By RON FANFAIR
Expectations are high for Canada’s junior cricketers competing in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup qualifiers, starting today in Ireland.
“I am confident we will do well in this tournament and advance to next year’s World Cup,” manager Wijay Senathirajah said shortly before the squad departed last Monday night. “We have a balanced and experienced side and there is absolutely no reason why we should not play at a high level. Most of our players have played in international tournaments, including Nitish (Kumar) who was at the last World Cup. The experience he picked up there is immeasurable.”
Kevasan Juvarajan captains the squad that comprises Tristan Ali, Maninder Aulakh, Suddepta Aurka, Gurkaram Dhilon, Nikil Dhutta, Kyle Edghill, Nitish Kumar, Trevor Manoosingh, Rayankhan Pathan, Darren Ramsamy, Jobanjot Singh Sidhu, Akass Shah and Akhlas Umar.
Wilbert Plummer and Mukesh Verula are the coaches.
Canada along with Afghanistan, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the United States and Vanuatu will compete in the tournament to be played at 14 grounds in Dublin and the North-West of Ireland up until August 9.
The national side plays its first match today against the Scots before meeting Kenya tomorrow and Vanuatu on Sunday.
This is the last World Cup qualifier. In a cost-cutting exercise, the ICC Development Committee decided to revert to the previous system of allocating one position to each region.
The top six teams will join the ICC’s 10 Full Members in the junior World Cup in Australia next year.