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Six New Yorkers In United States Squad

By Orin Davidson

May 16th, 2008
Six New Yorkers are in the United States 14-man squad that will launch its long climb back into international competition, specifically with qualification to the 2011 World Cup in mind.

Carl Wright

Orlando Baker

Following the lifting of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ban that excluded this country from all forms of competition for more than two years, the US team will have to start from the bottom of the pile among the Associate Member nations in all competitions.

Steve Massiah, Lennox Cush, Orlando Baker, Carl Wright, Rashard Marshall and Steve Pitter are included in the party that will compete in the World Cricket League Division Five series, which kicks off the World Cup qualification series.

The US. Will have to compete against the likes of super minnows including Afghanistan, Bahamas, Botswana, Germany, Japan, Jersey, Mozambique, Nepal, Norway, Singapore and Vanuatu.

The competition is set for September in Jersey, an island just off England which is unknown to the cricket world as a competitor.

Nevertheless Massiah, who has regained the captaincy and his men will have to endure all the inconveniences of a newcomer due to the lapses in administration within the United States of America Cricket Association, that caused the ban. The top two teams will advance to the Division Four series to qualify for Division Three.

Cush who enjoyed great success in the United States off - season in the West Indies where he excelled for Guyana in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Stanford Twenty20 Cup and in the just concluded West Indies Players Association (WIPA) 20/20 series, was surprising overlooked for any of the leadership positions.

Instead the US selectors opted for a new vice captain in batsman Suhshil Nadkarnie, despite Cush’s proven leadership qualities in New York competition. Nadkarnie was impressive with the bat in the last competition the US team played in the 2006 Americas Cup.

Nevertheless, New York fans cannot gripe too much about their representation in the squad as the core of their most accomplished players have been included.

Significantly, the selectors chose to overlook former West Indies all-rounder Neil McGarrell, who recently acquired United States residential status and frequently represents teams in New York.

One of McGarrell’s West Indies teammates Clayton Lambert is the unexpected choice for coach. Lambert who was a US team member in recent years, gets the nod ahead of Reggie Benjamin who has a big reputation for his work in California.

Benjamin, it is understood, had applied for the position since ex Pakistan player Mustaq Mohammed, coached the team at the 2006 Americas Cup.

Sohail Bari, is the manager while the unpopular Syed “Chick” Masood returns as physiotherapist and will also double as trainer.

The full USA squad is Steve Massiah (capt), Imran Awan, Orlando Baker, Lennox Cush, Rahul Kukreti, Rashard Marshall, Mohamed Masood, Sushil Nadkarni, Steve Pitter, Niraj Shah, Kwawaja Shuja, Wahab Syed, Aditya Thyagarajan and Carl Wright.
However, the team might be found scrunting for money to prepare for the competition as expected funding amounting to US$90,000 from the ICC to USACA ,which was due, during the period of suspension has been denied.

The ICC claims that the money was used to fund the executive election process which was supervised by the West Indies Cricket Board, whose successful staging led to the lifting of the ban.

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