Today in Dubai the US Men beat the UAE in a 50 over match by nine wickets — which is a real thumping in cricketing terms. Steven Taylor took a five wicket haul and scored 68 not out in the rain shortened match (yes, it rained again in Dubai). The result meant the US won the series 2-1, which made it a nice set up for their trip to Namibia and the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament.
That is a six team tournament that starts on April 20, with the final on April 27. (Talk about efficient cricket!) The top four sides from that tournament join Scotland, Nepal and the UAE in the Cricket World Cup League 2 and gain ODI status which no matter what happens is a big deal as it means the US will have the chance to play a lot more ODIs down the road.
The Cricket World Cup League 2 is a two year long tournament set to begin in July of this year. The top three teams of that league will advance to a World Cup Qualifier tournament in 2022, with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup to be held in India.
And so lots of exciting things to come for the US men. The 2023 World Cup is more than likely out of their reach, but the chance to play as many as 20 ODIs in the Cricket World Cup League 2 is a prize in and of itself. Which makes the upcoming tournament in Namibia worth paying attention to.
The other five sides in the tournament are Canada, Oman, Namibia, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. As mentioned, the tournament kicks off on April 20 and it’s a round robin style tournament with each team playing every other team once. The US starts their tournament against on the opening day against Oman, then plays Namibia on April 21, PNG on April 23, Hong Kong on April 24 and closes out the group stage on April 26 against Canada. Five matches in seven days. Woof. Then it’s a 5th place playoff, a 3rd place payoff and a final, all on April 27. I guess this means that the top four advancing sides will be decided by the group stage, not by a knockout stage, which is probably the best way to do it in the end. For while we as fans miss out on a must-win-to-finish-fourth match for the US, every match of the group stage will be, more or less, a must win.
It should be a lot of fun.
I believe the games will stream on USA Cricket’s website. Be sure to tune in and enjoy the US men’s team play entertaining and meaningful international cricket for the first time in a very long time.