WATCH: USA gets down to business USA cricket team practice at Old Mutual Academy in Bulawayo

Brandon Moyo
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THE United States of America (US) cricket team is wasting no time in getting down to business. Their first training session was at the renowned Old Mutual Academy, formerly known as the Heath Streak Academy yesterday.

USA cricket team practice at Old Mutual Academy in Bulawayo

The team which hit the ground running, landed in the City of Kings and Queens on Monday. The Americans who are practicing alongside local Tuskers players in the nets, are preparing for the upcoming Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers set to start on June 18 and end on July 9.

When the news crew visited the training venue yesterday, the visitors were engrossed in batting and bowling drills as they worked to acclimate themselves to the Zimbabwean conditions.

The Americans decided to come early for the tournament as the other eight nations are expected in the country on June 11. This will be the Americans’ maiden appearance in the World Cup and their skipper, Monank Patel emphasised the significance of the qualifiers to them. Patel, a seasoned visitor to Zimbabwe as this is his third visit, said his experience in the country will be invaluable.

“These are very important qualifiers for us, our first time playing World Cup Qualifiers (ODI), so we want to make sure we get used to the conditions here before the tournament. This is my third time to visit Zimbabwe and the experience will help us a lot,” said Patel.

He said the pitches in Zimbabwe were an advantage to the US team.
The Americans are in the group that includes favourites like West Indies, Nepal, the Netherlands and the host nation, Zimbabwe. Undeterred by the tough competition, Patel affirmed that they would approach the matches with confidence, playing their normal cricket to avoid succumbing to pressure.

“We have played against Zimbabwe before but we have not played against West Indies. What is also to our advantage is that we have also played against some of those players in Super 50. It’s not about questioning our strength hence we want to play our normal cricket,” said Patel.

The 30-year-old skipper also expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance in their training session. They are scheduled to have their second practice session today at the Academy followed by a 50-over match against the Tuskers on Thursday. The two teams will engage in two 50-over clashes and their final will be played on Saturday.

The Americans will then proceed to face Ireland in their first official warm-up match on June 13 at the Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) followed by a clash against Sri Lanka on June 15 at the same venue. Once the warm-up games are completed, the team will relocate to Harare where their group stage matches will be played.

USA cricket team practice

Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wil play their games in Bulawayo.
The top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six stage where they will face off against the sides they didn’t meet in the group stage.

The points accumulated in the group stage will be carried forward to the Super Six stage except for those earned
against the bottom two teams in each group.
The finalists will both book their ticket to the World Cup in India in October.
— @brandon_malvin

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