On Sunday, February 7, hours before the start of this years Super Bowl 55, in thousands of cricket loving households all across Canada, individuals were glued to their television screens. Their individual and combined attentions were riveted on the exploits of their fellow Canadian Nitish Kumar, who was representing the Leewards Hurricanes against the Windwards Volcanoes in the opening fixture of the Cricket West Indies hosted 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 Tournament, being played at the Coolidge Cricket Center in St Johns Antigua.
As the only Canadian involved in the Tournament, indeed its only non West Indian player, Kumar carried the interests of all of his Canadian supporters when he strode to the crease with the Leeward Hurricanes score on 51/2 off 8.6 overs in pursuit of the 285 run victory target that had been set by the Windwards Volcanoes. He did not disappoint, proceeding instead to fashion an innings that was subsequently described during the post match presentation ceremony by the Windwards Volcanoes captain, West Indies One Day International player, Sunil Ambris as one of the very best he has ever seen in Caribbean regional limited overs cricket.
Displaying his extensive repertoire of shots Kumar stroked his way to 112, made off just 106 balls that included nine majestic fours and two imperial sixes. It was as the West Indies fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose described, an innings of superb class and outstanding pedigree. It was, however, part of a losing cause as the Leewards Hurricanes were eventually dismissed for 253 off 47.2 overs 31 runs short of the required victory target. Kumar was also, somewhat surprisingly, not chosen as the Man of the Match, losing out in that respect to the Windwards Volcanoes Kevin Stoute, who scored 86 off 96 balls with eight fours and one six as part of his teams match winning total of 284.
Kumar's social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were immediately flooded with congratulatory messages from supporters across Canada following his outstanding innings. Several Cricket Canada Board Members including President Rashpal Bajwa, Directors Mohammed Shaikh and Ranjit Chaudhri, General Manager Ingleton Liburd as well as Brampton & Etobicoke League President Praim Persaud were among those sending congratulatory messages to Kumar.
Kumar's Leewards Hurricanes 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 century is his fourth in List A matches, Since making his One Day International debut in 2011 and becoming the second youngest ever ODI player, as a right-handed batsman and right-arm off spinner, Canada born Kumar has become one of Canadas leading batting all-rounders and a regular member of Canadian National cricket teams. His most recent appearances for Canada were as a member of the Canadian squad for the 201920 Caribbean Regional Super50 Tournament. He was again Canadas leading run-scorer in the tournament, with 265 runs in eight matches.
The Leeward Hurricanes remaining 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 Preliminary Round matches will be on Feb 10 vs Barbados Pride; Feb 13 vs Guyana Jaguars; Feb 17 vs T&T Red Force and Feb 19 vs Jamaica Scorpions.
Update 10 February:
Canada’s Nitish Kumar followed his superb 2021 Caribbean Super50 opening match century with a solid 41, as the Leeward Hurricanes led by Keacy Carty’s superb unbeaten century and a belligerent Hayden Walsh Jnr cameo, secured a sensational four wicket final over win against the Barbados Pride. Carty, produced a memorable knock of 123 not out. He hit nine fours and three sixes, to record his maiden List A hundred on a good pitch at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. He won the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award.
Chasing the daunting victory target of 302 to win at a required rate of 6 runs per over, the Hurricanes lost both its opening batsmen by the thirteenth over with only 62 runs on the board. Kumar and Carty, however, combined for a 98 run third wicket partnership which steadied the innings and provided a perfect platform for the match-winning fireworks that were to follow.
Having gracefully stroked his way to 41 off 48 balls with two fours, Kumar attempted an injudicious reverse sweep to an Ashley Nurse delivery, missed completely and was struck plumb in front to be adjudged lbw. It was a most disappointing end to an innings that had promised much and which had even seemed headed toward a second successive century.
In the final stages with an asking rate of close to 14 runs per over Hayden Walsh smashed an explosive 9 ball 28, which included three massive sixes in one over. His belligerent cameo provided the impetus for the undaunted Casey to eventually see the Hurricanes home.
The Barbados Trident’s 302 had been structured around Shamar Brooks 96 off 88 balls and Jonathan Carter’s 91 ball 58. The two featured in an 160 run partnership for the third wicket that provided the backbone Pride’s eventually insufficient total of 301.
The win gave the Leewards Hurricanes its first two points of the tournament and a third place on the points table behind the Jaguars and Windwards Hurricanes, while the Pride were left floundering in last place with zero points having lost both of its matches played to date. The tournaments two other competing teams. Jamaica Scorpions and Trinidad Red Force were set to play each other on Thursday February 10.
Kumar will be hoping for much improved performances in the Leeward Hurricanes three remaining Preliminary Round matches. The Hurricanes will face the Guyana Jaguars on Feb 13; T&T Red Force on Feb 17 and the F Jamaica Scorpions on Feb 19.
Canada’s outstanding all-rounder Nitish Kumar has been included in the Leeward Islands Hurricanes final 15 member squad for the 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 Championships. The Leeward Islands Hurricanes will be one of six Caribbean territory franchises competing in s in the 2021 edition of the annual Cricket West Indies fifty-over tournament. The Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes will be the other five competing franchises for the February 7-27, 2021 Tournament which will be played in Antigua.
