USA news July 17, 2013

USA strip Taylor of captaincy for Auty Cup

USA's Steven Taylor has been stripped of the senior team captaincy for his side's tour to Canada for the Auty Cup from July 25 to 28, and has been given a one-match suspension after United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) announced on Tuesday that he had been involved in a breach of the team code of conduct and tour protocols last week, while on the USA U-19 tour to Canada for the ICC Americas U-19 Division One tournament.

According to a USACA press release, the 19-year-old Taylor, along with team-mate Trevis Ross, 18, admitted to breaking the team's 10pm curfew, when they went out drinking on July 12 and didn't return until 2.30am the following day. Taylor took to Twitter to boast about his escapades in the early morning hours, posting a series of tweets from 1.28am until 2.19am which stated: "Random girl trying to get mi drunk lol", "Shot after shot!!!!!!!!!" and "I'm drunk."

In addition to the tweets, Taylor posted an Instagram photo showing a bottle of rum with two full glasses, as well as a short Instagram video featuring him and Ross singing along to music being played in the background, while Taylor makes obscene gestures to the camera. The Instagram photo and video have since been removed.

As part of USACA's official statement, Taylor issued a formal apology: "I wish to publicly apologise to my team-mates, the US coaching staff, and to USACA for my actions," Taylor said. "They were selfish and do not reflect the behaviour that the captain of a national team should display. I feel that I have let myself down and brought dishonor to the game and the US team. I am hopeful that I can learn from this mistake and make amends on and off the field during the Auty Cup."

USACA made the announcement on Tuesday after the team returned from the tour. USACA chief executive Darren Beazley met with Taylor before issuing the reprimand. Ross received a written warning for his involvement in the incident with USACA's statement claiming he broke curfew, but was not drinking.

"This incident is regrettable and out of step with the new direction for US cricket," Beazley said. "To play cricket for this country is an enormous honour. If we are to progress to a performance-based culture in our high performance programmes, all players that represent the US must accept the responsibility that comes with wearing the national colors. Both players have made an error in judgment.

"The fact that the transgression was not leading into a match day does not excuse the fact that players must give themselves every opportunity to perform at an optimal level, particularly in light of the fact that there was a place in the ICC Under-19 World Cup at stake. I am confident that Steven and Trevis will learn from this mistake and will respond in the best way possible by performing well in the coming months of the 2013 US cricket season."

No decision has been made as to who will take over as USA captain for the tour to Canada. Taylor had been named stand-in captain in place of Steve Massiah, who is one of several players unavailable due to work commitments. USA is scheduled to play a two-day game, one 50-overs match and two T20s as part of the tour.

Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey