Ireland and USA cut Men’s U19 games from Historic Florida series

USA U19 Head Coach Kevin Darlington addresses players at the 2021 U19 selection camp

USA Cricket and Cricket Ireland have announced in a joint release today the cancellation of planned U19 games between the two nations originally set to be a part of the historic series in Lauderhill, Florida. 

Though dates for the U19 games were never made public, both boards announced plans for the games along with their Men’s contests in their original announcement on November 9

According to USA Cricket’s announcement today, “The two boards, in consultation with the ICC, have made the decision to cancel the scheduled series in Florida, however, both boards are actively exploring the opportunity of playing the series at a new venue in the Caribbean in late December / early January. An update is expected to be made within the next 7-10 days.”

Also, according to the announcement, “Current travel restrictions and logistical issues have now made it impossible for the Irish Under-19s to be able to travel via the USA, and then onward travel to the Caribbean in time for the tournament.” 

The cancellation/postponement comes in a roller-coaster year for elite American U-19 cricketers. For the first time, USA Cricket held a U19 National Championship in April, which helped the selectors choose a training group from which the national Men’s U19 squad was selected. Starting in late July and running through early October, the majority of U19 team members participated in Minor League Cricket, the nation’s first USA Cricket supported coast-to-coast T20 franchise league.

In August, the ICC cancelled the Americas leg of the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup Qualifier, which automatically sent Canada through to qualify for the World Cup. In November, USA Cricket included the Men’s U19 team in the Men’s National Championship, where they won once and lost three against more experienced senior teams. Now, a month after announcing the Ireland series that would have provided a small level of consolation for the cancellation of the World Cup qualifier, the U19 team will again wait on news of their next contest. 

The games between respective Men’s senior teams will continue as scheduled, with ticket packages now on sale. Fans await the announcement of USA’s T20 and ODI squads set to take on Ireland, while Ireland have announced their squad nearly two weeks ago.

Teenagers Rahul Jariwala, leading runs scorer in the Men’s National Championships, Sanjay Krishnamurthi, who was selected for the ODI squad in the recent Oman series, and former USA U19 member Vatsal Vaghela, who was the top rated bowler in Minor League Cricket this year, have certainly made the case for an injection of youth into the team for the series. 

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