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By Peter Della Penna
The slate of international cricket became more crowded for USA in
2011 with the announcement of the ICC Americas schedule of events for
the new year. Some of the highlights include an inaugural U-17
tournament for the region as well as another ICC Americas Division One
Twenty20 tournament for the men.
The ICC Americas Division One tournament
previously played every two years as a 50-over event. But with the
growing presence of Twenty20 cricket on the international calendar, the
2011 edition will be staged in Toronto as a Twenty20 event. It will
decide the initial Twenty20 Associate rankings for the region as well
as determine a pair of qualification slots for the 2012 World Twenty20
Qualifier in Dubai. Two teams will advance to Dubai along with Canada,
who automatically qualifies due to their status as an ODI nation. USA
will enter the July 17-24 tournament in Toronto as the defending
champion having won the first edition of the region’s Twenty20
tournament in Bermuda this past June which was played immediately after
the 50-over series.
Although the 2011 event will officially include only Twenty20
matches, ICC Americas Regional Development Manager Martin Vieira said
that each country’s administration expressed a desire to continue
playing 50-over cricket as well. As a result, Vieira said that ICC
Americas is willing to help facilitate the organization of a bilateral
50-over series between any countries who are interested. Those 50-over
matches would be staged at a minimal cost to the teams involved and may
be organized to take place in Toronto after the conclusion of the
The first event on the calendar is the ICC Americas U-19 Division
1 scheduled for February 7-12 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. USA will take on
Argentina, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and defending champion
Canada. The top two teams will advance to the U-19 World Cup Global
Qualifier, which will be held in July at a site yet to be announced by
the ICC. It is being reported by several web sites that the Global
Qualifier will be held in Ireland, which is one of the four countries
already qualified along with Scotland, Namibia and Kenya.
The Pepsi ICC Americas Academy will be held for 10 days in March.
According to Vieira, each country in the region that is currently
involved in the ICC World Cricket League – Argentina, Bahamas, Bermuda,
Canada, Cayman Islands, Suriname and USA – will send two players to St.
Kitts for a series of training sessions run by the region’s Development
Performance Officer, Andy Pick. Each country has already nominated a
handful of players to send to the camp. Vieira said that Pick will
decide who is included in the list of 14 which is expected to be
finalized sometime in January.
The ICC Americas U-17 tournament will be a four team event from
July 3-10. Bermuda, Canada and USA will go to Toronto along with a
Development XI that will be comprised of players from Argentina,
Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Suriname. According to Vieira, the event
will include 50-over games as well as other days dedicated to having
the teams train with Pick.
The ICC Americas U-15 Northern Division tournament will be played
from August 20-26 on artificial wickets at Assiniboine Park in
Winnipeg, Canada. The 2009 event was also played on artificial wickets
in New York. The format will remain the same as 2009 with Bermuda,
Canada and USA playing each other twice in a series of six 40-over
No women’s tournament is scheduled for 2011, but Vieira said that
ICC Americas is committed to providing whatever help USACA seeks out
for the USA women’s team to prepare for the Women’s World Cup Qualifier
in Bangladesh next November.
ICC Americas 2011 Tournament Schedule (only events involving USA included below)
Feb. 7-12 – U-19 Division 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
July 3-10 – U-17 in Toronto, Canada
July 17-24 – Division 1 Twenty20 in Toronto, Canada
Aug. 20-26 – U-15 Northern Division in Winnipeg, Canada
A full schedule of ICC Americas events is available on the ICC web site.