A slew of former international and first-class players have been enlisted as consultants to work with USA men’s, women’s and junior players at a specialist preparation camp from April 6-9 in Houston, Texas in an effort to give them a leg up on other teams in preparation for their respective ICC qualification events later this year.
Among the new arrivals expected this weekend are former Australian Test spinner Beau Casson, former Sheffield Shield wicketkeeper Peter Anderson and former West Indies fast bowler Mervyn Dillon.
Casson, 34, has been an assistant coach with New South Wales and Sydney Thunder since 2015 after being forced into early retirement in 2011 due to a heart condition. Dillon, 42, played 38 Tests for West Indies and ended his first-class career with Trinidad & Tobago in 2008. He has made regular appearances around the USA playing in private T20 tournaments in recent years and began pursuing a Cricket Australia Level Three coaching badge in Florida in 2012.
Anderson, 55, has forged a successful career at Associate level after a 56-match first-class career with Queensland and South Australia. He coached Papua New Guinea for two years culminating in a fourth place finish at the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand that secured ODI status for PNG. From there, he became the head of Afghanistan’s national cricket academy for two years. Most recently, Anderson took over as Cayman Islands coach and technical director last summer, and helped them defeat Argentina in a regional qualifier this February to gain a place at ICC World Cricket League Division Five, scheduled for September in South Africa.
Specialist fielding coach Trevor Penney, who worked with USA’s senior players at a camp in Indianapolis last September ahead of ICC WCL Division Four, has been brought back for another stint with the USA men’s team. Unlike the other three consultant coaches, who are being utilized for this weekend only, Penney is expected to stay with USA as a consultant assistant coach until the end of May as part of their staff for ICC WCL Division Three in Uganda, working alongside head coach Pubudu Dassanayake and assistant Anand Tummala.
Former India international Thiru Kumaran, who coached the USA U-19 squad in 2015 at the U-19 Americas Qualifier in Bermuda and U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Malaysia, has been brought back to continue working with junior players. Kumaran, 41, is currently based in Dallas, Texas where he runs a youth academy.
Aside from the men’s team, who are targeting a top two finish in Uganda next month to move a step closer to the 2018 World Cup Qualifier, key tournaments for the women’s and U-19 teams are also coming up in 2017. This weekend’s camp is being used as a launching pad for each team’s preparations with six players from each squad coming to the camp to train alongside the entire men’s national squad.
The USA Women were given a wildcard spot into the 2017 ICC Europe Qualifier where they will play Scotland and Netherlands this August for a chance to advance into the 2018 Women’s World T20 Qualifier. The USA U-19 team will head to Toronto for the U-19 Americas Qualifier in July as they attempt to qualify for the U-19 World Cup for the first time since 2010.