The Canada born Kumar’s selection to the Leewards Hurricanes 2021 Super50 Squad follows his participation in the franchise’s pre-tournament training camp that was held in Antigua earlier this month. He is the only non Caribbean based player to be selected to any of the squads that will be competing in the 2021 Super50 Championships.
The Leewards Hurricanes will clash with the Windwards Volcanoes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, for the Sunday, February 7 opening match of the 2021 CG Insurance Super50 Cup. A total of 19 matches will be played in the 50 Over Tournament which is scheduled to conclude on February 27.
The six competing teams will play each other on a round-robin basis with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals and the opportunity to reach the grand final. Matches will be played at Antigua’s two international cricket venues - the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS). There will be 13 matches at CCG including the semi-finals and final, and six matches at SVRS.
The Leeward Hurricanes 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 Preliminary Round matches will be on Feb. 7 vs Windward Volcanoes; Feb 10 vs Barbados Pride; Feb 13 vs Guyana Jaguars; Feb 17 vs T&T Red Force and Feb 19 vs Jamaica Scorpions.
Since making his One Day International debut in 2011 and becoming the second youngest ever ODI player, as a right-handed batsman and right-arm off spinner, Canada born Nitish Kumar has become one of Canada’s leading batting all-rounders and a regular member of Canadian National cricket teams. His most recent appearances for Canada were as a member of the . Canadian squad for the 2019–20 Caribbean Regional Super50 Tournament. He was again Canada’s leading run-scorer in the tournament, with 265 runs in eight matches.
Canada’s outstanding cricket all-rounder Nitish Kumar has been invited by the Leeward Islands Hurricanes to participate in the Franchise’s Training Camp in preparation for its involvement in the forthcoming 2021 Caribbean Regional Super50 Championships. The Leeward Islands Hurricanes will be one of six Caribbean territory franchises competing in the Cricket West Indies in the 2021 edition of the annual cricket West Indies fifty-over tournament. Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Windward Islands will be the other five competing franchises for the February 7-27, 2021 Tournament which will be played in Antigua.
Nitish Kumar is the only Canadian to have received an invitation from any of the competing Caribbean Regional 2021 Super50 franchises to participate in their scheduled Training Camps. His participation in the Leeward Islands Hurricane’s Antigua based Camp means that he will eligible for selection to the final 15 member of roster of players who will represent the franchise at the 2021 Championships.
As a right-handed batsman and right-arm off spinner, Canadian born Nitish Kumar created history in 2011 by making his One Day International debut and becoming the second youngest ever ODI player. His participation in the ICC 2011 World Cup also made him the then youngest player to ever feature in the Tournament. Kumar made his Canadian T20 International debut in 2012 and has since then become one of Canada’s leading batting all-rounders and a regular member of Canadian National cricket teams.Kumar’s October 2016 Canada National Men’s cricket team captaincy appointment, at the age of 22, made him one of the youngest ever to hold that position.
At last year’s Cricket West Indies 2019 Regional Super50 Championships, the Zone A Canada inclusive matches of which were played in St Kitts, Shahid Ahmadzai captured 10 wickets in the seven matches he played. It was a highly commendable performance by the now 31-year-old Ahmadzai (born 15 November 1988), who was finally making his international debut in List A matches for Canada.
During the 2019 Regional Super50 Tournament, Ahmadzai also scored 190 runs from 8 innings to end the Tournament with a commendable 27.14 average. He shared a significant stand of 103 for the third wicket with Nitish Kumar during Canada’s match- winning first-round encounter against the defending Champions the Combined Colleges & Campuses. Ahmadzai’s contribution to the Canadian innings was a career-high 73 from 87 balls that included five fours and four fours.
Just recently announced by the Canadian based premier cricket gear company Arsak Sports as its sponsor player, Shahid Ahmadzai’s journey to the prominence he enjoyed as one of Canada’s outstanding 2019 Super50 performers, has been frustratingly long and arduous. He will readily admit to having been a huge fan of cricket for as long as he can remember. He remembers watching cricket on television as a kid and recalls having had a dream to become a professional cricket player one day.
In pursuit of that dream, Ahmadzai started playing street cricket with other kids in Peshawar, Pakistan when he was just 12 years old. Two years later at the age of 14, he started to play cricket in Afghanistan. Shahid would come home from school, have lunch then go to cricket practice for 3-4 hours, 6 days a week.
As a student at Afghanistan’s Sayed Noor Mohammad Shah Mina High School, Shahid’s potential as a very promising, prodigiously talented all-rounder soon attracted the attention of the country’s cricket authorities. He was scouted while playing school’s cricket and subsequently selected to play for Afghanistan at the U15 and U17 levels prior to his eventual inclusion in the Afghanistan U19 and national team.
Tragedy, however, struck Shahid and his family when his father and older brother were killed in 2002, by relatives associated with the Taliban. He began playing cricket for Afghanistan in 2005 and traveled with the youth squad around the world. In 2009, while playing at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup qualifying rounds in Toronto, he and five of his teammates sought asylum.
Ahmadzai first sought asylum in Canada in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 that his claim was heard — and rejected. In the intervening years, the then 29-year-old Shahid was living in Toronto on an open work permit because Canada has suspended deportations of people to war-torn Afghanistan for safety reasons.
With only a Grade 10 education from Afghanistan, Ahmadzai finished high school in Toronto while working in factories, retail jobs, and plumbing. He subsequently also became a Uber driver. Throughout his personal trials and tribulations, he never forgot about his cricket dreams and didn’t ever give up on one day fulfilling his dreams!
Not long after his September 2009 arrival in Canada, Shahid started playing recreationally. He first started to play cricket with the Ontario Cricket Academy(OCA). He played with OCA for about four to five years before leaving to play with the Canadian Cricket Club (CCC).
In 2017, Shahid was selected to represent the Canadian national team in its AUTY Cup fixture against the USA. “That was a great opportunity which I feel really catapulted my career.!
For almost ten years Shahid was engaged in a rigorous routine “I’d get home between 4:30 - 5 a.m. after driving Uber for hours during the night. I’d catch a few hours of sleep, before rushing to my cricket practice at 10:30 in the morning and staying there until 8 p.m. After which I’d get back home to shower and then start taking (Uber) orders to start the cycle all over again,” said Ahmadzai, who has been financially supporting his widowed mother and brother in Kabul.
Shahid subsequently applied twice for permanent residence in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and was rejected both times. His application was finally accepted in 2019; following his third submission.
As if in celebration of his Canadian permanent resident status finally being approved Shahid was in June 2019, selected to play for the Edmonton Royals franchise team in the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament. In September 2019, he was named in Canada’s squad for the 2019 Malaysia Cricket World Cup Challenge League A tournament. The following month, he was named in Canada’s squad for the 2019–20 Regional Super50 tournament in the West Indies. He made his List A debut on 8 November 2019, for Canada in the 2019–20 Regional Super50 tournament.
Now having made his mark by establishing himself as an obviously talented all-rounder, capable of outstanding achievements with both bat and ball, Shahid admits to enjoying both roles equally! His personal objectives as a Canadian cricketer from heron in are simple and straightforward. “I want to do good. I would love the opportunity to get back ODI status for Canada. We have a lot of great talent in Canada, I’m hopeful that it is achievable!”
With his many all-round talents at this disposal and his recently provided access to Arsak’s Sports outstanding cricket gear, there’s now every reason to believe in Shahid Ahmadzai’s capabilities for achieving not only his own personal objectives but also those of Canada’s national team as well!
Harsh Thaker Seeking To Solidify Status As Canadian Cricket’s Leading All-Rounder!
Fresh from his outstanding all-round performances with both bat and ball for Canada during last November’s St Kitts hosted Zone A matches of the 2019 Cricket West Indies (CWI) Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Championships, Harsh Thaker will be seeking similar returns in Malaysia in the weeks ahead. Thaker has been named as one of the fourteen cricketers who will represent Canada at the March 14-27 Malaysia hosted International Cricket Conference (ICC) Cricket World Cup Challenge League A.
Thaker’s ever-increasing status as one of Canada’s Senior Men’s teams leading all-rounders was further confirmed during the recent CWI Super50 Championships held in St Kitts last November. As a batsman he scored 223 runs from 8 innings, at a 31.85 average. Apart from the average chart-topping Nitish Kumar, Thaker was the only other Canadian batsman to score over two hundred runs and average above 30 during the Super50 Championships!
With the ball, Thaker’s performances were even more impressive. He was undoubtedly Canada’s best bowler at the Super50 Tournament, capturing the most wickets (10) from 43 overs bowled. His 18.90 average was also the lowest among all of Canada’s bowlers.
Thaker has listed his Super50 Man of the Match performance against the Combined Colleges & Campuses which helped Canada to secure a historic second Tournament match victory, the very first time a Canadian team had ever won two matches in a Caribbean Regional Tournament, as his very best 2019 cricket memory. He has also established being more consistent in producing outstanding performances with both bat and ball towards winning more matches for Canada as his primary cricketing objective for 2020.
This year’s Malaysia 2020 ICC CWC Challenge League A will be the second leg of the three year 2019–2021Tournament which forms part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process for the twelve teams that are ranked 21-32 in the ICC’s standings. The twelve teams have been split into two groups, with each group playing a six-team tournament on an annual basis. The top team in each group will advance to a 2022 play-off tournament.
Canada’s 2020 Challenge League A opponents will be Denmark, Qatar, Singapore, Vanuatu and the Tournament hosts Malaysia. The Canadians will be hoping to extend the position they secured as League leaders having suffered just one loss, to Singapore, during in the 2019 Tournament to head Group A with eight points.
Cricket Canada has announced the names of a strong fourteen member Men’s Senior Team Squad to participate in the 2020 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup Challenge League A. The Tournament, which will be a part of the qualification process for the 2023 ICC Word Cup, will be held in Malaysia from March 14 – 27, 2020. Canada will play fifty 0vers matches against ICC Division A country teams representing Denmark, Qatar, Singapore, Vanuatu and hosts Malaysia during the Tournament.
Canada’s 14 member ICC 2020 Challenge Cup Squad will be captained by its experienced opening batsman Navneet Dhaliwal (pictured). In 30 List A (fifty-overs) matches played to date in Canadian colours, Dhaliwal has scored 1027 runs at an impressive 39.50 average, with two centuries and five half centuries. Nitish Kumar, Abrash Khan, Ravinderpal Singh, Harsh Thaker, Varun Sehdev and Srimantha Wijeyeratne, will provide batting support to Dhaliwal.
