Peter Della Penna, Cricket 630d

Auty Cup to be contested as three-match 50-over series

Cricket

Plans to revive the oldest international cricket rivalry have been confirmed with the USA and Canada set to play three 50-over matches for the KA Auty Cup on October 13, 14 and 16 at Woodley Park in Los Angeles. The Auty Cup has not been played since 2013, in King City, where Canada retained the trophy after securing first-innings points in the drawn two-day match before sweeping a pair of Twenty20s - there was no result in the one scheduled 50-over game then.

The matches will serve as key preparation for USA ahead of their participation in ICC World Cricket League Division Four, which begins October 29 at the same venue. The Auty Cup had originally been slated for the weekend of October 22-23, but according to sources the series was mutually decided to be brought up a week in part so that USA can have an extra week of preparation after the Auty Cup and ahead of Division Four.

The tentative plan is for members of USA's squad based outside of Los Angeles to fly in on October 12 and depart the night of the 16th before returning to Los Angeles the following weekend on October 22 for seven days of training and warm-up matches against local Los Angeles club sides leading into their first match of Division Four on October 29. The top two teams in the tournament, which also features Bermuda, Denmark, Italy, Jersey and Oman, will be promoted to WCL Division Three, scheduled for early 2017.

"Canada certainly have some very talented players," USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake, who coached Canada at the 2011 World Cup, said in a press release on Wednesday. "This Auty Cup will be a very good test for our USA team. We are looking forward to the challenge."

For Canada, these are the senior team's first international matches since the 2015 World T20 Qualifier in Scotland and Ireland, where they went winless to finish last in Group B. It is also the first 50-over matches for Canada since January 2015, when they finished in last place at the six-team Division Two tournament to be relegated to Division Three. Canada is joined in Division Three by Uganda, Singapore and Malaysia.

"Cricket Canada is excited about the opportunity to take on the USA again," Cricket Canada general manager Ingleton Liburd stated in a press release. "We are hoping for some quality 50-over cricket, and hope we can retain the KA Auty Cup while we are on US soil."

The ICC press release announcing the matches also declared that the Auty Cup matches, along with USA and Bermuda's games at Division Four, will be used to help pick a 15-man squad for an ICC Americas Combined team to participate in the 2017 WICB Nagico Super50 regional tournament. The ICC Americas office had conducted an open trial in Indianapolis last September to help pick a combined team, which featured six USA and nine Canada players, for this year's tournament.

Following the Nagico Super50, six ICC Americas players received Caribbean Premier League contracts, an opportunity which is expected to be offered again for 2017.