USA news February 2, 2011

Robin Singh eager to start working with U-19 squad

Robin Singh will be getting a fresh taste of cricket in the USA when he arrives this weekend to coach the USA Under-19 team at the ICC Americas U-19 Division One tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The former Indian fielding coach is hoping to apply his expertise to help raise the country's standard of cricket, beginning at the junior level.

"I'm really excited to get involved with US cricket," Singh said when reached by telephone in India. "I used to work at doing a lot of development and coaching in Hong Kong and even though the USA is much bigger, I'm familiar with the challenges faced by an Associate country."

Singh was approached by USACA for the position, and while he is only contracted through this tournament, there is the possibility that both sides may work out a deal to keep him involved long term which may also mean taking over the senior team coaching duties as well. One of the major things that Singh hopes to focus on is improving the fitness of the players. However, he acknowledges that he'll need more time in the future to work with the players in order to get the best results.

"I don't really know too much about the team yet," he said. "There aren't too many stats available, but I've gotten some information and am hoping to get to know the players as much as possible during the week to get the best out of them."

USA participated in the 2010 U-19 World Cup and will be hoping to make it back for the 2012 edition. Four players in the current squad were part of the team that went to New Zealand for last year's main event including Salman Ahmad, Hammad Shahid, vice-captain Steven Taylor and captain Abhijit Joshi. USA begins tournament play on February 7 against Argentina.

Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey