Will US cricket team qualify for T20 World Cup?

USA Cricket
Image credit: USA Cricket

Team USA Captain Monank Patel is optimistic ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier ‘B’ in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

By  Kiran N. Kumar

With a fast-growing number of followers for cricket, especially among the immigrants from South Asia and the West indies, the United States cricket team is gearing up to qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup this year.

USA Men’s National Team are in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier ‘B’ to play with hosts on Monday July 11.

The team will battle it out for the final two qualification spots at the main ICC (International Cricket Council) Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, to be held in Australia in November.

Read: Bridgeport city to support construction of international cricket stadium (July 1, 2022)

The USA team was in news when they won the ODI status in April 2019 after beating Hong Kong by 84 runs in the World Cricket League Division II. Now, they are scheduled to play in the T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier, Regional Finals, starting Aug 18.

Though the history of United States cricket is traceable to the 18th century around the time of the Civil War, it failed to kick off when baseball rose in popularity.

Though in between the Philadelphia cricket team saw the sport revive and survive until the start of World War I, the prevalence of baseball and other sports restrained the resurgence of cricket for nearly a century.

Now, the increasing number of immigrants from South Asia helped revive it as USA Cricket Association (USACA) in the 21st century though it was forced to be folded in 2017 by the ICC due to its increasing debt and failure to ratify a certified constitution.

In January 2019, a new body known as USA Cricket was approved as a new associate member of the ICC, replacing the USACA as the United States’ representative.

However, the road ahead is still tough for the US team which should win a tough qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe and finish in the top two at the Qualifier B event later this week.

Next, it has to take on Jersey, Singapore and Australia in the group stage of the eight-team tournament before a possible semifinal clash against a different opponent from the opposing group.

Team USA Captain Monank Patel is optimistic. “For the last 3 years we have been waiting for this moment to get back to a global qualifier having missed out from the Americas Regionals in 2019.”

“Qualification for Australia 2022 would represent the biggest achievement ever for this team and we are all incredibly focused on achieving that goal this week.”

Aaron Jones, Vice-Captain is equally confident that the entry into the T20 World cup tournament will open a whole lot of avenues, now and in the future. Moreover, qualifying for the T20 World Cup for USA will help feature in the 2024 event as tournament hosts.

Read: TWO PLACES AT THE T20 WORLD CUP UP FOR GRABS AS TEAM USA MEN BEGIN QUALIFIER TODAY IN ZIMBABWE (July 11, 2022)

“If we could get to World Cup so you get to the highest level of cricket, to compete with the West Indies, Australia, India, all the teams that are playing full member cricket for sure, it would open a lot of doors,” Jones was quoted as saying by ICC ahead of the opening game. Jones is the second leading run-scorer for the USA in both T20Is and ODIs.

USA squad: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Ali Khan, Cameron Stevenson, Gajanand Singh, Jaskaran Malhotra, Marty Kain, Nisarg Patel, Rusty Theron, Saurabh Netravalkar, Steven Taylor, Sushant Modani, Yasir Mohammed, Vatsal Vaghela.

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