ICC World T20 Qualifier 2012 March 5, 2012

Nadkarni targets 'historic achievement' for USA

ESPNcricinfo staff

The World T20 Qualifier is a path to fulfilling potential for USA's Sushil Nadkarni. He toured Australia with India Under-19s in 1994-95 and averaged 30. Now with his new adopted country, Nadkarni hopes to prove why he was once considered among India's bright talents.

Together with making the most of his own ability, Nadkarni, 35, has the task of leading a young USA as they attempt to qualify for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

"Leading team USA is an honour for me personally and I want to lead from the front," Nadkarni said. "We are representing thousands of cricketers in the USA and the expectations are pretty high from the stakeholders out here. The average age of the team is about 27 years so a lot of responsibility will sit with the senior players. Everyone is excited to be a part of this high profile tournament."

USA had to qualify just to reach the qualifying tournament, which begins on March 13 in the UAE. But Nadkarni thinks that if his side can overturn the rankings, the impact for cricket in the USA could be significant.

"Qualification to the World T20 would be a historic achievement and a dream come true for the entire nation. Much as Major League Soccer went to the next level when the USA soccer team made the World Cup, the same will happen with cricket in the country."

USA will play three practice matches in Dubai before their campaign begins against Uganda in Sharjah. They are drawn with Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Oman and Italy in group B.