USA make four changes for World T20 Qualifier
Former USA Under-19 captain Shiva Vashishat and batsman Alex Amsterdam are in line to make their senior team debuts after being named in a 15-man squad for the ICC World T20 Qualifier next month in Ireland and Scotland.
Left-arm medium pacer Naseer Jamali and allrounder Japen Patel were also added to the USA squad that finished runner-up to Canada at the ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament last month in Indianapolis. Left-arm spinner Danial Ahmed and allrounders Nisarg Patel and Barrington Bartley were dropped.
Amsterdam, 24, has been a heavy scorer in the local New York leagues since migrating from Guyana. At the most recent USACA T20 National Championship, he tallied 174 runs at an average of 43.50 to finish as the No. 3 run-scorer in the event behind USA wicketkeeper Steven Taylor and Nisarg Patel, who did not play in Indianapolis after he was ruled ineligible by the ICC. USACA could not provide proof of documentation that Nisarg fulfilled the four-year residency requirement for non-citizens.
Vashishat, 25, led the USA junior team to the 2010 ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. He has been selected despite not playing a match at the USACA T20 National Championship in April. Vashishat travelled with the North West Region squad but did not make it into the starting line-up for any of their five games in the tournament.
Jamali last played for USA in the 2013 Auty Cup two-day match against Canada, taking 0 for 11 in five overs. He was controversially called up to replace leading fast bowler Usman Shuja at 2013 ICC WCL Division Three in Bermuda, but never played in the group stage of that tournament in which USA finished third behind Nepal and Uganda. In his only Twenty20 tournament for USA, he took two wickets at 34 apiece in five games during the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament in Florida.
At the recent USACA T20 Nationals, Jamali played all five games for the North West Region and took six wickets, tied for ninth in the tournament, at an average of 26.83. He presents added value as one of only a handful of USA players with experience in English or Irish conditions, having spent the 2012 summer playing for Uxbridge CC in Middlesex, taking 35 wickets.
Japen was initially selected in USA's squad for the tournament in Indianapolis but had to withdraw due to work commitments. He is one of five USA players currently in Barbados training with the Barbados Tridents squad in an effort to get some turf wicket and fitness preparation prior to departing for Ireland. USA's first game is against Nepal in Belfast on July 10.
Squad: Muhammad Ghous (capt), Alex Amsterdam, Fahad Babar, Adil Bhatti, Akeem Dodson (wk), Karan Ganesh, Naseer Jamali, Japen Patel, Mrunal Patel, Timil Patel, Hammad Shahid, Jasdeep Singh, Nicholas Standford, Steven Taylor (wk), Shiva Vashishat
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna