USA warmed up well for the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, beginning in Namibia next month, after finishing their tour of the United Arab Emirates with a 2-1 series win over the hosts, a 3-0 sweep against a second-string UAE XI, and victory in the one-off clash against Lancashire in a series of one-day matches.
The USA began the tour with a 1-0 defeat in the two-match T20I series against UAE, but bounced back to win six of the seven one-day games on tour. The six-wicket victory against Lancashire would have been most pleasing for USA, given it was, reportedly, their first match against an English county team since Philadelphia toured England in 1903.
The tour was a roaring success on the whole, but Pubudu Dassanayake, the USA coach, said there was plenty of work that went behind it. “It was a challenge,” Dassanayake said. “It is not easy, especially when you have to put Caribbean players together with Asians, because they have learned the game in different ways.
“Even though they are talented players, the way they use that talent is different. Getting them into the same mindset was not easy. I am very satisfied with how things have gone in the past one year. Now, more than relying on talent, it is about working as a team.”
Dassanayake was one of key figures behind Nepal achieving ODI status, having served as their head coach. He is now determined to push USA to similar heights, starting with next month’s WCL 2.
“Everyone is very clear of their roles, and they are hungry to win,” he said. “If we can have a good tournament in Namibia, I think it will do a lot for USA cricket. There is a lot of cricket being played in the US. It is just about that being channeled into the team. But we need to perform for that to happen.”
Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, was also impressed with the visitors, and tipped them to “shock a few teams”.
“They are very committed to each other, and very disciplined,” Brown said. “They played really well and thoroughly deserved to win. They have a huge population, a lot of which is sub-continental and West Indian. Cricket is going to be in their blood.
“It just needs a spark to be ignited from the national side to really get the game going, being the population is there.”