Former India first-class cricketer, Mukesh Narula, is the new coach of Canada’s senior team. He played for and coached Baroda and West Zone and was a television commentator before relocating to the Greater Toronto Area three years ago.
Narula, who scored 2,373 runs and took 104 wickets in 57 first-class matches, coached Toronto & District Cricket Association (TDCA) Elite Division team Brampton Masters from 2011 to 2013. They won the title two years ago.
A Cricket Australia Level Three coach who worked with the national Under-19 side three years ago, Narula is delighted with his new appointment.
“Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to closely work with talented and budding cricketers here and I believe that we have the talent and skills that can be honed to reclaim Canada’s place in world cricket,” he said. “I am committed to lifting the performance standard of our national team and to instilling confidence, self-belief, discipline and the focus to achieve our mission.”
Signed to a nine-month contract, Narula will prepare Canada for the Americas Cup and the World Cricket League (WCL) Division Two tournaments, to be staged in the first quarter of next year at venues to be announced.
Canada will join Namibia, the Netherlands, Kenya and the first- and second-place teams in the WCL Division Three competition in Uganda from October 26 to November 2 at the 2014 Division Two series. The top four teams will qualify for the 2018 World Cup qualifier while the bottom two teams will advance to the 2017 Division Three competition.
With Canada out of the High Performance Program which translates into a funding cut of nearly $900,000, Cricket Canada was forced to hire a local coach.
Vimal Hardat, the president of the sport’s national body, said Narula’s broad experience in international cricket both as a player and coach makes him the right candidate to coach Canada at this time.
“He’s got the capability of coaching all aspects of the game, his enthusiasm for the sport is unbelievable and he’s going to be ideal for that role,” said Hardat.
Vice-president, Amit Joshi, concurred.
“It was a really difficult decision to make as we had some outstanding candidates, but the panel was unanimous in the choice of Mukesh,” he said. “We look forward to working alongside Mukesh as this is a great opportunity for Cricket Canada to make a strong comeback and be ranked among the top Associates in the cricketing world.”
Narula, a senior business analyst at SAP Logicel Consulting and the Canadian School of Cricket’s chief executive officer and head coach, replaces former West Indies batsman Gus Logie – he also coached Canada at the 2003 World Cup – who was fired last December after Canada failed to qualify for this year’s Twenty/20 World Cup which Sri Lanka lifted last April.
Nottinghamshire’s bowling coach, Andy Pick, guided the national side that took part in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier in New Zealand last January. Canada finished eighth in the 10-team tournament.
Former Sri Lanka and Canada wicketkeeper/batsman Pubudu Dassanayake, who resigned after the World Cup in early 2011, was Narula’s main challenger for the job. He’s without a contract after coaching Nepal to the World Cricket League Division Three title and a place in this year’s Twenty/20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Dassanayake’s family resides in the Greater Toronto Area.