Monday, May 20, 2024

Maxwell, Law sign on as Aussie influence in USA cricket grows |

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Former international batter appointed USA men’s coach for T20 World Cup as Glenn Maxwell becomes latest Australian to commit to the MLC

Queensland great Stuart Law says he’s excited to be the coach chosen by USA Cricket to spearhead its historic push to make the sport a national hit over their breakthrough World Cup summer.

The 55-year-old former Australian international batter has been confirmed as head coach of the United States men’s team in the year when cricket will never have had a higher profile there.

Superstar allrounder Glenn Maxwell is also set for a stint in the US following June’s T20 World Cup after becoming the latest Australian to sign on for this year’s Major League Cricket tournament.

The World Cup is being held in both the US and West Indies from June 1-29, with Law, who’s previously coached Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan, seen as the man to lead the hosts’ hopes of a fine home showing.

“It is an exciting opportunity to join USA Cricket at this time,” said Law, a prolific domestic run-scorer who made an unbeaten half-century in his one Test for Australia while also playing 54 one-day internationals.

“The USA are one of the strongest Associate nations in the sport and I believe we can mould a formidable squad.

“The first task will be to prepare the team for a series against Bangladesh and then set our sights on our home World Cup, which will be huge.”

The first assignment for Law, who finished his first-class career in 2009 with 27,080 runs averaging more than 50 across a 20-year career with Queensland and in the UK, will be to oversee the Americans’ home T20 series against Bangladesh next month in Houston, Texas.

His first World Cup match will be the tournament opener in Dallas when the hosts will face Canada on June 1, and they then go on to play Pakistan, India and Ireland in the group stages.

Law coached Bangladesh during the U19 men’s World Cup earlier this year where they faced the USA // Getty

USA Cricket chair Venu Pisike said Law was the right man for the job as “one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport” and added that he would “help the team grow to their full potential”.

The second edition of the MLC will then kick off on July 4 with Maxwell joining his Australian teammates Travis Head and Steve Smith at the Washington Freedom, who will be coached by legendary batter Ricky Ponting.

Maxwell, who was left out of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s last Indian Premier League match due to poor form and has now revealed he is battling a minor hip injury, said the familiar faces of Head, Smith and Ponting at Washington “tipped (him) over the edge”.

Maxwell celebrates taking the wicket of Marcus Stoinis during this year’s IPL // AFP

“It’s a tournament that I watched from afar last year and was extremely excited about hopefully playing this tournament one day and luckily enough the timings have aligned this year,” Maxwell told ESPN’s Around the Wicket.

“I’ve been speaking to Ricky Ponting and a few other players a fair bit over the last little period and certainly extremely excited to get stuck in.

“Just having those couple of Aussies there and I think the opportunity to be a part of something really big in the MLC and grow something is really exciting as well.

“The excitement with the T20 World Cup this year, to have this (MLC) tournament straight after it will be an amazing experience to see how the Americans take to cricket and hopefully, they really get behind it.”

The Freedom, who have a high-performance partnership with Cricket NSW, have also added emerging New Zealand allrounder Rachin Ravindra to their squad for the 2024 tournament.

Australians in the 2024 MLC

LA Knight Riders: Adam Zampa, Spencer Johnson

MI New York: Tim David

San Francisco Unicorns: Matt Short, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Brody Couch (domestic signing)

Seattle Orcas: Cameron Gannon (domestic signing)

Texas Super Kings: Cameron Stevenson (domestic signing)

Washington Freedom: Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Steve Smith, Ian Holland (domestic signing)

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