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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
Correction: This article has been updated at 5:55 p.m. EST on May 24, 2012, to reflect that the ICC Americas U-19 Development team will be participating in the 50-over segment of the WICB U-19
Regional Tournament. It was earlier reported that they would be
participating in a Twenty20 segment of the WICB U-19 Regional Tournament. DreamCricket.com apologizes for the error.
USA players have been named to an ICC Americas U-19 Development team
which will take part in the West Indies Cricket Board Regional U-19
tournament this August in Barbados. USA’s five players were the second
most from any one country for the 16-player squad with Canada taking six
spots according to a team list obtained from ICC Americas Regional
Development Manager Martin Vieira. Cameron Mirza, Mital Patel, Gurpreet
Sandhu, Hammad Shahid and Steven Taylor are the players who have been
selected from the USA to participate.
(right) USA U-19 batsman Cameron Mirza celebrates after reaching his
century against Argentina in February 2011. [Courtesy: Peter Della
The squad has been formed to participate in the 50-over segment of
the WICB Regional U-19 tournament, which runs from August 19-29, but not
the three-day cricket segment. The ICC Americas U-19 Development Team
16-player squad will spend a week in Barbados ahead of the tournament
for a training camp run by head coach Andy Pick and assistant coach
Wendell Coppin. At the conclusion of the camp, the squad will be trimmed
to 14 before playing its first match.
The players who have been invited to participate from Canada are
Manny Aulakh, Nitish Kumar, Akash Shah, Darren Ramsammy, Nikhil Dutta
and Rayankhan Pathan. Cayman Islands will send Sacha de Alwis and Darren
Cato. Bermuda’s Josh Gilbert and Kamau Leverock, who were both part of
the Bermuda senior team that participated in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20
Qualifier in Dubai, will be traveling to Barbados. Rudolph Fox of the
Bahamas has also been included in the squad.
Mirza was the MVP of the ICC Americas U-19 Tournament in February
2011 when USA went undefeated to win the tournament. He led USA with
193 runs in four innings at an average of 193 and finished second
overall in runs. His best score was 118 not out against Argentina. He
currently attends Loughborough University in England which is an MCC
Patel led USA with 16 wickets at the 2011 ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier
and tied for seventh overall. His best performance was a return of 6 for
35 against Afghanistan, which included a hat-trick. That spell earned
him the DreamCricket.com New Inning Foundation USA Cricket Award for
Individual Performance of the Year. The medium pacer currently attends
university in India and also trains with Baroda’s age group teams.
Image (left) - Mital Patel holds the match ball after taking 6
for 35, including a hat-trick, against Afghanistan at the 2011 ICC U-19
World Cup Qualifier in Ireland. [Courtesy: Peter Della
Gurpreet Sandhu tied for the tournament lead at the 2011 ICC Americas
tournament with 12 wickets in four innings. The leg-spinner’s best
performance was a spell of 5 for 7 against Bermuda, which at the time
were the joint-best ever figures recorded for a USA U-19 player until
Patel’s performance against Afghanistan.
Hammad Shahid was the most economical pace bowler for the USA U-19
team in 2011. Across two tournaments, he bowled 72.2 overs with an
economy rate of 2.89 runs per over. He also took 18 wickets at an
average of 11.61. He has been touted as one of USA’s best pace bowling
prospects for the last four years and has been invited to multiple
selection trials for the USA senior team.
Taylor was USA’s leading run scorer at the 2011 ICC U-19 World Cup
Qualifier and tied for second overall with 455 runs in nine innings
including two centuries. Taylor was the recipient of DreamCricket.com’s
New Inning Foundation USA Cricket Awards in 2011 for Batsman of the
Year, Junior Cricketer of the Year and Cricketer of the Year.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor raises his bat after completing a
century against Papua New Guinea at the 2011 ICC U-19 World Cup
Qualifier in Ireland. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
In March, Taylor finished second on the USA senior team at the ICC
World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE with 179 runs in nine innings
including a best of 40 in USA’s upset win over Scotland.