USA news October 24, 2013

McGarrell named USA captain for World T20 qualifier 2013

Neil McGarrell, 41, has been named USA's captain in a 15-man squad for the 2013 World Twenty20 Qualifier next month in the UAE. McGarrell, who played four Tests and 17 ODIs for West Indies between 1998 and 2001, made his debut for USA in 2012 against Canada, and takes over from Steve Massiah, who had been captain for seven years. Massiah was retained in the squad along with Orlando Baker, who captained USA to an 8-0 record in a stand-in capacity at the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament in March.

Adam Sanford, 38, and Imran Awan are also making their way into the squad as fast bowlers. Sanford, who played 11 Tests for the West Indies from 2002 to 2004, played for USA in a series of trial matches against Bermuda this past weekend, and is set to make his official debut for USA in their opening match against Canada in Abu Dhabi on November 15. Awan, once considered one of the fastest bowlers in the Associate world, hasn't played for USA since 2010 after struggling with his accuracy.

USA's lack of experienced pace bowlers was apparent earlier this year during the ICC World Cricket League Division Three competition, where they finished third. Seamer Usman Shuja, who was dropped ahead of WCL Division Three, was not brought back into the squad for the tour to the UAE, though he had been included in a list of 28 probables in September. Timroy Allen has decided to return for USA after announcing his retirement following the end of WCL Division Three in May to focus on work and family commitments. Allen has subsequently been named vice-captain for the tour.

Three players from USA's tour of Bermuda for WCL Division Three earlier this year are not in the squad for the qualifier. USA's batting will likely struggle in the absence of Sushil Nadkarni and Rashard Marshall. Nadkarni had to withdraw due to work commitments, and it is believed Marshall was unavailable for the same reasons. Medium pacer Naseer Jamali is the third player not retained. Only five players who played for USA at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2012 - Baker, Muhammad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Japen Patel and Steven Taylor - will be traveling back to the UAE in November.

Besides Sanford, the only other player in the squad yet to play in an official match for USA is Srinivasa Santhanam. An allrounder originally from Tamil Nadu, Santhanam now plays for Microsoft Cricket Club in Seattle. The Pacific Northwest, and Microsoft CC in particular, has been a growing source of talent for the USA in recent years, with former USA spinners Samarth Shah and Saurabh Verma also hailing from the club, while Naseer Jamali plays in the Seattle area.

USA has been placed in Group A along with Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Namibia, Uganda and the UAE. USA finished 12th at the qualifier in 2012, but posted a noteworthy upset of Scotland at the event. The top six teams in this year's qualifier will advance to the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

USA Squad: Neil McGarrell (captain), Timroy Allen (vice-captain), Danial Ahmed, Imran Awan, Orlando Baker, Barrington Bartley, Akeem Dodson (wk), Karan Ganesh, Muhammad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Steve Massiah, Japen Patel, Adam Sanford, Srinivasa Santhanam, Steven Taylor (wk).

Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey

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  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    McGarrell is a real leader and true sportsman and not some spoiled little brat. Neil is a class act who not only can lead real men but has the moral authority and experience the last pretender could only dream of. I suggested back in 2010 that Mcgarrell be named captain and it would have saved the US team a lot of pain and being led by the excuse called Massiah. I remember watching at the last T20 Nationals in New Jersey when Massias (captaining New York) was batting against New Jersey. NY needed 2 runs in the final over with 4 wickets in hand. The Mighty Messiah was batting at the non-strikers end. McGarrell came on to bowl. I was standing with a group of my team and told them I believed McGarrell and NJ would win. They all laughed. McGarrell took 4 wickets for no runs and Messiah ran out one of his own players because he was too petrified to face McGarrell. New Jersey went on to beat the team I coached, Central West in the final. Neil is also as fit as any other young player

  • Amit on October 24, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I will be happy when we get a New USACA President...

  • ERROL on October 24, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Great move because winning is about right now. It's also nice to see that one born Guyanese replacing another so good luck guys and please play hard at all times even when you seems beaten so that the results might shift..

  • Steve on October 24, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Looks like USA will always depend on aging former first class and retired internationals from other countries to make up their team. It is a shame they can't build a decent team with local players.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Very shrewd and calm guy. I have officiated many games for his side. A very nice gentlemen. Trust he would bring laurels to U.S Cricket

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