Three Canadian spinners are enrolled in the West Indies Cricket Board spin bowling camp conducted by former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
Junaid Siddiqui, Salman Nazar and Nikhil Dutta left here last week for the three-week camp at the Sagicor High Performance Centre at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados.
Siddiqui is a right-arm leg-spinner, Nazar is a 22-year-old left-arm spinner who made his Canadian debut in January 2012 and Dutta is an 18-year-old off-spinner who helped Canada advance to next year’s World Cup Under-19 cricket finals in the United Arab Emirates.
Dutta was the Most Valuable Player and most productive bowler in the Americas qualifying tournament in the Greater Toronto Area last July.
National coach Gus Logie, with the support of Canada Cricket, handpicked the players for the assignment.
“They are integral parts of the national program and hopefully they will benefit from this experience,” said Logie. “It should be particularly beneficial for Nikhil since he’s one of the few spinners in Canada to bowl the doosra.”
Saqlain is credited with mastering the doosra which spins in the opposite direction to an off-break.
West Indies cricket coach Otis Gibson invited Saqlain to conduct the training camp.
“When Otis called, I was more than happy to come to the Caribbean and share what I know with the young players,” said Saqlain. “It’s a great honour for me because West Indies has such a great history in the game. Many legends of the game have come from the West Indies and there are many cricket knights…So I am very happy about this opportunity.”
Saqlain, 36, played 49 Tests and 169 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan from 1995 to 2004.
Meanwhile, Brampton Masters/Tranzac, Vikings, Toronto Cricket Club and Centurions will contest the Toronto & District Cricket Association Elite League play-offs. They will take part in the semi-finals on September 21 with the final set for the following day.
The semi-final match-ups will be decided after this weekend’s final regular season games.