Unity Cup Preview
The 2nd season of the Unity Cup, an ICC recognized tournament, is about to get underway and there is a lot to look forward to. Many international and MiLC players will be on show in this action packed tournament.
Consisting of 13 teams, the week long Unity Cup will take place from May 25th to May 30th. The teams have been divided into 4 groups with the top 2 teams from each group advancing into the playoffs. Due to the number of teams taking part in this tournament, there will be a quarter final round, along with the semis and finals.
𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐀: Clarion County Asia UTD, Stallions, RDU 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐁: Cavaliers 22 Yards, Yankee Royals, Potomac, DMV Warriors 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐂: Samp Army, Fire, Stallions X 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐃: Skky Strikers, Florida Scorpions, Cric Lanes
𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐬𝐢𝐚 𝐔𝐓𝐃 Asia UTD was the champion of the last tournament here in the DC Metro Area where teams from across the country came to play. This won the Nations Capital T20 Tournament in October, 2021. For the 2nd edition of the Unity Cup, they’ve got a strong side.
Andre Fletcher, a West Indian WK, who has played many international games is in the side. Hussain Talat is another international star in this side. While Talat hasn’t played as many international games as Fletcher, he certainly has had his great moments at the international level.
Milind Kumar is another great batsmen in the side. While he hasn’t played at the international level, Milind has been a part of RCB in the IPL. In MiLC, he plays for the Philadelphians. Another player who represents the Philadelphians is Jonathan Foo. He is also in this Asia United team.
Kyle Phillip is another name in this Asia United side. He is a pace bowling sensation who played for the team in the Nations Capital last year as well. In the finals, he and Ali Khan made it very tough for the Samp Army to score runs.
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 The Stallions have got a great side coming into this tournament. They’ve got some great stars in their team. Some players have played at the international level, others have done well in the US locally.
One of these players is Shoaib Malik. Malik has represented Pakistan internationally in hundreds of games. He’s an experienced players who’s been an integral part of the Pakistan side in many world cups over the years.
David Wiese is another international player who is a part of this team. He’s played internationally for both South Africa and Namibia. Additionally, he also represented RCB in the IPL.
Samit Patel is another name in the team with years of experience. He’s played both internationally and domestically for England. Samit is an all rounder who can hit the ball quite the distance.
Hammad Azam is another all rounder in the side. He was the MVP in the inaugural edition of MiLC which took place last year. He was a key player for the Golden State Grizzlies in their journey to the playoffs last year.
𝐑𝐃𝐔 RDU have got a good side with some of their players having MiLC experience. Both Sanjay Stanley and Abhiram Bolisetty represented the Morrisville Cardinals last year. Stanley with the bat and Bolisetty with his yorkers were an important part of the team last year.
𝐂𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝟐𝟐 𝐘𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 Cavaliers 22 Yards have got some huge names in their side. A lot of their players are experienced not only playing in the US, but around the world.
Unmukt Chand is one of these players. Chand won the U19 World Cup for India, as captain, back in 2012. He’s also played a handful of matches in the IPL. Last year, Chand captained the Silicon Valley Strikers to victory in the Grand Finale of the inaugural Minor League Cricket. Additionally, in the US, he has played in many tournaments and over the past year, has been a prolific run scorer.
Xavier Marshall and Ryan Scott are also in the side. The 2 hard hitting batsmen who play for the US internationally are sure to provide some fireworks in this upcoming tournament.
Karima Gore, an all rounder, will also he crucial to the Cavaliers 22 Yards’ chances in this edition of the Unity Cup. Not only can he bowl 4 overs, Gore also has the ability to finish an innings off in grand style with cameos towards the end.
Kennar Lewis, a hard hitting opener with CPL experience, also comes into this team. Lewis represented the 22 Yards in last year’s Nations Capital and Unity Cup as well. He’s been known to provide quick starts in the powerplay for the team he plays for and will be a valuable asset up front.
𝐘𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐬 The Yankee Royals have got a pretty good team. They’ve got a couple of big names in their side and are a team which could pull some upsets in this upcoming tournament.
Muhammed Asif is in the side. Asif is a fast bowler who has represented Pakistan at the international level on multiple occasions. He’s also played quite a lot of Cricket here in the DC Metro Area.
Dwayne Smith is another big name in the side. He’s played over a 100 ODIs and in numerous T20s for the West Indies. An all rounder, Smith has played vital roles for many teams in T20 leagues across the world.
𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐜 One of the most successful teams of the DC Metro Area, Potomac will be taking part in the Unity Cup. They have, as usual, got an excellent side coming into this tournament.
At the top, Trevon Griffith is in the team. Griffith scored a boat load of runs in last year’s Minor League Cricket playing for the Empire State Titans. He ended as the 2nd highest scorer in the tournament overall.
Bipul Sharma and Sarbjit Singh Ladda are also in the team. Both have had IPL experience, with Ladda even playing in Minor League Cricket last year. He ended as the 3rd highest wicket taker in the season.
Kesrick Williams of the West Indies will also be in the side. Williams is a wicket taking bowler and on his day, can spin webs around sides. He’s been consistently performing at the CPL, and has also found success at the highest level.
