Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna
the opposition at ICC WCL Division Four in Italy, Division Three in
Hong Kong is expected to throw much stiffer competition in the path of
USA. A handful of players are ready to make their senior team debuts
during the eight-day event beginning on January 22 and much will be
expected of them if USA is going to advance up the World Cricket League
ladder to Division Two in the UAE this April.
Pic (Right): L to R - Asif Khan, Durale Forrest, Ryan Corns and Ritesh Kadu.
Corns, Durale Forrest, Ritesh Kadu and Asif Khan all bring varying
levels of experience to the USA squad, but each player is eager to
contribute whatever they can to push USA toward the tournament title
and a third consecutive promotion in the World Cricket League.
20-year-old Corns enters the senior team as its youngest player. In
2009, Corns was instrumental in helping USA’s U-19 team qualify for the
2010 U-19 World Cup, but had a disappointing performance at the main
event in New Zealand. Although he may not get too many opportunities on
this tour due to the established veterans ahead of him, Corns is out to
show that he’s a much improved player from the one who fell short of
expectations at the U-19 World Cup.
“What I’m hoping to achieve
is to I guess prove myself to the senior team selectors that I’m good
enough to play here,” said Corns. “So that means I need to contribute
with the bat and the ball and I’m just hoping to do well.”
spent part of the winter training overseas and hopes that the hard work
will pay off. If an opportunity presents itself, he wants to grab it
with both hands.
“I recently just got back from Australia and I
did some one-on-one coaching with a Level III coach over there,” said
Corns. “So I had about two weeks of good solid practice. I feel good in
terms of my form. If I get the opportunity to bat, I’m going to take
full advantage of it and bat as long as I can and get as many runs on
the board as I can. In terms of the ball, just bowl economically and
hopefully take wickets.”
Forrest comes into the team as a fourth
pace bowling option that’s also handy with the bat. He made the 40-man
list of probables in 2009 when USA was looking to pick a team to tour
the UAE and Nepal early last year. After a pair of solid performances
at the 2010 USACA Eastern Conference and Senior Nationals, he went from
a probable to a definite for Hong Kong.
“I’m expecting to
basically go out there and do pretty much the same thing I have been
doing,” said Forrest. “To be honest I’m a little nervous, but I’ll be
all right. I think I should get accustomed to the situation real fast.
I know a couple of the guys pretty well so bonding is pretty good so
Despite the emphasis placed on spin bowling for USA,
Forrest could see his number called upon to put in big efforts with bat
and ball. Regardless of how well he fares, he wants to soak up
everything because he is thrilled just to be part of the squad.
“I’m still overwhelmed,” said Forrest. “My mindset is just basically go out there and try to stay calm and produce.”
USA’s senior team as a reserve wicketkeeper and batsman is Kadu. If USA
decides to use Carl Wright as a batsman only, that could open the door
for Kadu to have more chances. Either way, Kadu is keen to absorb as
much as he can from Wright on this tour.
“I want to learn a lot
of things from him, Carl Wright, and I want to learn all the training
things from our coaches,” said Kadu. “I’ll get batting tips from
[Sushil] Nadkarni and Steve [Massiah], but specifically I’ll be looking
forward to play with Carl Wright.”
Kadu was the leading scorer in
the Southern California Cricket Association’s Division One in 2010 and
got married last month in India. He received news of his selection just
days after his nuptials and is excited for the chance to represent
“Playing at the international level, that’s any
cricketer’s dream to play international cricket,” said Kadu. “I’m very
thankful for the committee for giving me this debut opportunity. I’m
very excited about the tour, looking forward to play some good cricket.
Even if I’m sitting outside, I’ll contribute with giving practice to
the batsmen or helping coach with extra stuff and whenever I get a
chance in the first XI, I’ll contribute with my bat and wicketkeeping
The debutant with the most expectations riding on him is
Khan. At the conclusion of Division Four in Italy, USA captain Massiah
declared that the search was on for a left-arm spinner to be added to
the team going to Hong Kong. After four months of deliberation, both
Khan and Neil McGarrell were tabbed to share the role. But when
McGarrell was ruled ineligible, the workload became Khan’s sole
“I think that the experience that I had with
first-class cricket, I think that helps me a lot with the pressure and
I think I should be all right,” said Khan, who played six matches for
Islamabad more than a decade ago in Pakistan. “Definitely there is some
pressure to perform but I think I’m prepared for it and I hope I’ll do
Khan works in a radiology lab at a hospital in Milwaukee,
Wisc., but still did his best during the winter to prepare for Hong
“It’s definitely very hard,” said Khan about finding a
time and a place to train. “It’s very very cold right now in Wisconsin.
I had to drive an hour and a half to almost two hours just to get
indoor practice and that was only in a little space that we were
practicing. Definitely I prepared hard for this tour. For the last
three weeks I’ve been working hard just to do good on this tour so I’m
expecting to do very good.”
USA’s first match at ICC WCL Division
Three is on Saturday morning against Hong Kong. Live coverage on
DreamCricket will begin Friday night at approximately 7:45 p.m. EST.