USA Cricket have announced their squad for the ICC America’s T20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, which will be contested in Mexico from October 18 through October 25. The competition will be the first international action for USA Cricket’s Women’s team since September of 2019.
Joining team USA in Mexico will be Argentina, Brazil, and Canada’s women’s teams. Cricket Canada made some waves last month when they advanced to the 2022 Men’s Under 19 World Cup by default, after withdrawing from the qualifiers citing Covid-19 concerns. The qualifiers were then cancelled by the ICC, and Canada were put through to the World Cup based on their superior record over the previous five U-19 qualifying events.
USA Cricket have increased activity around the women’s game substantially since early summer of this year, after little action since the fall of 2019. The inaugural Woman’s Championship and Women’s U-19 Championships were held this summer, and helped selectors determine the national women’s team named this week, a squad which includes 9 debutants.
‘For the past few months, all of us have played a lot of domestic competitive games,’ captain Sindhu Sriharsha told Emerging Cricket following the Women’s National Championships.
‘These experiences will definitely come in handy for the qualifiers. All of the games from intra regionals, regionals and nationals have been very competitive. The runs under the belt, wickets and time in the middle are all invaluable experience that will build confidence in players.’
Some players had the chance to participate in both the Women’s National Championships and the U19 Women’s National Championships, like Geetika Kodali.
‘It has definitely been a thrill playing in the senior nationals. I feel like I learned a lot and was constantly being challenged to improve my game,’ Geetika told Emerging Cricket.
‘The U19 nationals are pretty special in my mind because it is a chance for the younger girls to improve and challenge each other. This will lead to a more competitive national pool as more and more u19 girls push to make the national team.’
The Women’s U-19 National Championship provided extra opportunities for the youth to perform under the watchful eye of coach Julia Price and the selection committee. Certainly that opportunity paid off for some, as the tentative 15 player squad (the squad will be later reduced to 14) is composed of 7 teenagers, six of which played for the U-19 National Champion West team.
Also joining the team will be 23-year old left hand pacer Tara Norris, an English domestic cricketer born in Philadelphia who most recently played with the Southern Brave in The Hundred.
‘It is truly fantastic that we are finally getting back into action on the international stage after what’s been an incredibly lengthy wait,’ Head Coach Julia Price was quoted in the announcement.
‘It’s been a brilliant year of domestic action though and the new domestic structure has given our players the opportunity to test and challenge themselves both on and off the field in order to be selected for the national team. With a great balance of experience and outstanding new talent coming through the system, we are better prepared than ever before and very excited to play cricket for the USA after two long years away from the international game.’
Along with the team announcement, two veteran USA Cricket players have also announced their retirement. Nadia Gruny and Samantha Ramautar, veterans of 27 and 19 USA internationals respectively, have retired from international cricket, but will occupy key off the field roles for USA Cricket. Nadia Gruny will continue her duties as a USA Cricket Board member, and Ramautar will work with the newly founded Constitutional Review Working Group.
Team USA Women’s Squad
Sindhu Sriharsha (captain)
Shebani Bhaskar (vice-captain)
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