By RON FANFAIR
A 17-member national cricket squad leaves here on November 19 for a six-week training camp in Hyderabad, India.
The Canadians will play 10 matches, the majority in the game’s shortest version, and undergo a rigorous fitness regimen at the Hyderabad Cricket Academy of Excellence in preparation for next year’s Caribbean Twenty/20 tournament and next March’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 World Cup qualifier in the United Arab Emirates.
“The guys will have access to the centre which has all the modern amenities that most high performances facilities have,” said Cricket Canada’s first vice-president, Ravin Moorthy. “Our new coach (Michael Dighton) will relish that and the opportunity to get in some quality work in a cricket environment in warm weather.”
Dighton replaced former Canada and Sri Lanka player-turned-coach, Pubudu Dassanayake, who quit the job after this year’s World Cup. Ex-national captain Ingleton Liburd, Cricket Canada’s development officer, served as interim coach for the Americas Cup Twenty/20 series in Florida and Intercontinental Cup and One-Day International matches against Afghanistan at home and Ireland on the road until the Australian Dighton was hired last month.
Moorthy said middle-order batsman Nitesh Kumar, who is enrolled in Repton School in Derbyshire, will join the squad in India.
“He will return with the guys to the Greater Toronto Area for the Christmas holidays before going back to school in England in early January,” said Moorthy.
Kumar and former national captain, Ashish Bagai, who is pursuing MBA studies in the United States, are unavailable for the Caribbean Twenty/20 series.
“Ashish is in contact with the selectors and he has let them know he’s not in a position to join the squad at this time,” Moorthy said. “With him, we are taking it tour by tour.”
This is the second straight year that Canada’s cricketers are participating in a training camp in India. A 22–member squad took part in a camp late last year in preparation for the World Cup.
Moorthy also told Share that Cricket Canada will hire a chief executive officer before the end of the month to replace Chandra Gocool who was not offered a new contract. Gocool was hired in September 2009 to replace Atul Ahuja who was fired in January 2009.
A total of 64 applications, the majority from Canada, have been submitted for the post.
“The interest has been extremely high and it has not come from only people associated with cricket,” said Moorthy. “We have individuals who are in other sports endeavours and businesses who have shown an interest. Our goal is to make a decision and then start our negotiations with the selected individuals. The game plan is to have the selected candidate in place and on the job by January 1.