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U.S. Team Loses Out On Massiah

By Orin Davidson
Nov. 12th, 2008
Already facing a baptism of fire, the United States national cricket team finds itself under added adversity after losing the services of the country’s most accomplished batsman and captain Steve Massiah for the West Indies limited overs championship, set to bowl off Thursday in Guyana.

Steve Massiah


Dennis Evans


Akeem Dodson

In all, three other changes were made to the squad which left for Guyana on Monday night.

According to a well placed source, Massiah will miss the series because of work commitments that forced him to undertake a trip to China, that will not allow him to return in time for the two-week series. Massiah is realtor with the Ahmad Group of Companies.

It is understood he was hoping to play the United States’ final two preliminary matches against Trinidad and Tobago and the Combined Universities on November 17 and 18 respectively. But apparently the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) wanted him for the entire series.

Sudesh Dhaniram, is also missing from the original squad, as well as key batsman Rashard Marshall and Shaeed Munir. Munaff Mohamed, vice president of USACA explained that the three players cited job release problems.

Akeem Dodson and Dennis Evans, two young players who pundits feel should’ve been selected in the original 14, along with Tim Allen and Robert Cresser are the replacements.

Dhaniram, a prolific scorer in domestic New York competition, at 41 years would’ve been making his debut for the United States, 14 years after he last represented Guyana in West Indies first class competition.
It is debatable whether the US team will miss his services, but the younger Marshall, a heavy scorer in US cricket will be a tough loss.

The absence of Massiah and Marshall has further weakened the US which could not acquire the services of Sushil Nadkarnie and Khawaja Shuja, two proven key national players, from the inception. They too cited work commitment issues.

Allrounder Orlando Baker will take the reins as captain for the first time.

Dodson who is good enough to be a specialist batsman, and is the first choice wicketkeeper whenever he plays in the Big Apple, should thrive with the exposure. Likewise is Evans, ranked very highly by coaches in New York for his batting ability, who once played in Jamaican junior teams.

Allen also had a promising stint in the junior ranks as an allrounder while Cresser is an older version of an allrounder, who both play out of Florida.

The squad had a practice session yesterday in Georgetown and will launch their campaign against Barbados on Friday at the Providence Stadium.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage

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