USA batsman Sunny Sohal has been ruled out of the WCL Division Three in Oman beginning next week, with a serious knee injury that will require surgery next month. Left-arm spinning allrounder Nisarg Patel has been drafted in as a replacement in USA's 14-man touring squad.
A statement from USA Cricket on Wednesday said that Sohal had "failed his scheduled fitness test", forcing him to be replaced. Sohal had stated on social media on October 21 that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on October 5 in Barbados during USA's final training session ahead of their first match against eventual champions Combined Campuses and Colleges at the recently concluded CWI Super50 Cup.
Sohal, who turns 31 next week, subsequently posted again on Wednesday on social media, announcing he had surgery scheduled for November 7 to repair the ligament damage. Reconstructive surgery for an ACL tear typically requires nine to 12 months of recovery time. USA team-mate Jessy Singh suffered a similar ligament tear last year that required surgery in September 2017 and he did not make a return to the national team until last month at the Super50 in Barbados.
Sohal made his USA debut in January at the previous Super50 Cup, rebounding from back-to-back ducks at the start of his national team career to finish the tournament as USA's second-highest scorer with 166 runs including two fifties. It helped earn him a contract with Barbados Tridents in the recent Caribbean Premier League. Prior to coming to the USA, Sohal had also played 22 matches in the IPL across its first four seasons, for Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers.
Nisarg, 30, last played for USA against Kent at the 2017-18 Super50 Cup in February and has seven appearances in total for the country at senior level though he was a member of USA's Under-19 World Cup squad in Sri Lanka in 2006. He made his senior team 50-over debut for USA during the 2017 Auty Cup against Canada, playing a crucial role with his 3 for 35 in USA's series clinching win. Nisarg is also one of the few USA players with experience playing in Oman, having played two of three matches during USA's tour there last December, including a best of 47 while opening the batting, and 2 for 42 in a three-wicket loss.
USA's squad is expected to depart for Oman this weekend ahead of their first match against Uganda on November 10. They will also be competing against Denmark, Kenya, Singapore and the hosts in the six-team round-robin event from November 9 to 19 in which the top two teams advance to WCL Division Two, scheduled for next April in Namibia.
Squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (capt), Jaskaran Malhotra (wk), Nisarg Patel, Steven Taylor, Alex Amsterdam, Jannisar Khan, Roy Silva, Monank Patel, Timil Patel, Aaron Jones, Hayden Walsh Jr., Elmore Hutchinson, Ali Khan, Nosthush Kenjige