USA determined to make most of opportunity

Tue, Feb 2, 2010 10:19 AM

USA determined to make most of opportunity
US captain Steve Massiah believes that his team is capable of qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 2010.

After receiving an invitation to play in the tournament, the USA has a tough group with Ireland, Scotland and Afghanistan, but Massiah believes his side is capable of returning to the top of Associate cricket when it plays at the ICC World Twenty20 2010 Qualifier which is being held in the UAE between 9-13 February.

"We are feeling very positive and very confident. Judging from the way we played in the last tournament, which was the Americas Cup, we feel good. We want to make the most of the opportunity to play in this event and we are all looking forward to it," said 30-year-old Massiah.

"As recently as 2004 we won the ICC six-nation tournament in the UAE and we qualified to play in the ICC Champions Trophy, where we had the chance to play against New Zealand and Australia.

"Judging from that we are optimistic that we can do well and are looking forward to competing. In Twenty20 cricket we can be a force to be reckoned with."

The USA suffered a major setback in its efforts to climb the world rankings when it lost to Jersey in the semi-final of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in 2008, meaning it missed out on promotion, but Massiah believes that his side have already overcome that disappointment by winning the ICC Americas Division One in November 2008.

"I think we made up for that disappointment by winning the ICC Americas Cup in Florida and defeated Canada and Bermuda who had taken part in the World Cup."

Massiah believes that his experienced squad possesses the talent to compete with some of the best players outside the Test playing countries, although admitted that they will look to Lennox Cush, who was part of the Stamford Superstars team in 2008, to be one of its star performers.

"We have a very balanced team with a wealth of experience, including people who have played at the first-class level.

"Lennox is very important as he has the opportunity to play a lot of Twenty20 cricket and was part of the Stanford squad that defeated England. He is very experienced and hopefully this will rub off on the other players."

The USA begins its campaign in the opening game of the tournament against Scotland on 9 February.

After this tournament, it will then begin its qualification efforts for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 by participating in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in Nepal which begins on 20 February.

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