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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
USACA has selected the 14 players who will represent the USA against
Bermuda and Canada in Florida next month at the 2012 ICC Americas U-18
Match Play Camp. The squad for the 50-over double round-robin event was
announced on Monday night. It contains six players who have previously
represented USA at the U-15 or U-19 level.
Steven Taylor will captain the squad, a strong indication that he
will hold onto the role in 2013 when a USA U-19 squad will compete in
the ICC Americas U-19 Division One Tournament for a chance to qualify
for the 2014 ICC U-19 World Cup in the UAE.
Persaud, a teammate of Taylor’s on the USA U-19 team last summer at the
2011 ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Ireland, was named in the squad.
Persaud was one of the top scorers this season in the NY Public Schools
Athletic League high school cricket competition while representing
Martin Van Buren High School.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor will captain the USA U-18 team next
month in Florida. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
The vice-captain will be Dave Parikh, who captained the USA U-15
squad to a first place finish last August at the ICC Americas U-15
Northern Division Tournament in Winnipeg, Canada. Parikh was also named
Tournament MVP of that event.
Parikh is joined by four other North West Region players. Krish Goel
was in the list of probables for the USA U-19 squad in 2011 and is a
former USA U-15 teammate of Steven Taylor and Persaud. Roshan
Varadarajan was Taylor’s vice-captain on the USA U-15 team in 2009 and
previously captained the North West Region to an undefeated title-run at
the 2010 USACA U-15 National Tournament while Arsh Buch, another USA
U-15 representative, was the Tournament MVP at the 2010 USACA U-15
National Tournament. Vibhav Altekar, who represented the USA U-15 team
in 2011, scored a double-century at the 2011 USCA U-15 National
Three other New York Region players join Persaud on the team. Zahib
Tariq emerged as a solid prospect for USA at the 2010 USACA U-15
National Championship for his all-round abilities. Just last week he
scored 28 not out and took 6 for 13 in a quarterfinal win for FDR High
School over Persaud’s Martin Van Buren High School in the NY PSAL
Playoffs. Randall Wilson, who took 2 for 34 and scored 51 not out in a
quarterfinal win for John Adams High School over Abraham Lincoln, has
scored three centuries in the last two years at USACA U-15 National
Omar Afridi is also from the New York Region and in 2011 was named
Scotland’s U-17 Player of the Year. He previously represented Scotland
at the U-13 and U-15 levels but his family moved to the USA last summer.
He is able to play for USA without having to wait four years by virtue
of his US citizenship and because he did not represent Scotland at the
U-19 level or above.
Ryan Persaud was selected from the Atlantic Region. He was the
leading wicket-taker at the 2010 USACA U-15 National Tournament. Shakeel
Ahmad, the younger brother of USA U-19 player Salman Ahmad, is the lone
representative from the South West Region. Ahmad scored a century this
past weekend for Citrus Valley CC against Hollywood CC in Division Two
of the Southern California Cricket Association and currently averages
44.40 in Division Two matches this season. Karan Patel and Omari
Williams hail from the Central West and South East Regions respectively.
Williams made headlines last year as a 15-year-old when he scored 128
in a match for Osswald Park against Myrtle Grove in the South Florida
Cricket Alliance Premier Division.
A coach, manager and physio have yet to be named by USACA. The ICC
Americas U-18 Match Play Camp runs from July 9-14 at the Central Broward
Regional Park in Lauderhill, Fla.
USA U-18 Squad: Steven Taylor (captain, South East),
Dave Parikh (vice-captain, North West), Omar Afridi (New York), Shakeel
Ahmad (South West), Vibhav Altekar (North West), Arsh Buch (North
West), Krish Goel (North West), Karan Patel (Central West), Amarnauth
Persaud (New York), Ryan Persaud (Atlantic), Zahib Tariq (New York),
Roshan Varadarajan (North West), Omari Williams (South East), Randall
Wilson (New York).