By RON FANFAIR
It took Canada almost seven years to achieve its second World Cup cricket win.
The national Under-19 side secured a 10-run victory over Zimbabwe last week at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Youth World Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand. Canada competed in the 2002 and 2004 competitions and was part of the combined Americas side that participated in the 2000 tournament in Sri Lanka.
Canada’s first taste of World Cup success came in 2003 when the senior team defeated Bangladesh by 60 runs.
“This is a historic day for Cricket Canada and all our supporters across the country and around the world,” said the organization’s president, Ranjit Saini. “Over the past year, Canada has seen the seeds of our program of excellence bear fruit and set the stage for the next generation of Canadian cricketers to compete at all levels.”
Middle-order batsman Usman Limbada scored 90 off 114 balls to lift Canada to 201-7 off 50 overs. Medium pacer Zain Mahmood then picked up three wickets for 31 runs off 9.4 overs to restrict Zimbabwe to 191 in 49.4 overs.
Canada succumbed to host country New Zealand by nine wickets with 185 balls to spare and to Sri Lanka by 134 runs despite a fine all-round performance by all-rounder Hiral Patel who claimed 3-45 off 10 overs and scored 69 off 110 balls with two sixes and two boundaries.
Meanwhile, off-spinner Riyaz Pathan was reported for an illegal bowling action.
Nadeem Ghauri and Norman Malcolm, the on-field umpires during Canada’s opening game against Zimbabwe at Village Green in Christchurch, and the third umpire Sarika Prasad, reported the 19-year-old soon after the conclusion of the match. The bowler finished with 2 for 44 from his ten overs.
Pathan’s bowling action will now be scrutinized under the ICC process relating to cricket other than Tests, ODIs and Twenty/20 internationals. The bowler will be assessed by the Canadian board in accordance with Clause 3 of the ICC regulations, whereby it will “instigate an immediate assessment of the bowler’s action by its group of advisors and arrange for the undertaking of any remedial action required by the player concerned”.
The board will then be asked to report back formally to the ICC within 21 days, but if the board’s assessment concludes that the bowler’s action is illegal, he would be immediately suspended from bowling in international cricket.
Until the result of the Canadian board’s assessment is made available, Pathan may continue to play and bowl in the tournament, but may still be called by the umpires in accordance with the laws. He was omitted from the team that played New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Pathan was the second bowler in the tournament to be reported with a suspect bowling action after Rushan Jaleel of Sri Lanka.