USA Women to host MCC touring team in Philadelphia
A USA Women's development camp, which includes matches against a women's Marylebone Cricket Club touring squad, will be held in Philadelphia between September 8 and 11, the ICC has announced. The matches will be the first for USA Women since they were humbled by a touring Pakistan side last November in Florida.
The ICC also announced a new USA Women's selection panel headed by chairman of selectors Ricardo Powell and fellow men's national selector Barney Jones. Three new female selectors will join the panel for the first time: Patricia Whittaker, Julie Abbott and Joan Alexander-Serrano.
Whittaker is a former West Indies Women's Test cricketer who has spent more than 25 years in New York as a lawyer. In May, she was named to one of the four USA advisory panels formed by the ICC to implement its USA development strategy. Specifically, Whittaker was named to the 10-person Sustainable Foundation panel while Abbott, a former women's county cricketer who now resides in Kansas City, Missouri, was named to the High Performance advisory panel.
Alexander-Serrano was part of the 2011 USA Women's World Cup Qualifier squad in Bangladesh at age 51 and recently participated in an ICC Combine trial in New York at age 55 alongside other women's players, where she was one of the most impressive bowlers on display. However, her appointment to the selection panel indicates she has decided to shift focus to the administrative side of the game.
The camp and matches against the MCC touring side will be held at some of the oldest cricket facilities in the USA, including Evansburg Cricket Field, Haverford College - which officially has the only varsity status college cricket team in America - and Merion Cricket Club. All three grounds use artificial pitches, but have well-maintained outfields.
By far the best of the three is Merion CC, which has some of the best off-field facilities at any cricket ground in America. Founded in 1865, making it one of the oldest cricket clubs in America, Merion CC's stately grounds and pavilion - also located in the Philadelphia suburb of Haverford - now host festival cricket events annually in the spring.
A final squad for the USA Women's development camp, including probables for the matches against the MCC, is likely to be announced later this week.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna