By ERROL TOWNSHEND
Canada, the fifth-ranked Division 1 team, romped to a easy 103-run win against Division 2 Oman in the opening round of the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa on Wednesday.
But it didn’t always look like a canter. Canada stuttered at 125-5 before veteran allrounder, Sunil Dhaniram, blasted an undefeated 100 off 91 balls to help Canada to 247 off 50 overs. Opener Rizwan Cheema’s 64 (44 balls) was the only other significant contributor as John Davison (13), Ian Billcliff (4), Ashish Bagai (11) and Geoff Barnett (7) fell cheaply.
Alberta seamer, Khurram Chauhan, then ripped the Oman batting apart claiming 4-27 off eight overs before Dhaniram returned to clean up with two wickets for one run. Harvir Baidwan claimed 2-39.
Canada left out vice captain Umar Bhatti, Eion Katchay, Qaiser Ali and Arvinda Kandappah.
The opening round shocker was Uganda’s six run upset of high-fancied Namibia, 234-7 to 228-9, on a day when defending champions, Scotland and four-time World Cup entrants, Kenya, lost by wide margins.
Tournament favourites, Ireland, crushed Scotland by seven wickets on the back of a century by skipper William Porterfield while Netherlands brushed aside Kenya by five wickets as Ryan ten Doeschate showed he is in top form with 106 off 84 balls.
Afghanistan, the cinderella team of international cricket, continued its winning ways, defeating Denmark by five wickets while Bermuda lost by four wickets to United Arab Emirates.
Canada’s next opponent is Uganda, another Division 2 team, before taking on Ireland, Scotland and Namibia. The top four teams from each group of six go on to the Super 8s. Only wins over teams that move on to the Super 8s count in the points standings. The top four teams qualify for the next World Cup; the top six teams achieve one-day international status for the next four years.
The much touted non-confidence motion against Cricket Canada president, Ben Sennik and his executive, had to be deferred to later in April after the mover, former first vice president, Mike Kendall, failed to observe the required 30-day notice period.
Kendall, who resigned as first vice president prior to last weekend’s AGM, has been replaced by Toronto and District (TDCA) administrator, Ranjit Saini. The new treasurer is Charles Pais of Quebec.
The new executive, with officials from the governing bodies of the sport in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, is a far better representation of the centres of the game throughout Canada than the past one.
The simple reality of the game over many decades is that immigrants from the Commonwealth have provided the numbers and the talent to put Canada where it is today. Those immigrants, first from Britain, then the Caribbean and, more recently, from Asia, have settled in those cities now represented on the executive. That’s a simple fact of geography and history. The vast majority of national team players over the years have been spawned by the TDCA. It is simply absurd to not have a rep from the TDCA on the national executive. The provincial directors showed good sense in correcting this anomaly.