Four uncapped players - Arjun Thyagarajan, Nisarg Patel, Usman Rafiq and Prashanth Nair - have been picked in a USA team that will play a Caribbean Premier League Invitational XI on Friday at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. The game will be played as a curtain-raiser ahead of that night's CPL match between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and Trinbago Knight Riders.
The players were chosen by USA selectors and announced by USA national selector Barney Jones at the conclusion of the team's training session at the Central Broward Regional Park (CBRP) on Thursday. Speaking shortly after the team announcement, ICC Americas high performance consultant Tom Evans said the selectors were looking to see a mix new players but also see how some of USA's most recent squad members perform against players of CPL standard.
"The 12 for tomorrow is a bit of a combination," Evans said. "Twelve guys that we want to have a look at. Some guys who have played a bit, some guys who haven't. Twelve guys who we're keen to have a look at."
Six of the other eight players in the team were part of USA's most recent tournament squad, in Ireland, at the 2015 World T20 Qualifier. Two of those six, leading scorer Akeem Dodson and batsman Alex Amsterdam, were also part of the ICC Americas squad that travelled to Trinidad in January for the Nagico Super50 competition.
Similarly, three other ICC Americas squad members have been named in the CPL Invitational squad, including USA's Steven Taylor, who is part of the Barbados Tridents. The other two are Canada's Hamza Tariq and Nitish Kumar, who are contracted with Knight Riders and St Lucia Zouks respectively. Kumar played in the first two games this season for the Zouks but has not appeared since July 3, while Tariq has yet to play for Knight Riders. Taylor started the first give games for Tridents but was dropped after making just 55 runs with a best of 37 in the season opener against Knight Riders.
One overseas player outside of the ICC Americas members had also been included in the CPL Invitational XI: Australian Alex Ross of the Jamaica Tallawahs. The CPL XI will be captained by Shamarh Brooks and coached by CPL international director of cricket Tom Moody, assisted by St Lucia Zouks assistant coach Trevor Penney.
The 30-man USA national squad arrived in Florida on Wednesday night and Thursday morning for the start of a week-long camp. The team's training session on Thursday at the CBRP included a fielding masterclass coordinated by the ICC and CPL led by Penney and Moody.
USA squad players will be given the opportunity to shadow CPL squads throughout the weekend in Florida - Nosthush Kenjige and Danial Ahmed (Amazon Warriors); Japen Patel and Francis Mendonca (Tridents) had the privilege for Thursday night's CPL game - before commencing with three 50-over intra-squad trial matches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. A final 14-man squad is then expected to be picked following the matches to compete for USA at WCL Division Four in Los Angeles from October 29-November 5.