𝐃𝐌𝐕 𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐬 The DMV Warriors are a local team based in the DC Metro Area with a lot of young players. Many of their players have gone through the ranks of local tournaments taking place in Maryland and northern Virginia.
The Behera brothers, Rasesh and Ritwik, played for the DC Hawks last year in Minor League Cricket, with the latter even having represented the US in their series against Ireland. Rasesh is a pace bowler, while Ritwik is a spin bowling all rounder. Both will prove to be key in the DMV Warriors’ chances in this tournament.
Abdullah Ghazi, Waleed Karimullah, and Adil Bhatti are a few more players who represented the DC Hawks in Minor League Cricket last year. All 3 were vital for the Hawks last year, and will be a very important part of this Warriors’ side.
𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐩 𝐀𝐫𝐦𝐲 Samp Army a franchise who have not only played Cricket all across the US, but around the world as they are currently playing in India. They’ve got some experienced players in their side.
Dane Piedt is a former South African international player who has played a few tests for the country. He’s a handy all rounder who is economical with the ball, and can play a variety of different roles with the bat.
Andre McCarthy and Gareth Delany are both Irish all rounders. McCarthy is more so a batsmen, but can provide the odd over with the ball if needed. Delany, while he doesn’t get too many wickets, is economical with the ball. His strength remains his batting, where he can rotate strike, and also switch gears to hit the big shots.
Shehan Jayasuriya is also in this Samp Army team. Jayasuriya was a key part of the Silicon Valley Strikers side in their successful journey to becoming the champions of Minor League Cricket. He was the 2nd highest scorer in the Pacific Conference, only after Unmukt Chand.
Justin Dill and Navin Stewart are also a part or this Samp Army side. They’re pace bowling all rounders who are both economical and wicket taking. Both can also finish innings’ off well with cameos towards the end.
𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 Fire have got a packed batting line up. Zia Shahzad and Sami Aslam bossed the pacific division for the Golden State Grizzlies as they got to the playoffs of the tournament. Zain Syed is another batsmen in the side. Syed got a century batting for Atlanta Param Veers in last year’s Minor League tournament.
Christopher Barnwell is another big name in the side with not only the bat, but the ball as well. He hit some massive sixes for the Empire State Titans in last year’s Minor League. More times than not, Barnwell finished off the innings with a flourish. With the ball, his pace bowling is more than handy.
In the bowling department, Corne Dry, the MVP of the southern division last year, is a part of the squad for Fire. He’s a wicket taking bowler who bowls good pace and is economical.
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐗 The Stallions X have got a decent side with a few experienced players who have played in Minor League Cricket as well.
Shadley Van Schalkwyk is one of these players. He’s a fast bowler who did well in Minor League Cricket as well as many other tournament across the US. Shadley Van is an economical bowler. In the entire Minor League season last year, he played 14 games and had an economy rate of 4.8. That’s amazing in any format, let alone T20 Cricket.
𝐒𝐤𝐤𝐲 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐫𝐬 Skky Strikers have a packed side with many international players. They’ve also been getting support from international players who aren’t playing in this league. One of these players is Yuvraj Singh, a man who needs no introduction. Yuvraj will be coming to DC, in person, to support the Skky Strikers.
Lendl Simmons is another international player. Unlike Yuvraj, he’ll be playing in this edition of the Unity Cup. Simmons is a hard hitting West Indian batsmen who represented the country in the 2016 T20 World Cup, a tournament the West Indies went on to win.
Denesh Ramdin and Rayad Emrit are 2 more international players who’ll be taking part in this tournament. Both the West Indians have played in many tournaments across the world. Additionally, Ramdin is a WK who has played in nearly 300 international matches for the West Indies.
Jessy Singh is a fast bowler in the team. He captained the NJ Stallions as they ended in the runners up position of Minor League Cricket. Additionally, he’s done well playing for the US internationally.
Bhaskar Yadram is a young player who hits the ball a long way. He hit one of the biggest sixes in Minor League Cricket last year at Church St. Park. Yadram has gained a reputation of finishing games off with fireworks at the end.
𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚 𝐒𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 The Florida Scorpions have got a good team. While they don’t have a lot of big players, they are a team which could cause some upsets in this tournament.
Chadwick Walton is a player in their team with CPL experience. He is a WK - Batsmen who has done well both behind and in front of the stumps. Walton will definitely be one to watch out for in this Florida Scorpions team.
𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐜 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬 Cric Lanes have got a team with many players who played for the NJ Stallions last year. Overall, they’re a well balanced team with a mix of youth and experience as well as batting and bowling.
Dominque Rikhi and Saiteja Mukkamalla are 2 batsmen who scored a ton of runs for the NJ Stallions last year. Rikhi is an experienced batsmen, while Mukkamalla is a young talent who has caught the eyes of many.
With the ball, Stephen Wiig and Sachin Mylavarapu will be key. Wiig is a fast bowler who can also swing his bat around coming in down the order. Mylavarapu is a spin bowler who has dismantled sides. Both these players were key with the ball as the NJ Stallions made it to the Grand Finale of Minor League Cricket.