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Indian-laden US squad are aiming to shine for former West Indian star Chanderpaul

Having impressed on their recent UAE tour, the USA U19 T20 squad will be aiming to explode on their nation's maiden World Cup appearance in South Africa.

Indian-laden US squad are aiming to shine for former West Indian star Chanderpaul

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 10 Jan 2023 8:15 AM GMT

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the first Indo-Caribbean cricketer to bag a milestone mark of 100 Test centuries, is making the headlines for being a star name.

However, the 48-year-old is not just a former West Indian captain who achieved glory when the Caribbean side were a force to be reckoned with. The Guyanese-born batsman is now gunning for T20 World Cup glory with the USA Cricket Women's U19 squad.

He was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in November, yet got more global attention just before Christmas when mentioned by Jamaican rapper Sean Paul. The veteran hitmaker recently admitted that Chanderpaul inspired him to adopt the moniker of Sean da Paul in his live shows.

The international dancehall sensation explained: "There's a famous cricketer [named] Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Everybody was like 'Sean da Paul,' and that name stuck. Then I just started to say it in shows."

Chanderpaul may have been a household name with the Windies since the mid-90s until his retirement in 2016, yet for the past 20 years it is that name heard on no.1 hits which is music to his ears.

Since stepping into coaching for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2022 Caribbean Premier League, Florida-based Chanderpaul was named as both the USA senior and U-19 women's head coach. The US signed him last July, as they wanted a shot at becoming the first ever US women's cricket team to feature in a World Cup.

He has been given an almost chance to show his worth, with his squad for the inaugural ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup featuring a plethora of Indian-born players.

This squad is a more diverse representation of India than their Indian counterparts in the 16-nation tournament in South Africa that will take place from 14-19 January. The cities of Benoni and Potchefstroom will play host.

As well as the US, the 11 ICC full-Member nations who received automatic entry to the event consists of Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The remaining four spots were filled by one team from each of the ICC's regions, namely Indonesia, Rwanda, Scotland and the UAE.

The US team squad comprises 15 Indian-origin members including Chanderpaul, California-born captain Kodali Geetika, Taranum Chopra, Aditi Chudasama, Bhumika Bhadriraju, Disha Dhingra, Isani Vaghela, Jivana Aras, Laasya Mullapudi, Pooja Ganesh (wicketkeeper), Pooja Shah, Ritu Singh, Sai Tanmayi Eyyunni, Snigdha Paul, Suhani Thadani. Even the five non-travelling reserve players also boast Indian origins, namely Tya Gonsalves, Mitali Patwardhan, Chetnaa Prasad, Lisa Ramjit and Kasturi Vedantham.

Chanderpaul oversaw a successful tour of the UAE with the U19 Ladies. As a result 14 of that squad have been selected for this World Cup adventure, with Chopra the only addition to the squad going to South Africa.

With the USA thrown into Group A they will face some tricky white ball games against Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Their first match is against Sri Lanka at Willowmoore Park, Benoni on 14 January. The US return 48 hours later to face the ever-powerful Australians and battle it out with Bangladesh on 18 January.

For those who fancy a flutter on who could take top honours then it's worth keeping an eye on how the underdogs of the US, laden with Indian roots, fares with some of the best POLi betting sites like bet365.

The Americans have every chance to navigate their way to the Super Six portion of the showpiece tournament, as the top three sides at the completion of the group stage will progress for these clashes.

Chanderpaul enthusiastically revealed on USA Cricket's website: "We are focusing on final preparations for this historic World Cup for the players and for the USA. World Cups are incredibly special and we are really looking forward to representing the country on this fantastic platform."

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