith who is appearing as a guest player and has a burning desire to fulfill.

No longer a regular member of the West Indies team, Smith will be going all out to take valuable runs off his teammates to regain his place.

Similarly Cush is expected to play a big hand for America as his performances over the years with bat and ball has made him one of the biggest names in New York cricket.

Cush who was expected back from Guyana last night where he was preparing for that team’s Stanford 20/20 series in the Caribbean next week, will make his official debut for the U.S. after taking up permanent residence this year.

His aggressive batting and misery off spin could well prove a handful for West Indies, having close acquaintances with many of its players from Caribbean domestic competition.

Promising all-rounder Orlando Baker and Barrington Bartley along with young paceman Imran Iwan and middle order batsman Rashard Marshall also have the qualities to make positive impact while veterans Sudesh Dhaniram Dennis Rampersaud, Kevin Darlington, Vishal Nagamootoo and Richard Staples have one last shot for glory.

The action starts at 9.30 am each day and directions to the Floyd Bennett Park in Brooklyn can be had on the advertisement on page 17 of this week’s issue.

The U.S. Saturday game team: Steve Massiah (captain), Richard Staple, Lennox Cush, Orlando Baker, Imran Iwan, Barrington Bartley, Orville Wright, Rashard Marshall, Nazir Jamshaid, Kester Sylvester, Jignesh Desai, Kevin Darlington and S. Nedkarney. The manager is Vish Lekhram along with Kris Prashad.

U.S Sunday team:- Richard Staple (captain), Steve Massiah, Orlando Baker, Devon Smith, Sudesh Dhaniram, Vishal Nagamootoo, Clifford Walwynd, Kevin Darlington, Imran Iwan, Gowkarran Ramnarine, Jignesh Desai and S. Nadkarney. The managers are Austin Hutchinson and Bholanauth Ramsundar.

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