Canada set for Jamaica Cricket Festival


The West Indies recorded comfortable victories by seven wickets and 49 runs over Canada on its way to capturing the Scotiabank limited-overs triangular cricket series that also involved Bermuda at King City in September 2008.

The Canadians will be looking for revenge when they meet the Caribbean team in Twenty/20 and One-Day International contests in Jamaica on April 10 and 13 as part of the Jamaica Cricket Festival.

The national side leaves on April 6 for the festival that also includes Ireland and the host country. Canada will oppose Jamaica in a 50-overs contest on April 8 at the Kaiser Bauxite ground and a Twenty/20 match three days later at Trelawny stadium.

Ashish Bagai will lead the national 14-member side that includes medium-pacer Henry Osinde who was sent home for indiscipline last February from Sri Lanka where the national team spent a month before going to Dubai for the Twenty/20 World Cup qualifier and ODIs and an Intercontinental Cup fixture against Afghanistan.

“Obviously, we were disappointed not to qualify for the Twenty/20 World Cup in the West Indies,” said Bagai who gave up his banking job in England last year to accept a Cricket Canada contract and concentrate on preparing for next year’s World Cup. “But the guys are very keen in the lead up to the upcoming Jamaica festival. Every game we play from now on going into the World Cup is important, and we want to put our best effort in and win as many as possible.”

The full touring party is Ashish Bagai (capt.), Rizwan Cheema (vice-captain), Henry Osinde, Trevin Bastiampillai, Hiral Patel, Nitesh Kumar, Usman Limbada, Jawad Dawood, Sunil Dhaniram, Khurram Chohan, Umar Bhatti, Harvir Baidwan, Parth Desai and Zubin Surkari.

Changes in the selection panel at last month’s Cricket Canada annual general meeting in Calgary delayed the side’s announcement.

Cricket Alberta’s president Chris James is the senior selection committee chair, replacing Bhan Deonarine. Former Barbados Under-19 captain and Canadian player George Codrington was also removed from the committee and replaced by ex-Canadian all-rounder Sanjayan Thuraisingam. The other selection committee members are Decourcey Bishop of Montreal, Angus Melder of British Columbia and Keith Deonarine of Manitoba.

Though they wouldn’t meet in this month’s festival in Jamaica, Canada will face Ireland in the next four months in the International Cricket Council’s World Cricket League Division One tournament in the Netherlands from July 1-10.

The two teams along with Kenya, Afghanistan, Scotland and the Dutch, will compete in the tournament that showcases the best ICC Associate and Affiliate members’ cricketers.

Canada will take on Afghanistan on July 1, Scotland on July 3, the Dutch on July 5, Ireland two days later and Kenya on July 9.

The top sides will appear in the final while the other four teams will participate in the playoff matches on the last day of the tournament.

The competition will provide Canada, Kenya, Ireland and the Netherlands with the opportunity to assess their progress as they prepare for next year’s World Cup tournament to be jointly staged by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2.

Host country Kenya won the inaugural Division One tournament, defeating Scotland by eight wickets in January 2007 while Canada fell to the Irish by nine wickets in last year’s final in South Africa. That tournament, which also incorporated the World Cricket League Division Two teams, served as the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Saini was installed as Cricket Canada’s new president at last month’s AGM in Calgary. The vice-presidents are Ravin Moorthy of Calgary and Vimal Hardat and Clifford Cox of British Columbia. Charles Pais of Quebec and Ontario’s Calvin Clarke will continue to serve as treasurer and general secretary respectively.

The provincial directors are Chris James (Alberta), Vimal Hardat (BC), Garvin Budhoo (Manitoba), Richie Khemraj (New Brunswick), Amit Joshi (Nova Scotia), Mohan (Mike) Kendall (Ontario), Sarath Chandrasekere (Prince Edward Island) and Harguishan Sharma (Saskatchewan).



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