USA news April 7, 2016

Baptiste, West to serve as evaluators at USA regional combines

Eldine Baptiste (right) had coached Kenya from September 2009 before stepping down in 2011 © AFP

West Indies national selector Eldine Baptiste and West Indies U-19 coach Graeme West are set to join Mike Young as the lead talent evaluators at US scouting combines, which is being held in eight cities around the USA over the next two months, beginning this weekend in Los Angeles. Baptiste and West's appointment was announced on Wednesday by the ICC Americas office, which is coordinating each scouting combine.

"I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Mike Young as well as the ICC Americas and local cricket community on this project" Baptiste said. "It is a great opportunity for the players across the USA and extremely exciting for the development of the game."

Baptiste has prior experience working in an Associate cricket setup. Baptiste coached Kenya from September 2009 to April 2011, but stepped down shortly after Kenya's win-less performance at the 2011 World Cup in India.

The candidates at each city-based combine will also be put through a series of skills, fitness and agility tests conducted by BAM (Basic Athletic Measurement) Testing. BAM conducts skills and agility tests at the annual NBA Draft Rookie Combine. Headquartered in Seattle, BAM was founded in 2008 by former Dallas Mavericks head strength and conditioning coach Brett Brungardt.

"I'm intrigued to see how these cricketers stack up against some of the best athletes I've seen in basketball and other major US sports," Brungardt said ahead of the first regional combine in Los Angeles.

Young and ICC Americas high performance consultant Tom Evans are the two main holdovers from the trial held last September in Indianapolis, which also featured players from Argentina, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Canada and Suriname. Venkatapathy Raju and Courtney Walsh were utilized as the lead talent evaluators at that combine along with Young.

This weekend's trial in Los Angeles is the first of eight city-based trials conducted by the ICC to establish a national-team talent pool at men's, women's and U-17 levels. At the end of the eight trials, concluding in New York, the ICC is expected to name a group of 20-30 players in each category for a second round of auditions to be held later in the summer.

More than 100 applications were received for the men's trial in Los Angeles, with 55 players making the final list of invitees. They include eight current or former USA senior team players and six former USA U-19 players. The first trial for women's and U-17 players will take place in San Francisco from April 14.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Cricinfouser on April 8, 2016, 21:40 GMT

    I will not say what they are trying to do is a waste of time because something has to be done for the immediate future. What is really needed if cricket has to grow to any kind of professional level in the United States is to make sure we had dedicated people with a high cricketing knowledge bonus if he had played the game at a high competitive level in every high school in the country which may look grand but has to be done with a yearly vigorous school competition and training camps in the off season. So these kids could be the feeding ground for your minor and senior leagues. This is serious business

  • Steve on April 8, 2016, 14:23 GMT

    Good that ICC is doing something to encourage serious cricket in US. Right now, the team is made up of semi-retired pros from other nations in their mid, to late 30s. The game should be developed at grassroots level. It needs significant infusion of funds (would guess to the tune of over $100 million) over next decade to build up a competitive young team that can compete with the big boys.

  • lvj04u6097745 on April 8, 2016, 6:56 GMT

    With great passion and love of the game also with a International career as an umpire from Sri Lanka i would like to mention few words in US cricket presently am involved as umpire & coach for SCCA for the past 12yrs in USA,in my opinion best climate condition's to play cricket is in Southern California,because the in California rain falls about 15tn days for year,also whole of USA the best ground facilities are in Southern California,it has four turf pitches in one beautiful location Call Woodly no where in the world you will have this kind of facility,and the biggest league is played in USA in Southern California,games begin in April to November,very unfortunately downfall of cricket is the mismanagement of the administration,we all know West Indies are great cricketing nation's but their not the best administrators,USA is large in country it's not easy to get all talented payers together,most parents come here with vision to give their children brighter future in education.

  • Tim on April 7, 2016, 19:32 GMT

    Well, it's nice to see ICC mining the expat ranks to the max, but I still see NO initiative whatsoever to take cricket beyond the expat underworld. ICC should have had a camp where ONLY baseballers interested in cricket would attend and be evaluated.

  • sunil on April 7, 2016, 17:15 GMT

    Seems like cricket will be revived in USA in a better way now. Best of luck USA cricket.

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