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Vashishat Sees Tournament As Learning Experience For USA

Jan. 27th, 2010
Indian-born Shiva Vashishat, captain of the USA team at the U19 CWC, say his team will go home more experienced and all the better for having played in the tournament – regardless of their results.

Shiva Vashishat (c) leading his troop off the field during the ICC Under-19 World Cup Tournament. (Photos courtesy of USACA)

A big part of the tournament, he believes, is the opportunity to play at a different level and in different conditions. "It’s been a great experience so far, playing against test nations and a lot of our guys have never played at this level," he said.

"We’ve performed really well in the bowling and the fielding but the only area we’ve failed in was the batting. But all of the guys have learnt a lot from this experience."

Vashishat’s team held a training session at Napier’s Nelson Park on Sunday morning, waiting for the outcome of the day’s two quarter-final matches in the Plate Championship, to see which team his players would come up against on Monday.

He said no matter which opponent the USA faced, the game plan he intends to execute would be similar to others he’s played out in this tournament. "Most of the teams here we’ve played before in global qualifying matches so we know what they do and how they play.

"Mainly, our game plan is to bat first, especially on these very good wickets, which are different from what we have played on. Most of the time we like to bat first and put up a good score and defend it," he said.

The New Zealand wickets have been a spectacular feature for the USA squad because at home they normally train and play on matting wickets.

"We don’t really have turf wickets so it’s a new experience for a lot of the players. We’ve played on the wickets in Canada and they were a lot different to the ones here," Vashisat said.

"For many of the players it’s been hard for them to adjust, it’s very different – but in the future we hope we can get some good turf wickets in the USA so we are better prepared next time."

There’s an interesting mix of cultures in Vashisat’s team, some players are from Pakistan, Afghanistan and "a lot from India" as well as American-born players who have taken on cricket as their first sport, ahead of the traditional football and baseball.

"I’ve been living in the USA for about nine years now and when I arrived in the country, cricket wasn’t very popular.

"But as I grew up, cricket has also grown and it’s going very well in the USA, especially in the west and the east because that’s where all of the immigrants are. It’s even getting to the stage where cricket is being played in high schools so the sport is growing fast."
Courtesy of ICC

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