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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
USA state positive intent
Richard Staple
Staple has played first-class cricket in the Caribbean
The USA are determined to make the most of their chance to rub shoulders with cricket's big boys, even if it only lasts for two games.

They will take on New Zealand and Australia in Group A of the Champions Trophy, which starts next week.

"Victory is improbable, but our aim is simply to expose the level of cricket we are capable of attaining.

"We have to be positive and take away good memories of the tournament," said captain Richard Staple.

The USA qualified for the tournament via a thrilling ICC Six Nations Challenge in Dubai earlier this year when they won the tournament by just 0.027 on net run rate..

But the game against New Zealand at The Oval will be their first-ever one-day international fixture.

There are 29 leagues and 500 clubs affiliated to the United States of America Cricket Association, with more than 10,000 playing regularly on an amateur basis.

Trying to raise the profile of the game in North America is one of the ICC's main priorities.

And Staple insists that "the folks back home are getting interested".

He said: "Of course, it's the one-day format that has more chance of success, and in Florida especially there is tremendous potential.

"New York and California have high levels of competitiors as well, but unfortunately there aren't many centres where cricket has caught on."

Their squad includes former West Indies Test batsman Clayton Lambert and coaches Faoud Bacchus and Kenny Benjamin also have experience at the top level.

Despite that, it would be one of the biggest shocks in the history of the game were they to win either first round match.




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