After a review of the role, structure and composition of the National Selection Panels towards the end of last year, USA Cricket invited applications for the roles of National Selectors. All applications were carefully considered and, following a comprehensive process, the following individuals were recently appointed:
USA Cricket Men’s Selection Panel
Five selectors have appointed to the panel with two of them (Michael Voss and Amer Afzaluddin) continuing in the role to ensure some continuity. The five appointments are as follows:
• Michael Voss – Chair (2 years)
• Amer Afzaluddin (2 years)
• Orlando Baker (3 years)
• Clayton Lambert (3 years)
• Niraj Patel (3 years)
“We are fortunate to have been able to appoint a selection panel with a vast experience and knowledge of American cricket” said USA Cricket Chief Executive Iain Higgins. “I would like to wish Michael, as Chairman, and his panel of Amer, Clayton, Orlando and Niraj the very best in their new roles. In addition to putting the best USA team on the pitch for all matches, we have made a strategic decision to identify new and potential talent moving forward, and the selection panel will be charged with leading our efforts in this area as well.”
“I would like to acknowledge the high quality of all of the candidates that submitted applications and to thank everyone for their time and interest. I would also like to pay tribute to our outgoing selectors, Ricardo Powell, Asif Mutjaba and Jatin Patel (who held the role for a short period in the past few months). Selection of senior national teams is not an easy matter, especially in a country the size of the United States and with a fragmented domestic structure, and we would like to express our deep gratitude for their dedicated service in the role over the past few years.”
The new Selectors have already been busy convening to select a squad of players who will be attending a Talent Camp to be held at the Prairie View Cricket Complex in Houston from March 6 to March 8. The Talent Camp will feature 26 players* and is being run with the following twin objectives:
- To take a close look at a small group of players who are under consideration for the upcoming series against Scotland and UAE.
- To start to get a look at a range of other younger players who might well play a role within a USA team at various levels in the future, including a number of young players from our recent U19 squads and a few young players that are joining us from India.
“The appointment of the selection panels, and the announcement of the Talent Camp in Houston are just parts of a more robust and wide-ranging selection methodology and process that will be implemented over time and which includes, for the first time in years, a common selection platform to select from. The return of domestic cricket pathway competitions which begin this summer in 2020, including regional and national tournaments as well as a nationwide Minor League over 170 matches, will provide more players than ever with the opportunity to perform consistently and impress the selectors” said Iain Higgins.
New Chairman of the Selection Panel, Michael Voss, explained, “The Talent Camp in Houston has been specifically designed to give the Selectors the best possible options ahead of the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup League series next month in Fort Lauderdale. On this occasion, it is an invitation-only camp where we have invited a group of players for whom the primary purpose will be to spend three days together working on fitness, fielding, skills and match specific scenarios.”
“In addition to allowing us to take a close look at some of the players around the current squad, it also allows us an opportunity to work with some emerging and younger players to start to get a handle on the depth of talent that might be available to USA Cricket in the future. The camp is a good starting point for that exercise, but we recognize that there are a number of other players out there that might be similarly talented and who will nevertheless have the opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities through the new domestic competitions and force their way into National team consideration. We look forward to watching that talent emerge over the coming months.”
In related matters, the recruitment process for the next Men’s Head Coach is nearing completion. Following an exhaustive search that has uncovered a number of outstanding candidates, the preferred candidate, former first class Ranji Trophy and IPL player and coach, J Arunkumar, has been invited to the USA to meet with USA Cricket officials for further discussions about the potential for him to assume a permanent position with USA Cricket. As part of that invitation and process, Mr Arunkumar will also be invited to meet support staff and players and to observe at the upcoming Talent Camp in Houston as well as at the ODI series in Fort Lauderdale. USA Cricket CEO, Iain Higgins explained the situation, “USA Cricket will not be contracting any individual in the role of Head Coach and the recruitment process will continue until negotiations and related visa processes with the preferred candidate have been formally concluded, and therefore no further announcements about the process or potential candidates will be made at this stage.”
Finally, much progress has been made with the appointment of a new Women’s Selection Panel and a separate announcement about the identity of the new Panel will be made very shortly.
*Players who have been invited to and are attending the Talent Camp are: