Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
After finishing last to be relegated out of ICC World Cricket League Division Three last year in Hong Kong, USA’s first chance to climb back up the WCL ladder will be September 3-10 after the ICC announced the dates today for WCL Division Four in Malaysia. USA will be joined by Denmark, Nepal, Tanzania, Singapore and the hosts. Sources have indicated that USACA will organize a player selection camp later this month be held in Florida to help choose a 14-man squad for Division Four.
The matches will be played in Kuala Lumpur at three facilities: Kinrara Oval, Selangor Turf Club and Royal Selangor Club. These grounds were used for the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2008. Malaysia also hosted ICC WCL Division Six in September 2011. Guernsey finished in first place in that event while Malaysia finished as runner-up to get promoted. Malaysia also wound up second to Singapore at Division Five earlier this year in Singapore to clinch a spot in Division Four.
USA does have some prior history playing in Malaysia. In 1997, USA went there for the ICC Trophy, the forerunner to the ICC World Cup Qualifier. Bangladesh won the event while they were still an Associate team, defeating Kenya in the final. It wound up being a springboard for them to gain Test status.
USA’s squad at the 1997 ICC Trophy was captained by former West Indies player Faoud Bacchus, who was 43 at the time. They finished third in Group A behind Kenya and Ireland. USA entered the final Group A match against Kenya needing to win to force a three-way tie at the top of Group A, but instead produced their lowest score ever in 50-over matches when they were shot out for 32 in a 211-run loss. Had USA beaten Ireland earlier in Group A, they would have advanced to the final eight stage but Ireland’s tail took them to victory by two wickets after USA had them at 159 for 7 needing 213 to win.
In the Plate Competition, USA rounded out the event with a five-wicket loss to Fiji in the 11th place game. Waisake Tukana took 5 for 31 in the field for Fiji as USA was bowled out for 193 batting first before Tukana finished 34 not out at number six to take his side over the line. USA fans might also find it interesting to note that current Cricket Holdings America board member and executive director of Insite Organisation Neil Maxwell had figures of 7-1-24-1 for Fiji and scored 33 batting at number four in Fiji’s chase.