USA Cricket announce national and zonal men’s youth selectors, begin trials

USA 2019

USA Cricket announced their new national and zonal men’s youth selectors, a list including several familiar names. 

Longtime USA men’s selector Amer Afzaluddin chairs the ‘Men’s Youth Selection Panel’, a position which comes with a two year term. Former Sri Lankan first class all rounder Sajith Fernando of Los Angeles, former USA team captain and one of Emerging Cricket USA profile’s “Leading Player” Steve Massiah of New York, former USA all rounder and Pakistan U19 Jannisar Khan of Houston, and legendary West Indies Guyanese Test batsman and two-time World Cup champion Alvin Kallicharran round out the panel, all with three year terms. 

‘It’s a nice surprise to me that they asked me to be involved. And if it will improve USA Cricket, it’s a good thing,’ Alvin Kallicharran told Emerging Cricket. Kallicharran, a veteran of 66 Tests with over 30,000 First Class runs to his name, is the head coach of the Morrisville Cardinals. Alvin has coached youth cricketers all over the country for years, most recently with Triangle Cricket League. The Cardinals feature one of the youngest rosters in Minor League Cricket, regularly including several teenagers in their playing eleven. 

Jannisar Khan, by all accounts, was a valuable member of the USA Men’s team which gained ODI status in 2019. ‘I’m very humble, very thankful for this experience. Whatever is best for the country, we’re going to make those decisions fair and sound,’ Jannisar told Emerging Cricket. ‘Whatever is good for USA in the long term, it’s our goal to become one of the best cricketing nations, and we all have to work together. We need to give chances to the youngsters.’

According to Jannisar, Minor League Cricket presents some of these chances for young cricketers to mature and gain confidence. Jani played two games for the Chicago Blasters this weekend, and the team split their series with Chicago Catchers. ‘(Sunday) we lost the game, but we gave five youngsters a chance. From the first game to the second game, we changed five team members.’

Zonal Selection Panels and National Championships

Along with declaring the national men’s youth panel, USA also announced their six men’s and youth  ‘Zonal Selection Panels’ each with one USA men’s selector, one USA men’s youth selector, and one appointed ‘Zonal Selector.’ The zonal panels have been quickly put to work, selecting 30 players for both men’s and youth this month to attend zonal trials spread across 14 sites. Three of these trials were already held over the weekend in New York, St Louis, and Seattle. 

Ideally, these 30 candidates would then be further consolidated into zonal teams which would face off in national championships. Due to Covid-19 regulations and concerns, the board will determine in the coming days if there will be national championships this year.

USA Cricket also plans to announce the remainder of the Minor League Cricket schedule later this week.

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