Canada’s bowling attack will be centred around the front line spin of experienced campaigners Saad Bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta, Salman Nazar and Shahid Ahmedzai. They will be ably supported by the part-time spin offerings of Nitish Kumar and Dhaliwal himself. Romesh Eranga and Faizal Jamkhandi are the only two seamers included in the squad, the wicket-keeping duties for which will be shared by Srimantha Wijeyeratne and Armaan Kapoor.
Experienced South African Amarinder Bhinder will be the Head Coach for the Canadian Squad, which will be managed by Carlos Ragoonath. Surendra Seeraj (Assistant Coach), Daulat Khan (Asst Coach/Analyst) and Tejash Patel (Physio) will be the other members of the Canadian Squad’s management team.
The full squad (in alphabetical order) with their respective roles is as follows:
(ICC media release) Right from the word go the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup has acted as a petri dish for the progress of cricket’s emerging nations, with an ICC Associates XI entered in the inaugural event in 1988.
From those early steps to memorable performances from Nepal, Namibia and Afghanistan in recent years, the age-group showpiece has acted as a vehicle for Associates to turn dreams into reality.
And for Canada’s Nitish Kumar, it helped him make history.
The all-rounder from Scarborough, Ontario has been representing his country for nearly a decade, starting in earnest at the 2010 U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
Kumar was thrown in at the deep end of the international game, becoming the second-youngest player in ODI history when lining up against Afghanistan in February 2010.
The U19 World Cup helped him consolidate those experiences and then equipped him for the biggest stage as he became the youngest-ever player to feature at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, figuring in Canada’s defeat to Zimbabwe in February 2011 aged 16 years and 283 days.
“It was so special to be able to represent your country at such a prestigious event as the U19 World Cup,” said Kumar, now 25.
“It was a competitive environment and we played against some of the best players in our age-group.
“To succeed at the tournament, you need clear plans and to trust your skills. You’ve made it to that stage for a reason and you must believe you’re good enough to win every game.
“It gives you an opportunity to measure your skills against the best in the world at your age. From there you are able to identify areas for improvement.”
The U19 Cricket World Cup has always been a truly global gathering and Netherlands’ Tim De Leede and Canada’s Nicholas Ifill progressed from the 1988 Associates XI to gain Men’s Cricket World Cup experiences.
In recent years Eoin Morgan, Rashid Khan, Steven Taylor, Kyle Coetzer and Mark Chapman have been some of the more recognisable names to star for Associate nations at the U19 World Cup.
Chirag Suri appeared for UAE in the 2014 tournament on home soil, where the host nation gained vital experience in a group with England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Hitting a half-century as his side came close to beating the Kiwis, Suri says the event suffused his side with belief they could challenge top-ranking nations.
“This tournament definitely makes you believe in yourself as a cricketer and competing against the best only makes you a more competent and consistent player,” said Suri.
“It’s a great place to be and to see where you stand as a player on the international stage amongst the best of your age.
“It’s an incredible experience which players will share with their kids one day, you have to make every moment enjoyable and not leave anything in the changing room.
“Personally, scoring a 50 against a Test nation like New Zealand and going incredibly close against them, and facing Sri Lanka and England, really made me believe in my ability and the potential of the team.”
Associate nations will once again be out in force at the 2020 renewal of the event, set for South Africa from 17 January – 9 February.
Nigeria and Japan secured qualification for the first time through victory at Africa and EAP Division One events, while Canada, UAE and Scotland will once again take part.
Suri underlines that players who strut their stuff at the U19 World Cup have a unique opportunity – to launch their career in front of a global audience.
“The U19 World Cup can be very pivotal for the next stage of your career if you’re a young player,” said Suri.
“We have seen players doing well in these tournaments and with the confidence they get from it, going on to become the best of the world.
“Virat Kohli is a prime example. I've been following him since his U19 World Cup appearance and look at his journey until today.
“There isn’t a better platform to showcase your skills than this one.”
Canada played Jamaica today for the second time in the West Indies Super 50 competition. Canada, batting first made 244/9, with Harsh Thaker top scoring with 60. Jamaica's experience showed as they won by 3 wickets with 13 balls remaining.
Canada won the toss and chose to bat first again. Rayan Pathan (33) and Jeet Mehta (32) put together Canada's best opening partnership of the tournament- 69 in 13.1 overs. Following this promising start, Canada lost three relatively quick wickets, both openers falling and then Arslan Khan brilliantly caught at slip - 92/3, all three wickets falling to the spin of Bulli. Nitish Kumar and Harsh Thaker put on 56 before Bulli struck again, Kumar caught for 42. Thaker's 60 from 82 balls took Canada past 200 before he pushed McCarthy to short cover- 207/6 with 5 overs to go. After two more wickets fell, Movva (21) and Mann hit well in the closing overs, taking Canada to 244/9.
Canada were gifted a wicket in the first over with a run out, and took a second when Ahmadzai caught and bowled Blackwood - 56/2 in the 14th over. Pathan had Fudadin caught behind with the score on 81, and then bowled McCarthy, 101/4 after 21 overs. Bonner and Powell put on 85, and despite losing two quick wickets towards the end they hung on for a three wicket win. Bonner with 73* top-scored.
