USA name 15-member squad for Women's World Cup global qualifiers; Lisa Ramjit recalled
USA celebrate a wicket. © ICC
Lisa Ramjit and Mahika Kandanala have made their way into United States of America's 15-member squad for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 in Zimbabwe beginning on November 21. The pair will replace Laasya Mullapudi and Holly Charles - who didn't make the trip for logistical reasons - in the 15-member squad that took part in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Mexico earlier this month.
The tournament will mark USA's return to 50-over international cricket for the first time since 2011 when they featured in the Women's World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh. Current vice-captain Shebani Bhaskar was the standout performer for USA in that tournament, scoring a match-winning half-century against Zimbabwe in the team's only win at the time.
The Sindhu Sriharsha-led squad has a similar youthful feel to it, with the impressive teenage sextet of Anika Kolan, Chetnaa Prasad, Gargi Bhogle, Geetika Kodali, Isani Vaghela and Suhani Thadani all keeping their places following the tournament in Mexico. In fact, both Bhogle (95 runs) and Thadani (8 wickets) finished at the top of USA's batting and bowling charts, respectively.
"The Selection Panel was pleased with the performance of the squad in Mexico in winning the title, with many of the new young players performing admirably," said Ritesh Kadu, chair of USA's women's national selection panel. "We have looked to select the most balanced squad possible for the expected conditions in Zimbabwe, and we are confident all 15 players will represent the United States well in what will be a very challenging tournament against several ICC Full Members.”
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Through the Americas qualifiers, USA were the strongest side on display, recording five wins in six matches to top the table with 10 points, thus claiming their spot in the Women's T20 World Cup global qualifiers next year.
Having watched her young side taste plenty of success in Mexico after handing out a flurry of debut caps, USA head coach Julia Price admitted that USA's next assignment is a daunting one, adding that she has full faith in her players.
“We are under no illusion as to the scale of the task that we have at hand in Zimbabwe, but also as to the scale of opportunity for our young squad to go and try to achieve something historic for American cricket. I was delighted with the full squad’s efforts in Mexico and we are happy to progress to the Global Qualifier in Twenty20 but the 50 Overs challenge presents a different experience for us. We will be competing against no fewer than six ICC Full Members for the three places at the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup. We know these teams will be stronger than anything the USA has faced previously. Still, we are relishing the chance of showing how good our young talent is, and being competitive.”
The tournament in Zimbabwe will see 10 teams compete for the three remaining spots in the ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand next year. USA will come up against the likes of Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, West Indies, and hosts Zimbabwe through the course of the tournament.
Although World Cup qualification is on the line, USA have additional motivation to try and make their way into the top five for the tournament. The eight teams that take part in next year's World Cup will be joined by the fourth and fifth placed teams in the next cycle of the ICC Women's ODI Championship that has been expanded to 10 teams.
Squad: Sindhu Srihasha (captain), Shebani Bhaskar (vice-captain), Akshatha Rao, Anika Kolan, Chetnaa Prasad, Gargi Bhogle, Geetika Kodali, Isani Vaghela, Lisa Ramjit, Mahika Kandanala, Moksha Chaudhary, Sara Farooq, Suhani Thadani, Tara Norris, Uzma Iftikar