Sports

Shebani Bhaskar to lead USA team on Australian tour

March 01, 2018 12:43 PM

Punjab News Express/Balbir Singh
INDIANAPOLIS: Shebani Bhaskar will lead the USA Women’s National team which will tour Australia next month with an eye firmly on the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 that will be held in Australia for the first time in two years’ time, according to USA Project Officer Wade Edwards.

Chicago born Shebani, who originally hails from Chennai, is excited to play for Team USA and participate in the team’s first international tournament in five years. She believes that wearing the American colors and representing the United States is an honor and privilege, and one that she will not take lightly.

During this developmental tour, the team will spend time at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, working with some of the best coaches in cricket on various aspects of the game – both on and off the field, before travelling to Sydney for the second leg of the tour. The team will play a variety of T20 and 50 over matches against QLD and NSW where the group will test their skills against some of the best players in the world.
USA Women’s National coach Anand Tummala, who recently spent three weeks in Australia on a coaching professional development program, understands what an incredible opportunity this is for his team.

“I have seen first-hand the amazing facilities, and the talented women’s players that the Australian cricket system is producing. Although we are seeing this as a developmental tour, it is the best possible scenario for us as we begin our preparations towards qualification for the ICC World Twenty20, 2020 in Australia.”

The team will depart the USA on March 22 and will be the first ever national representative USA side to undertake a tour of Australia. Julie Abbott, USA Women’s National Selector, sees the tour as an ideal opportunity to build on the progress made during the ICC European/Americas Qualifier held last year in Scotland.

“We learned a huge amount from the ICC Europe/Americas Qualifier last summer coming up against high quality teams in Scotland and Netherlands. I believe this tour will help to build on those learnings and give our women the opportunity to improve both individually and as a team in some of the very best facilities in the world in Australia. We have seen how Cricket Australia is pioneering so many things for women’s cricket of late with the hugely successful Women’s Big Bash League and we hope that we can help bring our squad to the next level with this critical developmental tour of Australia.”

The squad: Shebani Bhaskar (Captain), Sugetha Kalyanaraman, Erica Rendler, Onika Wallerson, Nadia Gruny, Samantha Ramautar, Sindhuja Reddy, Claudine Beckford, Neha Anand, Sara Farooq, Uzma Iftikhar, Candacy Atkins, Anahita Arora and Rabia Shahid.

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