USA Cricket will kick off their 2021 calendar with a U19 Men’s National Championship tournament at the Prairie View cricket complex in Houston, Texas from April 4th to April 11th.
Eight squads of 14 will play at least four games each while competing for the national title. Each of the six zones will be represented, with the West Zone allocated an additional team due to the depth of talent and size of the zone. An eighth team, ‘Colts,’ will comprise of ‘the best remaining eligible’ players transcending zonal limits.
The tournament format will feature two groups of four teams, with a single round robin group stage followed by a final between the group winners. The remaining six teams will each play a single crossover game to determine 3rd through 8th place.
‘The commencement of National Championships is a key priority for the growth of our youth pathway and a strategic focus area in 2021,’ said USA Cricket Committee Chair, Sushil Nadkarni in the announcement. ‘This is something we indicated within the USA Cricket Foundational Plan. We are delighted to confirm the first tournament, in what is going to be a busy cricketing year in 2021, with the Under 19 National Championship marking the start of our campaign to qualify for the U19 World Cup in the West Indies in 2022. We will bring the best 100+ young cricketers together for a competitive week of cricket in fantastic facilities in Houston, and we have a team of individuals already working very hard to ensure that we have everything in place to give the best opportunities to all the players that will make up the 8 teams. I would like to extend my best wishes to all the participants in the tournament.’
The U19 Men’s National Championships should help selectors narrow the talent field to a group of 30 for the coming U19 Selection Trials targeted for the coming summer. Those trials will determine the makeup of the USA Cricket U19 Men’s Team which will host Canada, Bermuda and Argentina for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Americas Qualifiers.
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