USA Cricket strike Stevenson, Gannon and Couch from World Cup selection consideration

Cameron Gannon celebrates a wicket with Seattle Orcas teammates during an inaugural MLC season game.

USA Cricket have informed Cameron Gannon, Brody Couch and Cam Stevenson that they will not be eligible for selection into the USA Men’s National Team.

A letter sent from Jamie Lloyd, USA Cricket’s Development Director, to player agent Ben Tippett on March 8, 2024 stated “I have been instructed to clarify that for players to have been considered for National Team selection they needed to have participated in the Hub/Zonal pathways beginning with Hub and Zonal Trials in January/February, and concluding with the National T20 Championship Tournament March 14-17.

As I understand it, Cameron Gannon, Brody Couch and Cameron Stevenson all registered for the pathway, but did not participate, therefore would not be considered at this time.” 

All three currently reside in Australia and participate in the robust domestic cricket structure there. Trials for USA zonal teams were mostly performed at indoor venues at hubs across the USA. 

Tippett replied on March 9 saying “Having spoken to the players they have had very little to no communication about any of this aside from the initial registration of interest and both Couch and Stevenson would have made sure they were attending what was required had they known.

Brody Couch is still willing to come across for the games on the 14th if you are happy to include him? Stevenson is in a similar boat with regards to that! With regards to Cameron Gannon, it would have been difficult for him to attend given he is currently playing first class cricket in Australia.” 

Tippett then offered to provide fitness testing evidence and footage if required. 

Tippett was put in contact with USA Cricket on February 7 by Josh Dascombe, Major League Cricket Director of Finance and Cricket Operations, after expressing to Dascombe that the three players were interested in USA selection ahead of the 2024 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup. Lloyd indicated that he would discuss the issue with then-USA Cricket CEO Noor Murad on February 9, but did not reply until March 8, though Tippett had requested an update on February 28.

In the meantime, news of a soured relationship between Murad and the USA Board broke on the social media site “X” (formerly Twitter). On February 21, American cricket journalist Peter Della Penna posted Dr. Noor Murad, hired by USA Cricket as CEO in July, is in the process of being axed by the USA board, according to sources. However, when this was relayed to ICC officials, they allegedly communicated back to USA Cricket that they should ‘STRONGLY RECONSIDER’ before finalizing.”

Cameron Gannon has appeared for USA Cricket in four T20 Internationals, but has not represented the USA since 2019. Gannon won the 2023 Major League Cricket Bart King Trophy for the top domestic performer in the tournament’s inaugural season while helping his Seattle Orcas into the league final. Currently with Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield, Australia’s first class cricket league, the tall fast bowler routinely ranks among Shield wicket leaders.

Cameron Stevenson has represented USA Cricket 22 times on the International stage since 2019, most recently in September of 2022 in the Cricket World Cup League Two against Namibia in Port Moresby. Drafted by the Texas Super Kings during the 2023 MLC Domestic Draft, Stevenson did not appear in a game, but was retained by the Super Kings for the 2024 season. 

Brody Couch, just 24 years old, was selected by the San Francisco Unicorns. Though he did not appear in an MLC game during the league’s inaugural season, while buried in depth behind stars such as Liam Plunkett and Corey Anderson, Couch has represented the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL. 

News of these players’ exclusion from USA national team selection consideration comes at a time of controversial zonal selection decisions, as some of the nation’s top domestic performers have been ruled out for the National Championships. These exclusions, as well as the resulting questionable quality and standard of the National Championship tournament, were topics of discussion on Emerging Cricket’s latest Big Innings podcast

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