Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna
Venkatapathy Raju, the former India left-arm spinner, has been announced as the third man in the lead coaching panel at next month's ICC Americas cricket combine in Indianapolis from September 18 to 27.
Raju joins Courtney Walsh and Mike Young in the coaching staff for the Americas combine. Walsh and Young were the first two coaches to be announced as part of the talent evaluation panel that will help pick a combined Americas squad to compete in the 2016 WICB Nagico Super50 tournament in January. Raju lived on the mid-Atlantic coast in the USA for two years following his retirement from international cricket, and is quite familiar with the standard of cricket in America.
"I played for a couple of seasons, mainly in the Washington and New Jersey areas, and therefore have already seen first-hand the talent that exists in the Americas Region," Raju said in an ICC press release. "I can't wait to work with Courtney, Mike and the other coaches to help the players improve their skills, in what really is an exciting initiative for the development of the game."
Raju, who played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs for India from 1990 to 2001, is currently working as an ICC Asia Development Officer. He spent 10 days working with the Nepal squad in June during a camp in Dharamsala ahead of the World Twenty20 Qualifier. Prior to that assignment, Raju had also travelled to the UAE in October 2013 to assist their team's spinners ahead of the 2014 World Cup Qualifier.
Earlier this month, the ICC named 83 players for phase one of the combined trial in Indianapolis from September 18 to 21. It is expected that anywhere between five to ten players from that group will be invited again for phase two of the trial from September 24 to 27, where they will join the 21 previously shortlisted players to compete for a spot in the final squad chosen to go to the Caribbean in January.