USA announce former Ranji Trophy captain J Arunkumar as new men’s coach, envisions Test status for USA.

Foundational Plan

USA Cricket have announced Jagadeesh Arunkumar as coach of the men’s national time effective immediately.

“There are long, mid and short-term goals and my vision obviously will be that the USA in the coming years will be one of the Test playing nations,” Arunkumar told PTI.

In the wide-ranging blog entry, USAC CEO Iain Higgins also made a number of other announcements including the appointment of former ICC High Performance Manager Richard Done as Cricket Operations Director and Jamie Lloyd as Development Manager.

Former ICC COO Higgins also confirmed that USA Cricket are looking to form a joint bid for a future T20 World Cup with Cricket West Indies, outlined the organisation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also re-shared the governing body’s (annual financial statements-less) 2019 Annual Report (pdf)

Arunkumar will replace interim coach James Pamment who alongside support staff members of the mens cricket team did not have his contract renewed.

The USA Men’s team celebrate at Al Amerat in Oman in early 2018

Jagadeesh aka “Jak” Arunkumar is a former captain of Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy who was assistant coach of Kings XI Punjab in the IPL as well as working with Indian domestic sides Hyderabad and Puducherry.

In a First class career spanning over 15 years for Karnataka he scored 7208 runs. He was also part of a Karnataka playing group that claimed the Ranji Trophy in back to back seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The deal has been in the works for a reasonable period of time, with Arunkumar overseeing a ten-day camp undertaken by the players in Texas during March after his nomination as the preferred candidate, prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions being placed on the country.

Arunkumar will relocate to the United States at the end of the current pandemic when travel restrictions are lifted with the newly appointed coach meeting players and staff over video sessions online.

Pamment, alongside former Indian batsmen Kiran More, each oversaw the US Cricket program for short stints after Pubudu Dassanayake’s departure in July 2019. With Arunkumar’s appointment bringing an end to the two short term options used by the US Cricket board to take on the role after Dassanayake.

CWC League 2 USA
Aaron Jones drives a six over long-on during CWC League 2 in Florida in 2019

The US sits second in ICC World Cricket League Two with an important string of home matches against the United Arab Emirates and Scotland postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to the Press Trust of India Aurunkumar said: “The first thing is based on my visa and when the coronavirus situation will end in the US, so it’s all based on that. At what time my visa will be approved, that’s when I will be heading there.

“There are long, mid and short-term goals and my vision obviously will be that the USA in the coming years will be one of the Test playing nations.

“It’s a far-fledged goal, but yes, that’s the vision and as of now the short term will be World Cup league.

“We will have to be the top side in that and then go to the next level,” Arun Kumar told PTI.

After a winless Cricket World Cup League 2 tour to Nepal including being bowled out for 35 by the hosts, the new coach knows there is hard work ahead.

“Priority is to get the team together, we had a bad run in Nepal, so obviously the team is on little down slide, so we will get up and the immediate short-term goal is to get in touch with players.

“This lockdown gives us time to actually know each other, although we are spread out in different parts of the country, and it is gives us time to connect better and work on certain mental and tactical aspects of the game,” he added.


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