Corey Anderson once held the record for the fastest century in ODI cricket. He last played for his country in a CPL game about three years ago. The all-rounder, who once sent Wankhede into its greatest delirium during the IPL, disappeared from cricket. When he showed off his fireworks in his first Major League Cricket game against Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada, it looked like he had never left the world stage. Anderson hit an unbeaten 91 runs off 52 balls in a fast-paced innings. He added to his score by destroying Rabada and hitting three huge sixes in his last over.
“I still feel like I’m the same player,” said the former Kiwi all-rounder after he helped San Francisco beat MI New York by 22 runs. “I still think I’m good enough to play at the highest level. I’ve never really had doubts about that.
“There may have been times in America when I didn’t believe that. Just because some things aren’t there in a place like the USA. It can sometimes make it hard to keep getting better. I’ve always believed in myself, though. I don’t want to come across as cocky or anything. But I have played against some of the world’s best players. I’ve sometimes done well against them. I’ve also done bad things at times.
“To do it against some of those guys, like Trent Boult, after living with them and bowling at each other in the nets for so many years. It’s awesome. But yeah, I live here now and am a local. Because I’ve played for New Zealand, some of them might not think that’s true. But yeah, I now live in America. And I love it here so much. “And yeah, it’s amazing to be a part of the who spectacles,” the 32-year-old said.
Anderson is kind of right when he says that some people in the US cricket world don’t think of him as a local. In February of this year, he qualified to play for the USA, but he wasn’t picked for the World Cup Qualifier Playoff. He was also ignored for the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, which were held recently. People who know a lot about American cricket will find it easy to understand why Anderson has been left out of the USA trips for two years in a row.
The fight between MLC and USA Cricket over contract talks isn’t the best-kept secret in the world. When asked by some in the cricket community to at least give Anderson a chance to try out, a USA selector told Cricbuzz that Anderson’s class spoke for itself and that he didn’t need trials to show his worth. Anderson has worked as a player-coach for MLC for more than two years. If you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it’s easy as pie to figure out why Anderson hasn’t yet played in the USA.
Anderson said that he was upset after seeing how well MLC’s opening night went. He says he feels like he is a part of the community, and he admitted to getting emotional when the national anthem was played and a big American flag was shown.
Anderson has met the requirements set by the ICC, and his performance on a day with a heat index of over 40 C was a good reminder of his form and health. Going forward, it might be wrong for USA Cricket to continue to ignore Anderson the way they have so far.