Akshay Homraj, who was a team-mate of Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer for Guyana Under-19 in 2013 and 2014, has been included in a 16-man USA squad for the Super50 tour of Trinidad & Tobago beginning November 6. Along with him are two Australians, medium-pace allrounder Ian Holland and fast bowler Cameron Stevenson, who qualify as US passport holders.
Homraj, who migrated to New York in 2014, first impressed at the USA Cricket Regional Combines held in the Bronx in June 2018 before being invited to a USA national team trial where he showed flashes of his explosive batting capability. However, he was invited to another set of USA squad camps at Los Angeles a year later and he scored a half-century to press his claims.
Holland, 29, also appeared at the same USA squad camp and impressed the selectors with his power-hitting against spinners along with his medium pace. He was the winner of the Australian reality TV talent hunt competition "Cricket Superstar" in 2012. Holland has a USA passport as he was born in Wisconsin.
Stevenson, who turned 27 on Wednesday, was born in Victoria but is a dual citizen through his parentage. He made his Big Bash League debut for the Melbourne Renegades in 2015 before securing a contract with Tasmania and made his first-class debut in 2016 but lasted only one season for them.
The pair of fast bowling reinforcements was partially a consequence of Ali Khan's continued unavailability. The fast bowling spearhead has opted to play in the UAE T10 League in November instead of the Super50 after being drafted by Delhi Bulls.
The only player dropped from USA's squad that finished with three wins out of four for the home tri-series against Namibia and Papua New Guinea in September was wicketkeeper Jaskaran Malhotra. He had been struggling for form with the bat throughout the year and managed only 52 runs in five matches since USA claimed ODI status in April. In his absence, Monank Patel is expected to take over wicketkeeping duties.
The rest of the squad was unchanged as selectors kept faith in Xavier Marshall despite an equivalent output to Malhotra in his five ODIs for USA: 52 runs with a best of 17.
USA will play eight group matches in the double round-robin format of the Super50. They have been paired with Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands and West Indies Emerging Players. Their first match is against West Indies Emerging Players on November 9.
Squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (capt), Karima Gore, Ian Holland, Akshay Homraj, Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Xavier Marshall, Monank Patel, Nisarg Patel, Sagar Patel, Timil Patel, Jessy Singh, Cameron Stevenson, Steven Taylor, Rusty Theron