The Canadian squad lost to Jamaica today in the Windies Super 50 competition. Canada posted 243/7, another good batting performance led by 65 from Nitish Kumar, and at one point had Jamaica in trouble at 97/4.
Canada won the toss and chose to bat. Pathan made 13 before he was bowled by Thomas but Mehta and Kumar brought up the fifty in the 10th over. Their partnership reached sixty before Mehta was caught behind for 33. Kumar was joined by Thaker, and they brought up the hundred in the 23rd over, Kumar reaching his personal half century soon after. Thaker made 18 before he was caught at mid-off, 119/3. Kumar made 65 before he was caught and bowled. Kanwarpal Thagur made a useful 43, taking Canada past 200. Kaleelm Sala (23) and Movva (26) hit well in the final ovbers to allow Canada to make 243/7.
Kanwar Mann was asked to open the bowling with his left arm spin, and this paid off with two wickets in his first over. Spin took the third wicket - Shahid Ahmadzai bowling McCarthy, and when Thaker had Fudadin caught behind, Canada seemed favourites with Jamaica 97/4 in the 25th over. Jamaican captain Rovmon Powell had other ideas, and took the attack to the Canadian bowlers, reaching his fifty from only 27 balls. This turned the match in Jamaica's favour and they ran out winners by four wickets, Powell reaching his century.
An outstanding performance by Canada’s development team resulted in a resounding victory over last year’s champions, Combined Colleges today. The Canadians, put in to bat, put in their best batting performance of the tournament to date, led by a century from Nitish Kumar and 73 from Shahid Ahmadzai, all out for 249 in the last over. A fine all round bowling performance, led by 3 wickets from both Kanwar Mann and Kaleem Sana, bowled out Combined Colleges for 149 and a 100 run victory.
Combined Colleges won the toss and put Canada in to bat. The Canadians again lost an early wicket, Shereyas Movva caught behind in the third over. This brought in Nitish Kumar who appeared in good form, hitting the boundary with three classy cover drives early on. Jeet Mehta battled through a tough start and started to play his shots, the fifty coming up in 12 overs. They put on 80 before Mehta was run out. Shahid Ahmadzai came in and he and Kumar put on 103 before Kumar was finally out but not before completed an excellent century (102 from 99 balls with 14 fours). Ahmadzai made 73 from 88 balls, before being bowled hitting out in the 47th over. There was a collpase towards the end of the innings, the last 5 wickets falling for 9 runs in 3 overs.
Thaker made an early breakthrough, with Morrison caught with the score on 23. Canada then were gifted a wicket, with poor running leading to an easy run out, and Mann secured a leg before decision two balls later- 45/3 in the 9th over. Mann then took the prized wicket of CCC captain Braithwaite in his next over, bowled by a well flighted delivery. He took the 5th wicket as well in a great spell of bowling, having Mcatty caught behind. Yax Patel piled on the pressure with two more wickets, another catch by the keeper, and a caught and bowled to reduce CCC to 85/7. A stubborn partnership was broken by Kaleem Sana, a short ball leading to Movva’s third catch behind the stumps and he also took Canada to victory taking the final two wickets, both clean bowled.
The Canadian development squad played their second match in the West Indies regional 50 over competition today, taking on Barbados. A patient 76 from Arslan Khan allowed them to post a total of 161 against a strong Barbados bowling attack. Barbados had little trouble knocking off the runs, with a useful contribution from Canadian Nicholas Kirton.
Canada won the toss and chose to bat. They were in early trouble, with both openers gone in the third over, one to a leg before decision and Pathan bowled trying for a big drive. Nitish Kumar was the next to go, edging a lifting delivery to the keeper- 15/3. Arslan Khan and Shahid Ahmadzai concentrated on survival, but Ahmadzai was caught behind for 6 (21) with the score 29/4 in the 15th over. Tathgur (5) helped Arslan Khan take the score to 50 before being caught in the deep. The 100 came up in the 36th over with 6 wickets down, and Arslan Khan brought up a patient fifty from 105 balls in the next over. He went on to 76 (125 balls) before he was dismissed. Kaleem Sana and Harmandeep Singh put on useful runs in the final overs as Canada were all out for 161 in the penultimate over.
Barbados got off to a quick start, bringing up the 50 in the 10th over without loss. The spinners slowed the scoring date, and then Shahid Ahmadzai broke the partnership, getting a favourable leg before decision. That brought in Canadian national team player Nicholas Kirton, representing Barbados in this tournament. He and Kjorn Ottley had little trouble steering Barbados to victory in 30 overs. Kirton finished with 54*, finishing the match with a six and a four. .
The journey to create a bunch of world-beaters is long and arduous. It comes with sacrifices but is ultimately rewarding. Cricket Canada’s development squad is currently partaking in the Super50 Cup in the West Indies. Here is a peek into their mindset as they brace for steeper challenges.
By Karthik Swaminathan
The opening match against Leeward Islands might not have been the best of starts the Canadian development team were looking for, but it is also imperative to see the fine print which is where actual progress reflects. “At this level, my role as a coach has more to do with man management and bringing the best out of the cricketers than just coaching the basics. It is about discipline and setting plans and contingencies…”, says coach and manager Amarinder Bhinder, who also happens to be the only coach in the Americas to have two Level 3s.
