USA Cricket is delighted to today announce the appointment of a Men’s Youth Coach and Women’s Youth Coach. Both roles will start at the beginning of November 2020.
Kevin Darlington has been appointed as the Men’s Youth Coach and will take on the primary responsibility for coaching the USA Cricket Men’s Under 19 team and other junior teams, as well as providing assistant coaching support to the Men’s National Team. Darlington has more than twenty years of coaching experience across USA, Guyana and England. He was the assistant coach to the USA Men’s team for a two-year period from 2018 to 2019 that culminated in USA gaining ODI status for the first time at ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia. As a player, he played first-class cricket for Guyana before going on to debut for USA in 2010, where he opened the bowling at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE. Resident in Brooklyn, New York he is also well versed in local league and academy cricket right across the East Coast.
Asif Mujtaba has been appointed as the Women’s Youth Coach and will take on primary responsibility for identifying and developing young female cricketers, and building a junior squad of players to compete for places in USA Cricket’s new Women’s Under 19 program, as well as providing assistant coaching support to the Women’s National Team. Mujtaba has more than twenty years of coaching experience across USA, Pakistan, England, and Bangladesh. He has most recently been working as a Youth Coach in Dallas, Texas. As a player, he had a 22-year first-class career that included 25 Tests and 66 ODIs for Pakistan. Resident in Plano, Texas, he has strong experience of Youth and Women’s coaching and cricket development.
Following the recent appointment of Youth and Zonal selectors, and the ongoing Zonal Trials taking place across the United States, today’s appointments of the Youth Coaches is another important step in building the capacity for USA Cricket to deliver on some of the key priorities recently laid out in USA Cricket’s Foundational Plan, most notably to improve the performance of its international Youth teams and help to build a meaningful player pathway for talented boys and girls across the country.
USA Cricket Operations Director, Richard Done said, “After a comprehensive recruitment process, we are elated to be able to announce the appointments of Kevin and Asif to these important new coaching roles for USA Cricket. We are lucky to have had such an experienced field apply for the roles and we would like to thank everyone for their interest and input over recent months. As we continue to lay the platform for future growth in this country, we anticipate there will be more opportunities for those in the field to contribute to the success of USA Cricket going forward. We believe we have appointed two great coaches, with strong track records, who will make a big impact for American cricket and I am looking forward to working closely with them both. Kevin and Asif’s roles will both have a specific focus on identifying and nurturing homegrown talent, as well as working closely on developing the player pathways and related programs to give the next generation of young girls and boys the best opportunity to succeed.”
Chair of the Cricket Committee, Sushil Nadkarni said, “We are delighted to have appointed two high quality coaches from an outstanding field of applicants and shortlisted candidates. Kevin will bring a huge level of cricketing knowledge and insight to the role, and I know from having played with him that he has an immense amount of enthusiasm, skill and talent. His coaching experience with the USA Men’s team will be a significant asset in driving our Men’s Youth team towards the important goal of qualification for the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup. Asif will bring a huge wealth of international experience as he becomes our first ever Women’s Youth Coach. He also has prior experience with the Senior USA Women’s team and we have a major focus going forward on expanding the quantity and quality of Women and Girls cricket.
Nadkarni concluded, “I would like to thank my colleagues on the interview panels and wish both coaches well in their roles. We are fortunate to have two such talented coaches based here in America to help take our Youth programs to the next level.”
Additionally, USA Cricket is pleased to confirm the final appointment to complete the list for all 6 Zonal Selection Panels, as Jalal Uddin is today announced as Zonal Selector for the South West Zone, where he will join Orlando Baker and Jannisar Khan on the three-man Zonal Panel.