By RON FANFAIR
The senior national cricket team will endure an exacting two-week training camp in Sri Lanka and take part in a Twenty/20 quadrangular tournament before heading to Dubai for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 qualifier for Associates in the United Arab Emirates next month.
The squad leaves tomorrow night for Colombo.
“We will work out for nearly 10 hours a day beginning at 7 in the mornings,” said coach Pubudu Dassanayake. “The training will be intense and we expect that the work we put in will help us to be at the top of our game in the qualifying tournament.”
Former Sri Lanka captain, Marvan Atapattu, who worked with the national side that qualified for the 2011 World Cup, has been retained as a batting coach.
Canada will oppose Sri Lanka “A” in practice matches on January 24 and 26 before the four-team, three-day series, which also includes Ireland, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka “A”, starts on February 2.
The players leaving tomorrow night are Trevin Bastiampillai, Umar Bhatti, Saad Bin Zafar, Rizwan Cheema, Khurram Chohan, Sunil Dhaniram, Sandeep Jyoti, Shaheed Keshvani, Thanna Kurooparan, Henry Osinde, Abdool Samad and Jason Sandher.
Skipper Ashish Bagai and medium pacer Harvir Baidwan, who spent the holiday season with family in India, will join the squad in Sri Lanka while overseas-based players John Davison, Geoff Barnett and Ian Billcliff will meet the side in Dubai next month.
Mike Henry is the manager, Rathan Moorthy is the TV analyst and Colin Berenhaut is the trainer.
Cricket Canada recently entered into an agreement with Sports Performance Centres of Thornhill to provide sports medicine support to its national teams. As part of the arrangement, Berenhaut assumed the role as Director of Sports Science for Cricket Canada.
And, all-rounder Cheema and medium pacer Chohan are among four players from ICC Associate countries registered for the third Indian Premier League (IPL) auction to be held on January 19. The IPL will send the full list of 97 names to the franchises who will then select those players they would like included in the auction.
The number of overseas players a franchise may have on its roster is capped at 10 and, at present, it is unclear how many slots are available.
Cheema, a hard-hitting right-handed opener and useful medium pacer, was Canada’s 2008 Cricketer of the Year and a finalist for the 2009 ICC Associate Player of the Year while Chohan helped set up Canada’s crushing nine-wicket One-day International win over Kenya last summer with a four-wicket haul.