*** ----> USA looking for wins in T20 World Cup debut | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

USA looking for wins in T20 World Cup debut

AFP | Fort Lauderdale, United States  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The USA will make their debut in the T20 World Cup and while they earned the spot as a result of co-hosting the tournament with the West Indies, they are determined to show they can make an impact among the big boys.

Cricket has a curious history in North America -- the first ever international match featured the USA against Canada in 1844 but the lingering influence of the colonial-era game faded as baseball gained prominence.

The USA has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1965 and frequently competed in the tournaments for non-Test nations.

But the Americans have never featured in either the T20 World Cup or the ODI version, with their only appearance in a major tournament at the 2004 Champions Trophy, where they were roundly beaten by New Zealand and Australia in the group stage.

Grassroots participation has grown over recent years though with thriving local leagues and the T20 format has been used to develop a stronger base with Minor League Cricket and Major League Cricket emerging in the past few years.

It is too soon for those structures to have had an impact on the national side but smart use of the qualification criteria has seen the side become increasingly competitive.

The team coached by Australian Stuart Law head into the tournament on the back of a 2-1 T20I series win over Bangladesh that has provided them with real belief.

The Americans won the opening two games before resting several key starters to provide some opportunity for their back-ups.

The USA, captained by Monank Patel, will have to face giants India and Pakistan along with Ireland and Canada in the group stage.