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June 13, 2008
Steve Massiah, the USA captain, has said that his side's lack of preparation was the reason they did not reach the final for the ICC World Cricket League Division Five event in Jersey last month. Had they done so, then they would have gained promotion to Division Four and, theoretically, would have still been in with a chance of qualifying for the 2011 World Cup in India.
"We had one weekend together in Florida where it was only net sessions, and where four players were missing," Massiah told dreamcricket.com. "Those other teams were preparing for months and weeks and had warm-up games in Pakistan and India." USA faced unfamiliar conditions in Jersey where the pitches were green and there was tremendous help for the bowlers.
"I think if I had three months of competition under my belt, there was no way I could see ourselves failing," he said "We would beat those teams easily." Undoubtedly, the USA's suspension from international cricket because of the internal squabbles which dogged USACA in recent years made the players' task all the harder.
Questions have also been asked about the national selectors who, unlike almost every other country, remain unknown. Ostensibly this is to prevent undue pressure being put on them, but it has led to accusations of unfairness and secrecy.
There has also been disquiet over the appointment of former West Indies and USA batsman Clayton Lambert as the national coach, despite his having no obvious outstanding credentials for the post. "His selection came as a surprise," one player admitted, " and it's hardly the message to send out when other Associates we should be competing against are getting named coaches." It is unclear who made the appointment.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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