Leeward Islands piled up 257 in the Super50 Cup face-off, but there were two aspects which pleased Bhinder. His young team (average age 23-24) had not only bowled them out within 50 overs, but also kept the extras to just 4. Something to feel encouraged against a far superior outfit. “I’d say 80% of our bowling plans were successful, but batting is a concern. The lads are learning the importance of patience and staying at the crease,” Bhinder adds.
Going through the process is vital, especially when the sport of cricket is trying to again be noticed by Canadians at large. It has to be remembered that there was a time when cricket was declared as Canada's first official sport (1867). The first ever international match was played between the United States and Canada way back in 1844. So, while there is rich history, sporting priorities have changed over centuries and now the sport will have a much tougher climb – especially given the successes in other fields such as golf (Brooke Henderson), basketball (Toronto Raptors) and tennis (Bianca Andreescu), besides the other usual suspects such as ice hockey and baseball.
Bhinder and the boys realise just that as they look to take Canada back to the world stage in cricket. And they are not averse to experimenting – be it with the playing XI or with strategies. Nitish Kumar, former captain of the national team and one of the finest Canadian cricketers in recent times, is part of the touring developmental squad as a mentor.
The 25-year-old, who in 2011 was the youngest player to take part in a World Cup, has had quite a journey himself and stresses on organic development of a cricketer as opposed to drumming in everything from the get-go, especially in a challenging tournament like the Super50. “It’s not super formal with me; I just offer whatever I can… It’s about understanding what [the player’s] role is. Mistakes happen as batting is hard to master, even top players struggle, it is about finding your game and trying to stick to it to the best of one’s ability.”
As if in sync with Bhinder’s batting notes, Kumar explains the challenges batsmen face at the level when the conversation turns to the mind game. He adds, “The mental aspect grows more when you play more cricket. Experience is a great thing and it comes from being part of different situations in a game and taking decisions.” As pragmatic as it can get, and Bhinder concurs, “They will learn when faced with different scenarios; by setting small targets, we take steps in the right direction.” The players certainly seem inspired. Vice-captain Shreyas Movva is one of them. “Seven or eight players have made their debut in the development team and it is great to have someone as experienced as Nitish around… The positive vibes and out-of-the-box thinking from Amarinder help a lot too.” Positivity breeds positivity, which is among the biggest takeaways Bhinder tries to address. “They are so happy, so hungry, and keen to practice and work…”
With that attitude, and the backing of the board, the nation and the legion of fans, success won’t be a far-fetched destination. As Ranjit Saini, resident of Cricket Canada, reiterates, “It is just a matter of time.
Cricket Canada is pleased announce the squad for the West Indies Super50 Cup. This development squad will be captained by Kanwarpal Tathgur (pictured) and coached by Amrinder Bhinder . The team is a balance between young Canadian players and over 23 players that have not been in the national system.
Nitish Kumar has kindly agreed to participate as a player mentor and will provide on and off ground mentoring support to young athletes. A number of athletes are unavailable for personal reasons.
Canada is in Group A of the West Indies Super50 Cup and will play a double round robin series of matches in St Kitts against Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Leeward Islands and Jamaica. The tournament begins on November 6, 2019 the Leeward Islands play Combined Campuses and Colleges at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts. Canada’s first game is against the Leeward Islands at Warner Park on November 8.
Canada’s Group A Matches
November 8 Canada v Leeward Islands, Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts
November 11 Canada v Barbados, Conaree Sports Cmoplex
November 14 Canada v Combined Campuses and Colleges, Conaree Sports Complex
November 16 Canada v Jamaica, Warner Park
November 18 Canada v Jamaica, Conaree Sports Complex
November 21 Canada v Leeward Islands, Warner Park
November 23 Canada v Barbados, Warner Park
November 25 Canada v Combined Campuses and Colleges, Conaree Sports Complex
Canada lost to Hong Kong in their fourth match at the WC T20 qualifier today, falling well short of a 151 run target. Canada had won their first three matches but now fall to second place in their group on net run rate. They play Oman, now in 1st place, in their next match.
Hong Kong batted first after winning the toss. They got off to a fast start but then three wickets in 7 balls slowed their progress - Jeremy Gordon made the initial breakthrough, then Saad Bin Zafar had Aizaz Khan caught, and captain Navneet Dhaliwal ran out Ahsan Abbasi. After 10 overs, Hong Kong were 58/3. Nitish Kumar broke the 4th wicket partnership, taking 1/18 in four overs as Canada's spinners bowled tightly in the middle overs. Man of the match Kinchit Shah (59*) hit well, and Canada needed 151 to win.
Canada lost both openers for 17 runs when they started their reply, and struggled against tight bowling and fielding falling well behind the required run rate. Seven batsman got to double figures but the top score was 20 from Rizwan Cheema as Canada lost by 32 runs.
Canada had a big win over Ireland in their third match of the ICC WC T20 qualifier today to remain unbeaten. This was their first victory over a full member nation since 2003.
Canada won the toss and chose to bat. Rizwan Cheema, playing his first game of the tournament was bowled with the score on 13, but Navneet Dhaliwal and Nitish Kumar put together a good partnership. After 10 overs, Canada were 72/1. Dhaliwal reached his half century from just 37 balls. A reverse sweep from Kumar brought up the century partnership from 67 balls with 6 overs to go. Dhaliwal was finally caught in the deep for 69 from 51 balls. Kumar reached his third consecutive fifty from 34 balls, but was caught in the deep from the next ball. Hamza Tariq fell first ball, but Ravinderpaul Singh and Dillon Heyliger took Canada to 156/5 from their 20 overs.
Ireland fought hard against good Canadian bowling, and fell just 10 runs short. Needing 27 from the last two overs, Gordon and Heyliger bowled well at the death for the win. Earlier Saad Bin Zafar and Eranga each took 2 wickets, and Nikhil Dutta bowled 3 overs for just 12 runs, taking a wicket. Nitisgh Kumar added a catch and an outstanding run-out to his half century and was named man of the match.
Canada's next match is against Hong Kong tomorrow.
Canada beat Nigeria by 50 runs in their second match of the ICC WC T20 qualifier today in Abu Dhabi. Canada now top their group on net run rate and are the only unbeaten team. Nitish Kumar and Hamza Tariq srarrted with the bat, and Dillon Heyliger took three wickets.
Canada batted first, and found scoring difficult against a disciplined Nigerian attack and with a big playing surface making boundaries challenging. A number of bats got a start but only Nitish Kumar (57*) built a decent innings. Canada were 112/6 in the 17th over, but then Hamza Tariq slammed 33 from 16 balls to take them to a decent total of 159/7.
Dillon Heyliger and Jeremy Gordon unsettled the Nigerian openers with some genuine pace, with Heyliger taking two wickets to good catches in the deep. The Canadian spinners took control in the middle overs (Saad Bin Zafar with 2 wickets) and helped by a sharp run out, Nigeria lost wickets and fell well behind the run rate. They batted out their overs, making 109/8.
Gordon bowled his 4 overs for just 12 runs, Saad bin Zafar took 2/25, and Heyliger, with another wicket in the last over, took 3/16.
Canada got their tournament off to an excellent start with a 53 run win over Jersey. Rodrigo Thomas and Navneet Dhaliwal put on 50 for the first wicket but then Nitish Kumar took over with a powerful innings of 83 from just 36 balls. He hit six sixes and four fours. Canada made 176/5 from their 20 overs. The Canadian pacers had Jersey on the back foot from the start, Jeremy Gordon taking a wicket with his second ball, and Dillon Heyliger taking two wickets as Jersey fell to 37/3. The spinners took over, restricting the run rate in the middle overs, and then Jeremy Gordon finished off the innings, Jersey bowled out for 123 in 17 overs. Gordon took 3/14 and Heyliger 3/20.
Canada played Singapore today in Dubai in a warm-up match in preparation for the ICC World Cup T20 qualifying tournament.
Singapore made 164/5 in 20 overs after batting first with five Canadian bowlers sharing the wickets. Canada overtook the target with 2 overs to spare, with Ravinderpaul Singh smashing 79 from 38 balls (7 sixes ands four fours). Nitish Kumar made 44.
Canada beat Denmark to maintain their 100% record in the CWC Challenge League Group A tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
Canada, captained by Nitish Kumar standing in for Navneet Dhaliwal, batted first and made 302/8 in their 50 overs. Srimantha Wijeyeratne top-scored with 84, and Abraash Khan (42), and Ravindepal Singh (43) made useful contributions.
Denmark's target was revised to 221 from 33 overs after a rain delay. They were in a promising position at 101/1 after 25 overs but then 3 wickets apiece from Dutta and Saad Bin Zafar halted their progress, and they finished on 172/9. Saad Bin Zafar was named player of the match- 34* from 14 balls and 3/28.
Canada play Singapore (3 and 1) in their final match tomorrow.
A brilliant all round performance by Nitish Kumar took Canada to a third successive win at the CWC Challenge Group A tournament in Malaysia, beating previously unbeaten Qatar by 115 runs. Kumar followed up an excellent 129 with 5 wickets. Canada batted first, and put up another big total. Thomas (51) and Dhaliwal (38) got them off to a solid start then twin centuries from Nitish Kumar (129 from 84 balls) and Srimantha Wijeyeratne (112) took them to 379/4 from their 50 overs.
Qatar put up a good fight with an opening stand of 149 and were in with a chance after 25 overs. Saad Bin Zafar broke the stand in the 26th over and Kumar took the next five wickets, ending with 5/72 as Qatar were bowled out for 264.
Canada's next match is against Singapore on Wednesday.
Canada beat Malaysia by 206 runs in their second match of the CWC Challenge League Group A tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Batting first, they made a massive 408/7, led by 140 from captain Navneet Dhaliwal. He hit 13 sixes in the 94 ball innings, putting on 140 for the first wicket with Rodrigo Thomas (62), and 120 for the second with Nitish Kumar (60). Ravinderpaul Singh smashed 94 from just 46 balls.
Malaysia were bowled out for 202 in 46.3 overs, Nitish Kumar taking 3 wickets, Heyliger and Eranga two apiece, and Saad Bin Zafar one.
Canada are now 2-0 with their next match on Saturday against Qatar.
With a win over the Caymans today in the ICC Americas T20 finals, Canada are assured of a top-two finish in the tournament, and a place in the ICC T20 World Cup qualifier.
Canada won the toss and chose to bowl. After just one over of pace, Canada turned to their spinners, and Saad Bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta and Nitish Kumar all took wickets as Caymans reached 43/3 after 8.4 overs. Saad Bin Zafar took two more wickets to record figures of 4-0-8-3, and the Caymans managed just 91/7 in their twenty overs.
In replay Canada survived a scare, losing both openers without a run on the board, but Dhaliwal (53*) and Kumar (37*) took them to victory without losing another wicket and with 8 overs in hand. Canada thus have 7 points and cannot finish lower than second in the tournament,
Canada beat the US today in Bermuda to put themselves in an excellent position in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Americas Region Final. Canada is on five points after an easy win in their first match, tied with Bermuda on the top of the table.
The US won the toss and chose to bat. The opening pair got off to a fast start, reaching 39 in four overs. the partnership was broken when Saad Bin Zafar came on, having Patel well caught by Rizwan Cheema at slip from his first ball. Nikhil Dutta had Marshall stumped with the score on 75 after 9 overs. Canada fought back strongly with their spinners, Nitish Kumar bowling Taylor, then Dutta inducing a catch in the deep to dismiss Malhotra- 95/4 with 6 overs to go. Some tight bowling and good fielding kept the run rate in check and the US finished on 144/6 from their 20 overs.
Canada attained the target with just 4 wickets and 5 balls to spare. Captain Naveneet Dhaliwal led the way with 54 from 41 balls, and Dilon Heyliger finished the match off with 23 not out after Canada needed 19 from the last two overs.
Canada opened the ICC T20 Americas World Cup qualifier with a comfortable win over the Caymans. Earlier hosts Bermuda upset pre-tournament USA favourites, beating them by 6 runs. Canada won the toss and chose to bat. An excellent century from man of the match Ravinderpal Singh (101 in 48 balls), with good support from Nitish Kumar (41) took Canada to 196/6 from their 20 overs. Ravinderpal Singh is Canada's first ever T20I century maker
Romesh Eranga had the Caymans on the back foot right away with two wickets in his first over, and another in his second. Junaid Siddqui bowled the 5th over, and two run outs, and a leg before had the Cayman innings in tatters- 13/5. They did recover to make 112/7 from their 20 overs but an eighty four run win got Canada off to a great start.
Canada National Squad selected for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier - Americas Final 2019, Bermuda. The top two teams from the four nation tournament will go to the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers in October. Competing teams are Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands and USA.
The National T20 is underway at Maple Leaf CC, King City. Sixty of Canada's best cricketers are in attendance, split into four teams, each containing a mix of national team players and cricketers selected for the high performance squad based on their performances in the regional T20 competitions. The tournament gives selectors an opportunity to evaluate players in match situations against top-quality opposition.
It was another good practice match for the batsman of Cricket Canada Senior Men’s squad, currently training in Sri Lanka, as they managed to score a massive 311 runs at the loss of only 3 wickets against Old Dharmapaliyan Team.
Nitish (123) and Bhavindu (105) both getting vital centuries were the key contributors to the overall score, leading Canada to a strong total.
Canada’s opening bowlers started well bowling 7 overs and taking a wicket in that short spell, before rain arrived and play was not possible, resulting in a washout. Only two bowlers getting a chance to bowl Mark Monfort and Dilon Heyliger as if not for rain would have been great practice for our bowlers to defend a large total. The match was played at the Army Ground in Dobagoda, Srilanka.
Cricket Canada Senior Men’s squad under the guidance of coach Monty Desai seem to be improving each day in their performance. The vision is clear of not just winning the ICC WCL Div. 2 Qualifiers but to continue its pathway to become one of the strongest teams within the Associates world.
Last minute arrangements succeed to secure the tour
Antigua, Trinidad, South Africa or Sri Lanka puzzle was solved in favour of Sri Lanka, once it became clear that no other place provided much needed quality opposition and training arrangements than Sri Lanka. Institute of Sports (IOS), from Nagpur India, who have a long history of relationship with Cricket Canada were able to make all required arrangements to support Cricket Canada athletes training for the qualifier.
The Senior Men’s squad is practicing hard in Sri Lanka ahead of the WCL 2 Qualifiers. The squad held its first practice session at Panadura Ground on 10th March 2019. This world class training tour includes, cricket, mental and physical fitness as well as strategy sessions among other things. The training management has enforced a strict diet and training regime. The training is focused around team work, developing new skills and acclimatisation to foreign environments.
Following is the list of players and coaching staff, currently training in Sri Lanka. The final team for the qualifier shall be selected after the pre tour to South Africa and on the eve of starting of the qualifier in Namibia in April 2019.
Players:- Bhavindu Shakya Adhihetty David Johan Jacobs (Captain) Dilon Alex Heyliger Harsh Thaker Hiral Dashrathbhai Patel Mark Montfort Navneet Singh Dhaliwal Nikhil Dutta Nitish Roenick Kumar Ravinderpal Singh Rodrigo Augustine Thomas Romesh Eranga Galkandage Don Ruvindu T Gunasekera Saad Bin Zafar Srimantha Adrian Wijeyeratne Sukhdeep Singh Brar Varun Sehdev
Cricket Canada is the official governing body for the sport of cricket in Canada. It is a not-for-profit organization recognized by the International Cricket Council, the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.