A former Sri Lankan captain and an Australian-born University of Victoria basketball player are included in Canada’s national women’s cricket training squad named to prepare for next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty/20 qualifier in Ireland.
The Canadians qualified for the tournament by winning last April’s Americas Division One Twenty/20 championship in the Cayman Islands.
All-rounder, Suthershini Sivanantham, led Sri Lanka before moving to Canada four years ago and assuming the national team captaincy while Mikaela Turik made history in 2009 by becoming the youngest male or female cricketer to represent Canada in an open-age championship when she debuted against Argentina as a 14-year-old in the Americas competition in Florida.
Born and raised in Sydney with her Canadian father and Aussie mother, the top order right-handed batsman and medium pacer is a member of the University of Victoria basketball program.
The squad also includes Kaisoca Cricket Club middle-order batsman, Duriya Shabbir, who was the leading run producer at last April’s regional qualifier with 153 runs; leg spinner, Kamna Mirchandani, who was tied for the top wicket-taker title with eight and clubmate Lorraine Kenton, who picked up six wickets bowling medium pace.
Coach George Codrington said the Greater Toronto Area-based players will train for two hours on Sundays at a Scarborough indoor facility.
“We will break for the Christmas holidays and then resume next year,” said the former Barbados and Canadian all-rounder. “The plan going forward is to have a short camp with the GTA players sometime in April before proceeding on a brief Caribbean tour. With limited funding, it’s not possible to bring all the players together for a lengthy period and that will be a setback for us as we prepare for this major competition. However we have several new players in the squad and that is good for women’s cricket going forward.”
The rest of the training squad comprises Hala Azmat, Shweta Gakhar, Nicole Gallagher, Lahwish Khan, Natasha Springett, Saniyah Zia, Nicole James and Monali Patel of the GTA; British Columbia-based Joanna White, Chrissie Blackadder, Kim Coulter, Meera Crawford, Julia Fathers and Rebecca Kendrick; Manitoba’s Vijay Vithange and Sheryl Tittlemier; Mari Aimee of Montreal; Calgary-based Jenna Bartholemew and all-rounder, Maree Wilson, who moved from Victoria, British Columbia to Napier, New Zealand last year.
Host country England clinched the inaugural women’s Twenty/20 World Cup in 2009. Australia captured the title in 2010 and regained the crown in October in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh hosts the 2014 edition.
In addition, 25 players have been called to trials in preparation for next July’s Americas Cup youth tournament. The winner will advance to the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2014.
Teenager Nitish Kumar, the youngest player to represent Canada in a first-class match and the second youngest One-Day International player at age 15 years and 253 days when he appeared against Afghanistan in February 2010, is among 12 Ontario players in the line-up.
The others are Armaan Kapoor, Nikhil Dutta, Stephan Joseph, Siddhanth Shekhar, Abrash Khan, Anikit Joshi, Arjune Parikh, Stephen Rajasingam, Prushoth Wijayaraj, Shan Anatharajah and Manula Adihetly.
The Alberta representatives are Sudeepta Aurka, Farhan Malik, Wardan Haq, Burhan Barbar, Ankit Karwal and Miraj Patel, while Trevor Manoosingh and Vasu Shah are based in Manitoba.
British Columbia players Gurkaran Dhillon, Bakshpreet Gill, Avneet Virdi, Aamanpal Gillar and Lovejeet Brar complete the squad.