Team Canada Prepare for ICC U-19 World Cup

U-19 Captain Rustum Bhatti drives during the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier (c) ICC

The Ontario representatives had a good practice with some of the Senior Canadian Men’s team players.  It was my first chance to see the young guys in person and I was really impressed.

One thing about this bunch is that they are not lacking in confidence.  Even if they don’t win, there is enough talent in the group to put up a good fight.

The fitness level was good and there is some variety in the bowling with a few left arm spin bowling options.  They leave on New Years Day and play their first warm up game on the 12th.

The full squad:

Rustam Bhatti (captain), Manny Aulakh, Parth Desai, Darius D’Souza, Ruvindu Gunasekara, Hardik Kotak, Nitish Kumar, Usman Limbada, Zain Mahmood, Asif Manjra, Hiral Patel, Riyazkhan Pathan, Arsalan Qadir, Harpreet Singh, Hamza Tariq.

You can support the squad by visiting the Cricket Canada online shop.   Check out the new toques.

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Cricket Canada Announce Squad for Sri Lanka Training Camp

Cricket Canada is pleased to announce a 14 man squad for the 2010 Sri Lanka Training Camp and Quad T20 Series.

The senior team will depart for Colombo in early January where they will engage in an intense training camp prior to locking horns with Sri Lanka A, Ireland, and Afghanistan in a T20 Quadrangular Series.

The training camp and series will serve as a warm up to February’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai.

Full Squad:

Ashish Bagai – Captain, Harvir Baidwan, Trevin Bastiampillai, Umar Bhatti, Saad Bin Zafar, Rizwan Cheema, Khurram Chohan, Sunil Dhaniram, Sandeep Jyoti, Shaheed Keshvani, Thanna Kurooparan, Henry Osinde, Abdool Samad, Jason Sandher.

The squad will be joined by a select number of U19 players at the conclusion of the U19 World Cup from New Zealand as Canada prepares for an exciting and action packed 2010 cricket schedule.

Source:  Cricket Canada

ICC Announces Schedule for T20 World Cup Qualifiers

The Emirates Cricket Board will host 7 other nations in February for a chance to qualify for the 2010 Twenty/20 World Cup to be staged in the West Indies.  The tournament will run from February 9-13.  The matches will be held at the Dubai Sports City and Abu Dhabi stadiums.

Group A – Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan, USA

Group B – Netherlands, Kenya, Canada, UAE

Schedule

Feb 9th  Canada vs Netherlands

Feb 10th  Canada vs Kenya

Feb 11th  Canada vs UAE

view the full schedule here

The top 2 teams in each group will then play in the ‘Super Four’ round.  The 2 teams that reach the finals will qualify for the T20 CWC in April 2010.

Canada is the 5th ranked team in the tournament based on their finish in the 2008 event.

U-19’s Preparing for World Cup

The National team is preparing to head to New Zealand for the U-19 World Cup.  Unfortunately, being in Canada means limited coverage, but in the major cricket playing nations this tournament is big news.

Many of the best players in world cricket represented their Countries at U-19 level.  Some, especially in the sub-continent, get a chance to play in the Senior team even before the U-19 team, for others, it’s a first chance to shine against other top players from around the cricket world and a chance to show the national team selectors that you have what it takes to perform at international level.

In late 2003, I was in Pakistan when Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India were visiting with their respective U-19 squads to play in an Asia Cup ODI series taking place in Lahore.  One young man on the Indian team dominated the tournament taking 18 wickets at an average of 7.38 including a match against Bangladesh when he took 9-16.  Absolutely phenomenal numbers for a young Irfan Pathan.  He led India to victory against Sri Lanka in the finals and after that series he was fast tracked into the senior Indian side.  He was immediately, unrealistically, compared to the great Wasim Akram.  Although, he has been in and out of the Indian team since then, he’s had some great performances for them in big matches.  Unfortunately, he’s also had some entirely indifferent tours when he hasn’t made much of an impression at all.  But, he took his chance at the U-19 level and flourished.

The kids that are participating know that this might be their only chance.  It’s something they’ve been working towards for their whole cricket playing life.  The teams will be watching these kids closely to determine if they have the right attitude, temperament and most of all the talent to perform at International level.

The tournament begins on January 15th.  The full schedule is available here.

Canada will play Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and hosts New Zealand.  How do you think they will do?

The tournament gets underway on January 15th, 2010.  I hope to speak to some of the players and management before they depart.  For now, check out our interview with U-19 Canadian Fast Bowler Manny Aulakh.

Does Cricket Have A Future In Canada?

Came across this video on YouTube the other day.  A 1994 CBC video report.

We’ve come a long way since 1994, but there is still plenty more work to do.  Especially at the grass-roots level.  We need to get more players at a younger age and we need give them the facilities and guidance required to take a step up to the next level.

What do you think?  How far can cricket go in Canada?  Can we ever make it as a main stream sport?

Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on twitter.

Fixtures for 2010 Intercontinental Cup

The ICC has announced the fixtures for the 2009-2010 Intercontinental Cup.  Canada will play three 4-day matches (2 at home, 1 in UAE).

They will travel to the UAE in February to take on Afghanistan, before playing host to Zimbabwe and Ireland in the late summer.

Canada has never won the cup, but have made it to the finals twice.  First in 2004 when they lost to Scotland and again in 2007 – losing out to Ireland.

ICC INTERCONTINENTAL CUP

23-26 Jan – Afghanistan v Ireland, Sri Lanka
25-28 Jan – Kenya v Scotland, Kenya
17-20 Feb – Afghanistan v Canada, UAE
10-13 Jun – Netherlands v Scotland, Netherlands
11-14 Aug – Scotland v Afghanistan, Scotland
11-14 Aug – Ireland v Netherlands, Ireland
21-24 Aug – Canada v Zimbabwe XI, Canada
1-4 Sep – Canada v Ireland, Canada
1-4 Sep – Netherlands v Zimbabwe XI, Netherlands
2-5 Oct – Kenya v Afghanistan, Kenya
6-9 Oct – Zimbabwe XI v Ireland, Africa
13-16 Oct – Zimbabwe XI v Scotland, Africa
25-29 Nov – FINAL (five days), UAE

Can this year be different?  How do you think Canada will fare?

Let us know in the comments or hit us up on twitter.

U-19 Player Profile: Manny Aulakh

Full Name: Maninderjit Singh Aulakh
DOB: 17/11/91
Birthplace: Bathinda, Punjab, India
Batting Style: RHB (Middle/Lower Order Bat)
Bowling Style: Right-Arm Fast-Medium
Favourite Shot: Cover Drive
Domestic Club: Richmond Cricket Club (BC)

Manny has just returned from a 7 week training program in Sri Lanka.  He is expected to be an important part of the Canadian U-19 team next month in New Zealand during the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

When did you start playing Cricket?

I started playing when I was about 10 or 11 in India.  Nothing organized, just playing with a tennis ball in the street with my brother.

How did you start playing Cricket in Canada?

I came to Richmond, BC with my family in 2004.  My brother joined the Richmond Cricket Club soon after.  One day, I went to a game with him and one of the players didn’t show up, so I took his place.  I only faced 2 balls and didn’t get to bowl, but I really enjoyed the game.  That was the first time I played hard ball cricket.

After that I decided I wanted to play.  I went to all the club practices and started out playing in the lowest division (5th Division) in May 2006.

When did you start playing with the U-19 squad?

My first game was this past summer in King City vs Bahamas.  We won quite easily and I got my first wicket!  It was great.

You were recently in Sri Lanka.  Tell me about that experience.

Before I left for Sri Lanka, I met with Coach Pubudu Dassanayake, he told me what to focus on when I got there.  I was in Sri Lanka for 7 weeks.  I started with Pacific club but then I moved to Tamil Union.  Basically, I worked really hard on my fitness during net sessions, running, gym sessions, pool sessions and we even had a bowling session with Chaminda Vaas.

What did you learn while you were there?

Sri Lanka was an awesome experience for me.  I found out how hard it is to become a professional cricketer. I also learned that Cricket is more than just physical talent.  You need to develop the mental part.  You need to have a good cricket brain.

What is next for you?

Right now, I’m fully concentrating on the tour to West Indies next week.  After that we are going to New Zealand for the Under 19 World Cup.

In the ICC qualifiers during the summer, I was mainly played in the team as a bowler but recently I’ve been working on my batting as well.  I’m looking forward to it.

What do you think of your chances in the World Cup?

We have to take one game at a time. We have a very good team and I’m confident that we’ll give a tough time to team’s like Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Bloggers Note: You’ve got to love the confidence.  What do you think?  Can Canada pull off an upset next month in New Zealand?

Let us know in the comments section below or hit us up on twitter.