ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier
United States of America (USA) captain Neil McGarrell has admitted that while preparation has been tough for his side ahead of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2013 (WT20Q), the side is focused on finishing in the top six and qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014.

USA captain Neil McGarrell bowling. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

“Preparation for us has been challenging at times as a lot of guys have had to do their own preparation and keep themselves fit in the lead up. Most of our games have been played on matting.

“We will arrive in Dubai and get two to three days of turf training and then straight into three weeks of cricket. It’s going to be difficult but most of the guys are up for it. Over the last couple of weeks we played three practise games in Florida against Bermuda, which we won, so that gives us some confidence,” said the 41-year-old, who previously represented Guyana and the West Indies.

A slow left-arm bowler and adept fielder, McGarrell explained the USA’s goals for the event, which sees it placed in Group A alongside current champion Ireland, Namibia, Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE): “Our goal is absolutely to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20. That is our main goal. We will try to finish in the top four to make qualification a bit easier. I think we can beat enough teams to ensure qualification as long as we all stick together.

“All the teams in our group are going to be tough, especially with only a few days there to warm-up and prepare. But once we are there we will have a good look at all the teams and analyse how we are going to go about it. We know Ireland is one of the main teams in our group and there are a few more teams that will provide very tough competition as well.”

McGarrell identified a trio of key players for his side, all of whom will have an important role to play in the USA’s attempt to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014.

“Timroy Allen, our vice-captain, will be very important for us as a batsman. He, alongside Steven Taylor, will be key for us. Muhammad Ghous, our off-spinner, will be important and I expect him, alongside myself, to be an integral part of our bowling attack,” said McGarrell.

USA will face old foe Canada in its first game of the tournament on 15 November at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

“Our rivalry with Canada is very friendly as we play each other every year and know most of their players,” admitted McGarrell.

“We take it in turns to play home and away, so the rivalry is normally very friendly. But this tournament will be a different occasion with a place in the ICC World T20 to fight for so I guess all will be on the line come that first match.

“If we could knock them off it would be a big win for us. It would be a morale booster for us given they have beaten us for the last couple of years. It would be an extra boost for us at the start of a big event like this.”

United States of America Neil McGarrell (captain), Timroy Allen, Danial Ahmed, Imran Awan, Barrington Bartley, Fahad Babar, Orlando Baker, Akeem Dodson, Karan Ganesh, Muhammad Asad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Japen Patel, Adam Sanford, Srinivasa Santhanam and Steven Taylor.

Story courtesy of ICC

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