USA Cricket select 15 for Qualifier in Zimbabwe; Ali Khan suspension looms

Ali Khan celebrates the wicket of William McClintock Photo Credit: Peter Della Penna

USA Cricket have named 15 for their 2023 Men’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier team. 

Faced with the opportunity to advance to their first man ICC event since 2004, USA Cricket announced a 15 man squad which includes the same 14 players who were selected for March’s successful Qualifier Playoff. 

For the first time since entering into a landmark partnership with American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) in 2019, three ACE contract players were available for selection. All-rounders Corey Anderson and Shadley Van Schalkwyk, along with wicket keeper batsman Smit Patel recently qualified to represent USA internationally. Between them, the trio have appeared in 205 First Class and 239 List A matches, with Anderson having represented New Zealand internationally 93 times across three formats. 

Instead, selectors chose to continue with the team that got them this far, while also recalling promising young Abhishek Paradkar, a left arm medium bowler from California who appeared in two ODI in September of 2021.  

Paradkar’s inclusion seems to be in consideration for Ali Khan, who will need to serve two games of suspension before returning to the team. Khan’s suspension came on the back of his 7 wicket masterpiece against Jersey in the Qualifier Playoff, as the boisterous fast bowler had accumulated too many demerit points with a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct. Parakar’s inclusion gives USA Cricket another left arm option along with Saurabh Netravalkar, while Kyle Phillip and Jessy Singh become the right arm fast bowling options until Khan returns.

In better times, it would be reasonable to expect USA Cricket to schedule two internationals in order to satisfy the ICC’s suspension of Ali Khan ahead of the Qualifier. Khan’s production for USA Cricket is not easily replaced, a fact that’s evident in the franchise cricket star’s international record: a 14.6 bowling average at a 4.53 economy in 12 ODI for USA. Perhaps this would be a good time to revive the Auty Cup against Canada, the oldest rivalry in world sports. 

But the board’s recent financial struggles have perhaps contributed to no announcements made regarding additional International cricket on the calendar. The selection of 15 for the Qualifier suggests that USA Cricket are preparing to take on West Indies and Nepal without their superstar fast bowler. 

All-rounder Ian Holland, who also did not participate in the Qualifier Playoff in March, was not available for selection due to Hampshire commitments. The continued absence of a fast bowling all-rounder could have opened the door for either Van Schalkwyk or Anderson, both of which were taken in the inaugural Major League Cricket draft by LA Knight Riders and Texas Super Kings, respectively. Instead, USA will continue to lean on spinners for all-rounder duties, with Nisarg Patel and Steven Taylor taking the lion’s share of chances in the role, batter Gajanand Singh performing recently with the ball, and Nosthuch Kenjige emerging with the bat. 

USA Cricket will begin the ten team qualifier in a five team group along with West Indies, Zimbabwe, Netherlands and Nepal for a berth in the 2023 Men’s ICC Cricket World Cup. The tournament will begin with group games starting on June 18 and conclude after a “Super Six” round with the final on July 9. The top two teams will advance to the ten team 2023 ICC Men’s World Cup. 

2023 USA Cricket ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier Squad

Monank Patel
Aaron Jones
Shayan Jahangir
Nosthush Kenjige
Ali Khan
Sushant Modani
Sai Mukkamalla
Saurabh Netravalkar
Abhishek Paradkar
Nisarg Patel
Kyle Phillip
Usman Rafiq
Gajanand Singh
Jessy Singh
Steven Taylor

                        



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