USA name preliminary squad for World T20 qualifiers
Sushil Nadkarni, who captained USA and was their leading scorer at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, has not been included in the list of 28 probables for the 2013 ICC World T20 Qualifier scheduled to take place from November 15 to 30 in the UAE. Nadkarni confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he could not get time off work for the three-week tour. The shortlist, released by the USA Cricket Association, will be further trimmed to 15 for the event.
Three names missing from the USA squad that went 8-0 at the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament are Nicholas Standford, Naseer Jamali and Ryan Corns, who was USA's leading wicket-taker at the March event. Standford has had trouble getting time off work in the past while Corns could not afford to miss three weeks of coursework at university.
Two players who could be in line to receive recalls to the national team are pace bowlers Usman Shuja and Imran Awan. Shuja was dropped ahead of ICC World Cricket League Division Three earlier this year in Bermuda while Awan hasn't played for USA since 2010. However, with the retirement of allrounder Timroy Allen after the Bermuda tour, USA lacks experienced pace bowlers and having Shuja and Awan, both 34 years old, return would strengthen the team.
Four players included in the list that have yet to make their USA senior team debuts are Fahad Babar, Srinivasa Santhanam, Asghar Sheikh and Jasdeep Singh. Singh came up on the national radar last year due to performances in the rival American Cricket Federation Twenty20 National Championship, where the seamer completed a hat-trick in one match and took home the tournament's best-bowler award.
The USACA also announced that they will play three T20 practice matches in Florida against Bermuda from October 18 to 21 prior to leaving for the UAE. USA has been placed in Group A at the qualifier along with Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Namibia, Uganda and the UAE. The top six teams in the 16-team tournament will advance to the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
List of probables: Danial Ahmed, Quasen Alfred, Imran Awan, Fahad Babar, Orlando Baker, Barrington Bartley, Adil Bhatti, Akeem Dodson, Karan Ganesh, Muhammad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Ritesh Kadu, Asif Khan, Steve Massiah, Rashard Marshall, Neil McGarrell, Japen Patel, Mital Patel, Timil Patel, Abhimanyu Rajp, Saqib Saleem, Srinivasa Santhanam, Asghar Sheikh, Usman Shuja, Jasdeep Singh, Timothy Surujbally, Ravi Timbawala, Steven Taylor.
Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey