National cricket squad to test their mettle in Ireland



Jamaican-born middle-order batsman Tyson Gordon has been dropped while batsman Zubin Surkari and left-arm spinner Parth Desai are unavailable for Canada’s tour of Ireland this month.

Since making his One-Day International (ODI) debut for Canada at the World Cup last February, Edmonton-based Gordon has scored 136 runs (av. 8) in 18 innings in all three forms of the sport.

Opener Nitish Kumar, who left here two weeks ago to attend Repton School in Derbyshire, returns to the national squad while 19-year-old fast bowler Maninderjit “Manny” Aulakh is making his first senior team tour.

At last month’s International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier in Ireland, Aulakh was the leading wicket-taker with 21 (av. 13.14), including 6-32 off 10 overs in a five-wicket win over the United States while Kumar, who represented Canada at the senior World Cup earlier this year, was the fourth leading run scorer with 370 (av. 46.25).

Kumar, who in February 2010 became the second youngest ODI player at age 15 and 273 days, and medium-pacer Harvir Baidwan – who is playing league cricket in Sussex – will join the squad in Ireland.

“I think this is a good move for Nitish,” interim coach Ingleton Liburd said of the youth’s relocation. “It will help his cricket and his schooling.”

Established in 1557, Repton – a co-educational independent school – has produced 11 England cricketers and three Test captains. The school also has strong links with Derbyshire Cricket Club.

The full touring party for the Irish tour is Jimmy Hansra (capt.), Rizwan Cheema (vice-capt.), Harvir Baidwan, Usman Limbada, Hamza Tariq, Henry Osinde, Hiral Patel, Junaid Siddiqui, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Khurram Chohan, Maninderjit Aulakh, Nitish Kumar and Zahid Hussain.

Johnny Bujan and Jason Israelski are the manager and physiotherapist respectively.

The national squad left last night for a four-day Intercontinental Cup match against the Irish from September 13-16 and ODI contests on September 19 and 20 in Dublin.

Winless in the 2009-10 Intercontinental Cup competition, Canada is seeking to rebound from a disappointing nine-wicket home loss to Afghanistan last month in its first match of the 2011-13 series.

“We didn’t play well against the Afghans and I am still not happy with our batting,” Liburd, said. “It has been inconsistent, especially at the top and we are looking to our openers (Patel and Gunasekera) to provide good starts.”

The ODI matches in Ireland will be streamed live at

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