By Peter Della Penna
With USA’s tour of Bermuda on the horizon for the ICC Americas Division One tournament, USACA is organizing a fitness and selection camp for a group of players in line for a chance to be drafted into a 14-man squad. The camp is scheduled to take place on April 24 and 25 at an undisclosed location in New York. The squad will be selected by a May 4 ICC deadline for roster submissions with the tournament slated to start on May 29.
According to a USACA official, there is a possibility that between three and six new players could be selected to participate in the tour. A major reason is that multiple players from the February tour to the UAE and Nepal apparently will not be able to get more time off from work or school so soon after taking four weeks off.
Pic (Right): Ryan Corns completed a 1.5 mile run within 10 minutes and 30 seconds at the last fitness camp - which was one of the fitness tests [Picture Courtesy: ICC/Bryan Vandenburgh]
All 15 players from the February tour have been invited to the camp, but according to Krish Prasad, chairman of USACA’s Cricket Committee, Usman Shuja and Orlando Baker will not be attending the camp. When Shuja was contacted by phone on Tuesday, he confirmed he would not be available to go to Bermuda due to his impending graduation from the MBA program at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Baker’s status for Bermuda is unknown.
Four players from USA’s U-19 World Cup squad have been invited to the camp. According to Prasad, Greg Sewdial was not given an invite despite being the leading run scorer for USA at the U-19 World Cup because he is expected to have ankle surgery and will not be able to play cricket this season. When contacted by phone on Tuesday, Sewdial said that he has surgery scheduled for mid-May to correct a long-standing ankle injury which took place right before the U-19 National Tournament in Brooklyn last May. His doctors have indicated he will be on crutches until August and won’t be completely rehabilitated until November at the earliest.
At least 29 players have been invited, but Prasad and USACA VP of Operations Manaf Mohamed have said that the list is not finalized and that more players may be invited despite the camp being only days away.
As for the fitness requirements of the camp, players are expected to be able to complete a set of eight benchmarks to prove their strength and conditioning. Failing to meet the standards does not necessarily mean a player won’t be selected though. According to multiple sources who were at the December training camp in Florida used for selection for the February senior squad tour, players were expected to complete an approximately 1.5 mile run in 10 minutes and 30 seconds which was a major component of a fitness test. Only Akeem Dodson and Ryan Corns finished in the allotted time and neither player was selected for the tour.
According to a document obtained through a source, the eight fitness goals to be completed for this camp under the specified limit for players at the camp are as follows:
2 miles in 16 minutes
400 meters in 70 seconds
100 meters in 16 seconds
60 meter shuttle run in 12 seconds
40 meter backward run in 15 seconds
25 pushups in 1 minute
15 sit-ups in 1 minute
15 jumping jacks in 30 seconds
List of senior team probables invited to camp -
Atlantic Region: Imran Awan, Muhammad Asad Ghous, Gowkaran Roopnarine (wk), Clain Williams.
Central East Region: Ashhar Mehdi (wk), Usman Shuja.
Central West Region: Orlando Baker, Ryan Corns, Sushil Nadkarni.
New York Region: Dominic Audain, Lennox Cush, Kevin Darlington, Sudesh Dhaniram, Akeem Dodson (wk), Glen Hall, Andre Kirton, Rashard Marshall, Steve Massiah, O’Neil Powell, Dwayne Smith, Carl Wright (wk).
North East: Andy Mohammed.
North West: Bilal Khan, Nauman Mustafa (wk), Saqib Saleem, Saurabh Verma.
South East: Timroy Allen.
South West: Ravi Timbawala, Aditya Thyagarajan.