USA-eligible Caribbean stars snubbed, advocate inquiry goes unanswered

USA Karima Gore

An email which was sent on behalf of four eligible USA cricketers to two USA Cricket board members on February 29, seeking clarification on their exclusion from zonal squads, has gone unanswered by the board.

A “cricket agent/consultant” sent the email advocating on behalf of Karima Gore, Ryan Scott, Jahmar Hamilton and Vikash Mohan. “I write with concerns surrounding the non-selection of a few high-level players for the men’s zonal squads. As an ardent cricket enthusiast and Cricket Agent, I follow cricket globally. So it begs why players such as Karima Gore, Ryan Scott, Jahmar Hamilton and Vikash Mohan were not selected for the men’s Zonal squads.” 

After listing some of the cricketers’ accomplishments, the agent continued. “There are other minor cases, but those can be 50-50. Indeed, these four names are top-tiercandidates for USA cricket selection. How can they be good enough for West Indies Domestic but not good enough to be selected for regionals? While their minor league records are head and shoulders over dozens of other selected players.

I would be happy for your intervention in these concerns and would love to know why these four players were overlooked.”

Emerging Cricket is under the impression that the author of the email is not representing all of the cricketers in question in an official capacity. 

Karima Gore has represented USA Cricket internationally 24 times, most recently on September 20, 2021 against Oman. Eight of those 24 occasions have been T20 Internationals, where he has taken 10 wickets at an economy of 4.96 and an average of         12.40. Gore also added a handy 167.85 strike rate in three innings off of a total of 31 balls batting twice at number 8 and once at 11. The left arm orthodox bowler is widely considered one of the most electric fielders in the world. 

Ryan Scott has appeared twice for USA in T20 Internationals, both against Ireland in December of 2021. In his debut game, USA Cricket defeated Ireland for their first ever victory over a full member. In 37 Minor League Cricket innings, Scott has scored 1012 runs at a 159.62 strike rate, good enough for 13th in league history, and fourth most for any player who has played less than 40 games. Scott is one of four players to have raised his bat twice to celebrate a century in Minor League Cricket.

Jahmar Hamilton, a star for Atlanta Fire of Minor League Cricket, has been described by Caribbean Cricket podcast host Machel Hewitt as “clearly the best gloveman in the region” in a recent episode calling for his inclusion in the West Indies squad after standing out in first class cricket. Hamilton, who has appeared in one Test and one ODI for West Indies (in 2019 and 2021 respectively), is a top candidate for selection in this year’s Major League Cricket domestic player draft. “Pup” has scored 598 runs in 29 Minor League Cricket innings for one of the league’s top teams, at a strike rate of 141.04. 

Vikash Mohan was named in the USA Cricket Men’s training squad in 2019, and has played in 26 matches for the East Bay Blazers, consistently one of the top teams in Minor League Cricket. Mohan has scored 445 runs at a 125 strike rate with a high score of 46 in the cutthroat Western Division. 

USA Cricket’s failure to make space in zonal teams for cricketers who are participating in Full Member first class systems abroad has brought into question the quality of the National Championships. Instead, five cricketers who have yet to appear in Minor League Cricket currently occupy slots on zonal teams, as well as some who have not participated in Minor League Cricket for at least the past year. Only 27 of 60 Major League Cricket domestic players are included in zonal team rosters. 

According to recent correspondence between USA Cricket and Australian agent Ben Tippett, only players who have participated in Zonal trials will be considered for national team selection for the World Cup. Trials for zonal selection have taken place at indoor facilities across the United States during first class cricket seasons abroad in which USA eligible players are participating.

USA Cricket Zonal and National selection developments continue to be a hot topic on Emerging Cricket’s Big Innings weekly podcast

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