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News

Former Guyana batter Gajanand Singh earns USA call-up as part of revamped squad

Xavier Marshall, Akshay Homraj and Timil Patel have all been dropped

Gajanand Singh powered Warriors to a strong finish, Guyana Amazon Warriors v Trinbago Knight Riders, CPL 2017, 2nd Qualifier, Trinidad, September 7, 2017

Gajanand Singh in action during his time at the CPL  •  Randy Brooks - CPL T20 / Getty

Gajanand Singh, the former West Indies Under-19, Guyana and Guyana Amazon Warriors batter, is one of four debutants named in a USA 14-player squad headed to Oman in September for a six-match ODI tour that includes two games against Papua New Guinea before the start of a Cricket World Cup League Two tri-series against Oman and Nepal in Muscat.
Gajanand first came on the USA radar in May 2018 when he was invited to USA Cricket Combine trials in New York. Earlier this year he was invited to a USA selection camp in Texas.
Along with Gajanand, three other players will be making their touring debuts for USA: 20-year-old American-born medium pacer Abhishek Paradkar, 32-year-old batter Sushant Modani and 28-year-old batter Dominique Rikhi.
Paradkar has most recently been playing for Silicon Valley Strikers in the new domestic Minor League T20 tournament alongside former India U19 captain Unmukt Chand and current USA national captain Saurabh Netravalkar. But Paradkar had spent part of his developmental teenage years training in Bangalore where he was on the radar of USA head coach J Arunkumar, who will be leading his first touring squad after being appointed to the role last year.
Modani is originally from India but has been a heavy scorer in local cricket after migrating to Dallas, Texas. Guyana native Rikhi has similarly risen through the ranks after consistent scoring in New York and New Jersey league cricket.
Two other arrivals into the USA squad from the group who were bowled out for 35 in their last ODI 18 months ago at Kathmandu against Nepal are the recalled pair of medium pacer Jessy Singh and wicketkeeper Jaskaran Malhotra. Both have not played for USA since 2019.
Xavier Marshall, Akshay Homraj and Timil Patel were all dropped from the group that went winless on the four-match ODI tour of Nepal in February 2020. Patel is USA's all-time leading wicket-taker in both T20 and 50-over cricket prior to USA's elevation to ODI status. The legspinner has taken 81 wickets in 68 matches at an average of 21.96, much of them taken along the World Cricket League pathway to ODI status when matches were not given List A designation. But 37-year-old Patel struggled to make the step up in class against elite Associate competition in ODIs and went wicketless on USA's tour of Nepal in his two appearances while sitting on the bench for two more.
Marshall, 35, was finally axed after paying the price for inconsistent form. He made a half-century in USA's final match of their ODI tour of the UAE in December 2019, but collected just 54 runs in four innings at the top of the order in four ODIs in Nepal. Homraj similarly never produced with the bat in his opportunities for USA, failing to reach 50 in 11 innings during three consecutive tours after being called up to debut for USA at the 2019 CWI Super50 tournament in Trinidad.
Ian Holland, who was USA's best performing batter on the tour of Nepal in February 2020 with a pair of half-centuries, one each against Nepal and Oman, was unavailable for this tour while still on county cricket duty with Hampshire. Fast bowlers Cameron Stevenson and Rusty Theron were similarly unavailable due to personal commitments.
USA squad Saurabh Netravalkar (capt), Aaron Jones (vice-capt), Karima Gore, Elmore Hutchinson, Nosthush Kenjige, Jaskaran Malhotra, Sushant Modani, Abhishek Paradkar, Monank Patel, Nisarg Patel, Dominique Rikhi, Gajanand Singh, Jessy Singh, Steven Taylor (Traveling Reserve - Kyle Phillip)

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna