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Team USA for World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey - Profiles and Path to Success
by DreamCricket USA
Apr 28, 2008
Last week, USA Cricket Association (USACA) named the USA Squad for ICC’s World Cricket League (WCL) Division 5 event to be held in Jersey (Channel Islands).

The path to success

USA is widely expected to reach the finals of the Jersey event which will be held between May 21 and 31, 2008. The other teams in WCL Division 5 are Afghanistan, Bahamas, Botswana, Germany, Japan, Jersey, Mozambique, Nepal, Norway, Singapore, United States of America, and Vanuatu.

The finalists will progress to Division 4. From there, USA will need to finish among the top two teams for Divisions 4 to progress to Division 3. They then need to once again finish among the finalists to qualify to play in the 12 nation World Cup qualifier to be held in 2009.

Team USA, who were in Division 1 back in 2006 prior to their suspension, are expected to move up the ladder without too much difficulty. The practice along the way will also give USA a platform to showcase its cricket talent - a platform it hasn't had in 2 years.

Player profiles

The following are pen pix of the players. We will be updating this article with photos and other relevant statistics in the coming days.

Steve Massiah - Captain (Age: 28) Steve is a stylish right handed batsman who played for USA in the ICC Six Nations Tournament in 2004 and in USA's first two official ODI's in the 2004 Champions Trophy. He top scored in the match against Australia making 23 runs. He has remained USA's captain and led the team at the 2005 ICC Trophy and the WCL Americas Championship in 2006 where USA scored impressive wins against Caymans and Argentina. A rained out clash against Bermuda aided Bermuda's cause and led to that country eventually making it to the 2007 World Cup. Steve plays in the Nassau New York Cricket Association league in New York.

Sushil Nadkarni - Vice-captain (Age: 31) Sushil is an aggressive left handed opening batsman who once played first class cricket for Maharashtra Ranji team in 1996. In the 1994-95 Under-19 season, Sushil averaged 99 in eight innings and was recognized as a future Indian star. That earned him a place in the U-19 tour of Australia in 1995/96 where he faced the likes of Brett Lee. He immigrated to USA to pursue his MS in Environmental Engineering from Texas A&M. He plays in the Houston League where he represents the Memorial Cricket Club.

Rahul Kukreti - (Age: 30) Rahul was part of the USA team that played in the ICC Six Nations Challenge in Sharjah in 2004. He is a solid opening batsman and an excellent wicket keeper. Rahul has been consistently representing the Central West region for several years now. Rahul has been on the leaderboard of the North Texas Cricket Association where he plays for the Dallas County Cricket Club.

Imran Awan - (Age: 29) Right-arm fast bowler has played for USA since 1999 including the ICC Champions Trophy 2004. Imran took the wickets of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Smith in a promotional match against West Indies in 2006. His tally was 3 for 39 in that match. Imran plays for Washington Tigers in the WCL.

Rashard Marshall - (Age: 25) Jamaican-born Rashard Marshall is related to Jamaican and West Indies batsman, Xavier Marshall. Rashard remained not out on 90 in July 2006 when USA played West Indies. In that match, Rashard added a valuable 115 for the sixth wicket with captain Steve Massiah. He is widely regarded as a future star for USA.

Lennox Cush - (Age: 33) Right handed batsman and off-break bowler who plays for his native Guyana in the Stanford 2020 event. Lennox played an important role as an opener for Guyana as they won the championship in 2006 and won a Player of the Match award in the semi-final against Grenada for his 49 off 42 balls. In the 2007 edition, he took an amazing 3 for 8 off his 4 overs in the semi-finals against Jamaica in a nail biter. Lennox plays for Atlantis Cricket Club in New York's EACA league.

Aditya Thyagarajan (Age: 29) Right handed middle-order batsman and leg spin bowler. Aditya is a former Karnataka Ranji player who played alongside Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. He was also part of the India U-19 team in 1997/98. Adithya plays for SCCA's Hollywood Cricket Club where he is the league's leading wicket taker and has also captained the South West region.

Orlando Baker (Age: 28) Right handed middle order batsman and medium pacer who played one first class match for Jamaica before migrating to USA. Baker was a key player in the New York region where he played in the Metropolitan League (NY-MDCA) and in the Washington Cricket League . He once scored 202 not out on a Saturday (in the WCL) and then showed up for a Metropolitan League match on the Sunday scoring 207 not out there. Baker has since moved to Dallas where he plays for the Dallas County Cricket Club in the North Texas Cricket Association.

Carl Wright (Age: 30) Carl is a wicketkeeper batsman, with 11 first-class matches under his belt representing Jamaica. Carl plays for River Valley Cricket Club in the New York Metropolitan & District Cricket Association.

Niraj Shah (Age: 25) Former captain of Texas MLC squad, Niraj is consistently among the highest scorers in the Houston Cricket League. He is an excellent fielder and his off spinners are more than handy. Niraj won the best batsman award at the Central west Championships in Colorado in 2005 and has been in very good form since then.

Khawaja Usman Shuja (Age: 27) Usman is one of the fastest bowlers in the United States and his lethal spells have earned him a spot in the US National team in the past. Having modeled himself on Waqar Younis, Usman was coached by the legendary Dennis Lillee in the Australian Cricket Academy. Usman was awarded the best bowler in the Western Conference 2003 and has also been the MVP of the Central west Regional Championships in 2003 and 2004.

Wahab Airaj Syed Wahab is a right hand top order batsman and a fast bowler who plays in the American Cricket Conference. Wahab who made 631 runs from 13 outings for Cougars Cricket Club (averaging 57.36) has also taken 33 wickets from his 81 overs during the 2007 season. [If you have more information about Syed, please e-mail frontfoot at dreamcricket.com]

Steve Pitter (Age: 32) Steve is a bowler who once played for Bridgeport CC. [If you have more information about Pitter, please e-mail frontfoot at dreamcricket.com]

Mohamed Masood Mohamed is a bowler who has been consistently for SFCA Youth Combined XI. [If you have more information about Masood, please e-mail frontfoot at dreamcricket.com]

Sohail Bari - Manager

Clayton Lambert – Coach

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