Canada has suffered a significant loss just days before the start of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 World Cup qualifier in the United Arab Emirates.
All-rounder Khurram Chohan, who was captaining the team in warm-up matches in Sri Lanka after Jimmy Hansra quit as the leader prior to the squad’s departure last month, re-injured his quadriceps while bowling in a 50-overs match against Scotland last week and will miss the UAE series. He returned home last weekend and 21-year-old left-arm spinner, Parth Desai, was dispatched as his replacement.
Chohan was sidelined with the injury during the national team’s training camp in Barbados last December.
“Khurram is one of our most experienced players,” said Cricket Canada’s first vice-president, Ravin Moorthy. “However, things like this happen and we have to move on.”
Medium-pacer Henry Osinde was appointed captain for the rest of the warm-up games before the team heads to the UAE tomorrow. The team management will recommend a captain for the Twenty/20 qualifier when they arrive in Dubai for the series which runs from March 13 to 24.
A total of 16 teams will compete for two spots in the 12-day tournament at five venues.
Canada is in Group “A” with Afghanistan, The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Denmark and Nepal. The other group comprises Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Uganda, Oman, the United States and Italy.
The national team meets the Dutch in its first match on March 13 at Dubai Sports City Stadium.
The overall winner advances to the 12-team World Cup in Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7 while the second and third-place teams in the two groups will play cross-over matches. The two winners of those matches will progress to the preliminary final on March 23. The second qualifying final will feature the loser of the first qualifying final and the preliminary final winner to determine the second team to qualify for the World Cup.
Cricket Canada, meanwhile, has won a major ICC Development Program award.
The Best Promotion and Marketing Program Award recognized the national association’s new website and the groundbreaking work in live streaming of matches and events webcasts.
“We are very excited,” said Moorthy. “We put in a lot of time and effort to revamp our website which was launched last August. “It’s very user-friendly with a heavy emphasis on social media where there is a lot of interaction with our supporters. Our traffic has quadrupled in the last few months and this is due to an increased following on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”
Cricket Canada will be rewarded with a US$2,000 cricket equipment grant.
Other winners were Cricket Ireland (Best Overall Development Program), Cricket Scotland (Best Women’s Initiative), Cricket Papua New Guinea (Best Junior Participation Initiative), Japan Cricket Association (Best Promotion and Marketing Program), Brunei Darussalam Cricket Association (Photo of the Year), Aliya Bauer of Kenya (Volunteer of the Year) and Oman’s Kanaksi Khimji (Lifetime Service Award).
ICC Global Development manager, Tim Anderson, applauded this year’s winners.
“Once again, it is fantastic to see so many outstanding initiatives and people recognized for their contribution to making cricket a bigger and better global game,” he said. “On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate all the award winners and the nominees who were unsuccessful this year. Your continued dedication to cricket’s growth around the world is making a substantial difference and we thank you for your efforts.”
And, Doug Hannum is Cricket Canada’s new chief executive officer. He comes to the organization from the Canada Community Assistance Network where he was the executive director for 15 months.
The experienced sports administrator is also a former Fencing Canada and Boxing Ontario executive director, an Ontario Soccer Association Referee Development manager, Sport Alliance project leader and Canadian Red Cross manager.
Hannum, who starts his new job on March 12, replaces Chandra Gocool who left the post at the end of his contract last August. Gocool was hired in September 2009 to replace Atul Ahuja who was fired nine months earlier.
By RON FANFAIR