The USA U19 cricket team is currently in a training camp and is receiving assistance from New Zealand Cricket as part of its new strategic partnership.
New Zealand coaches Hamish Barton and Dipak Patel will help the USA U19 squad prepare for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) in New Zealand, and also assist the senior squad in its preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in UAE and Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in Nepal in February.
Speaking to Cricinfo, NZC Chief Executive, Justin Vaughan, said: "Patel, the former New Zealand off-spinner, who has coached our U19 team as well as some of the New Zealand first-class guys will be going along with Barton, who played first-class cricket in New Zealand and is the head of the New Zealand cricket coach education team and our coach education programme."
"As well as his coaching expertise, Hamish can bring a background of what you do in cricket and what an overall coach education programme looks like. So we are not just talking about a situation where he works with the U19s or with the national team, but instead he can start to add value to the overall structures of US cricket, in terms of their coach education programmes and trying to give some advice or sharing the knowledge that we have in terms of training our coaches. We can do that for the United States as well and that's obviously one of the benefits that USACA can gain out of a partnership with a Full Member of the ICC."
The U19 squad will also receive assistance from NZC when it arrives in Christchurch in early January to get acclimatised and receive additional training ahead of the ICC U19 CWC at the New Zealand Cricket High Performance Centre, which will help them access facilities which are unavailable in the USA.
"I believe they're arriving on the second or third of January," said Vaughan. "I imagine Dipak and Hamish will be working with the team during that preparation phase. They will have already established relationships in the camp that will be held later this week, but they will be working with them in January as well. We'll get them competitive games, whether they're against New Zealand teams or against our U19 side who are in New Zealand preparing prior to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, so that they're as well-prepared as they can be."