USA allrounder Steven Taylor has been stripped of the team's vice-captaincy ahead of their tour of Nepal, which includes four ODIs against Nepal and Oman. An internal investigation by USA Cricket has pulled Taylor up for "failing to display the high standards of behavior and professionalism that are expected of all USA National Team cricketers on last month's tour of the UAE."
A statement from a USA Cricket spokesperson after Monday's squad announcement for the Nepal tour claimed that Taylor "was not the only player to have acted in a manner which was inconsistent with the team's values and, after a review, was found to have broken team rules. All players involved have acknowledged their error of judgment and apologised to their team-mates and support staff and have committed to responding positively."
According to multiple USA Cricket sources, four other players were deemed to have breached team protocol in what was described as an "off-the-field incident" between matches during last month's ODI tri-series in the UAE. However, the sources would not reveal who else was involved. It is also understood that the incident in question was not communicated to USA Cricket officials until early January, more than two weeks after the team returned from the tour.
This is not the first disciplinary incident in Taylor's career that has cost him a leadership position. In 2013, Taylor was stripped of the USA captaincy, after he was deemed to have broken team rules while serving as USA U-19 captain on a tour of Canada earlier in the summer. He was also suspended for one match for the incident, in which administrators stated Taylor had broken team curfew to go out drinking while posting a running timeline of his night out on social media.
On this occasion, though, Taylor has managed to escape without a suspension. The rest of the USA squad is also unchanged from the ODI tour of the UAE in which they won three of their four matches. USA's squad will depart later this week for a warm-up tour in India during which they will play three 50-over matches in Mumbai before continuing on to Nepal. USA's first ODI of the tri-series is against Oman on February 6. It is USA's second ever tour of Nepal and their first since World Cricket League Division Five in 2010, when Nepal and USA claimed the top two spots to gain promotion to Division Four.
USA squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (capt), Karima Gore, Ian Holland, Akshay Homraj (wk), Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Xavier Marshall, Monank Patel, Nisarg Patel, Timil Patel, Cameron Stevenson, Steven Taylor, Rusty Theron.