Canada Cricket
By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Canada has named their squad to compete in next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-over World Cup Qualifiers tournament which is set to be held in New Zealand.

Canada celebrates the fall of a wicket during the ICC World T20 Qualifier which was held last month. Photo: ICC

The North America country has been placed in Group A alongside Scotland, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hong Kong and Nepal while Group B is consisted of Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands and Uganda.

They will begin their quest for qualification on January 14 against their newest rival UAE.

The side will be led by the experienced Ashish Bagai again while Andy Pick is the new coach after Gus Logie was asked to go following the country’s poor tour of Dubai in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers recently. They failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup which will be staged in Bangladesh in March, 2014.

Former Guyana captain Damodar Daesrath, who toured with the team last month in Dubai, has been overlooked after he sustained a groin injury while off-spinner and ex-Trinidad and Tobago under-19 player Afzal Dean didn’t consider for this event.

Fast bowler Jeremy Gordon, who had a fine run in the T20 format, retains his place and has expressed confidence again that he will make an impression in ‘Down Under’.

He stated that he was very happy with his individual performances in Dubai but was disappointed after his team failed to qualify for the global event.

However, the former Guyana senior fast bowler wants to do well again for Canada and also believes they have a great chance of making it to the 2015 World Cup competition, which is slated to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand jointly.

“I [am] confident we can qualify this time,” Gordon stated.

Only two places are up for grabs and Canada will have to win three of their four matches and then advance to the knock-out segment.

The group stage of the tournament will be held between January 13 and 23, followed by the Super Six phase between January 26 to February 1.

The schedule for the Super Six stage is based on rankings given to teams in the group stages. If the top three teams qualify for the Super Six stage, they retain their group-stage ranking irrespective of their position in the points table.
However, if a team that is ranked fourth or fifth in the group stage qualifies for the Super Six, they will assume the ranking of the team they have displaced.
Associate members Afghanistan and Ireland have already qualified for the 14-team World Cup, set for Feb. 14 to March 29, 2015.

Afghanistan is in Group A with England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and New Zealand while Ireland is in Group B with South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The winner of the qualifying tournament will move into Group A while the runner-up goes into Group B.

Sri Lanka won the inaugural qualifying tournament, previously known as the ICC Trophy, in 1979. Other winners were Zimbabwe (1982, 1986 and 1990), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (1994), Bangladesh (1997), Netherlands (2001), Scotland (2005) and Ireland (2009).

Canada featured in the 1979, 2003, 2007 and 2011 editions of the World Cup.

The full reads: Ashish Bagai, Harvir Baidwan, Khurram Chohan, Parth Desai, Nikhil Dutta, Jeremy Gordon, Ruvindu Gunasekara, Jimmy Hansra, Nitish Kumar, Usman Limbada, Cecil Pervez, Raza Rehman, Junaid Siddiqui, Zeeshan Siddiqui, and Hamza Tariq.