Dubai: The United States will take their first tentative steps on the long, gruelling road to the World Cup 2011 from Friday in the unlikely company of the likes of Germany, Nepal and Afghanistan.
America are one of 12 teams taking part in the ICC's World League Division Five in Jersey with the top two guaranteed promotion in the first step in the lengthy qualifying process for the World Cup to be staged in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Division Five matches will be played in Jersey from May 23-31 with the USA in Group A alongside Germany, Mozambique, Nepal, Norway and Vanuatu.
Group B is made up of Afghanistan, Bahamas, Botswana, Japan, Jersey and Singapore.
"I believe we have a very good chance of going all the way," said USA skipper Steve Massiah whose team was banned from international cricket in 2005 and 2007 because of internal political wrangling.
"At the time we were excluded from international cricket we were playing with the top Associates and now we are down near the bottom. But as I told the guys, I think it could be a blessing in disguise as it gives us a chance to generate a bit of team spirit."
In April, the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) was re-recognised as an Associate Member of the ICC.