The countdown has begun for the star-studded US Cricket Open Twenty20 championship which has been expanded to 20 teams, featuring an increasingly long list of Test and international players.
Big name Indian national team stars Irfan Pathan and Yousuf Pathan along with ex West Indies batsman Wavell Hinds are the latest Test stars confirmed to parade his skills in the December 3-5 showdown, owned and organized by Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) and set for the Central Broward County Regional Park Stadium and Brian Piccolo Park, Florida.
They will join the previously confirmed Ramnaresh Sarwan, Daren Ganga, Narsingh Deonarine, Jermaine Lawson, Dave Mohamed, Brenton Parchment, Donovan Pagan, Adam Stanford along with Pakistanis Ata-Ur-Rehman and Arshad Khan, who have all acquired Test caps for their countries.
In addition, almost all of the United States national team members will be in action in the biggest T20 competition ever to be staged here, where franchise teams representing the Regions, making up the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA), will battle for attractive cash prizes.
Also, Sixersports Daredevils and Team Bradford Lions, two clubs from England will be the first ever foreign participants in the US Cricket Open.
Last year’s runners- up Destroyers, one of the most successful American T20 teams around, will be coming strong with two squads – New York Destroyers and Florida Destroyers, and along with United Chargers, another of the Big Apple- based contenders, comprise the strongest domestic lineups on paper.
Sarwan, the former West Indies captain, controversially omitted from the West Indies squad touring Sri Lanka, will substantially boost United Chargers along with fellow WI batsman Deonarine. They will join forces with U.S. captain Steve Massiah who has drafted most of the national team members, including Sushil Nadkarnie, Rashard Marshall, Tim Allen, Mohamed Ghous and Carl Wright among others. Former Guyana wicketkeeper/ batsman Vishal Nagamootoo is also included.
Similarly New York Destroyers and Florida Destroyers will included a number of foreign stars.
Daren Ganga, Dave Mohamed and William Perkins of the former West Indies T20 champs Trinidad and Tobago will appear for NY Destroyers along with local stars including Lennox Cush – the Guyana allrounder specialist, Andrew Gonsalves, Ken Darlington, Orlando Baker, Dwayne Smith and Barrington Bartley. They will also have ex WI paceman Lawson. International super-star Keiron Pollard, was also included but had to withdraw due to West Indies commitments. Discarded West Indies wicketkeeper/ batsman Dinesh Ramdin will spearhead Florida Destroyers’ challenge with fellow Trinidadians Sherwin Ganga and Navin Stewart.
Jamaica national team regulars Danza Hyatt, Kris Santokie and Shaun Findlay will provide additional strength while top New Yorkers Akeem Dodson, Zaheer Saffie along with former West Indies paceman Standford are also included.
Brothers Irfan and Yousuf Pathan will carry the load for Boom Boom CFCA Royals while Ata-Ur- Rehman, the paceman who played for Pakistan will spearhead Sixersports Daredevils of England.
Hard hitting batsman Hinds, who also plays for Derbyshire in the English County Championship will be Miami Thunder’s trump card.
Also Pagon and Parchment, regular Jamaican players along with Antiguan Wilden Cornwall will appear for Caribbean Stars.
At stake will be a first prize of US $25,000. The full list of 20 teams are: Washington Tigers, Team Bradford Lions, Florida Destroyers, Metropolitan Giants, Boom Boom CFCA Royals, Caribbean Stars, Pakistan Magic, US Tigers, New York Destroyers, Washington CC Lankans, MSCL Rebels, Sixersport Daredevils, SGCC Blues, Miami Thunder, US All Stars, New York Dodgers, Virginia Warriors, United Chargers, Boyd Wizards and 20 BDS Kings.