Sunday, March 26, 2023

Cricket Canada: Canadian national Men’s cricketers off to Oman and Malaysia in quest of ICC World Cup 2023 qualification glory!

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Led by its internationally acclaimed all-rounder Saad Bin Zafar, the Canadian Men’s cricket team departed from Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International Airport on Friday, November 11, for its participation in the Malaysia-hosted 2022 third and final round of the International Cricket Council’s World Cup Challenge League A tournament. Table leaders Canada will join Denmark, Singapore, Vanuatu, Qatar and hosts Malaysia at the December 1 – 16, 2022 tournament. 

Enroute to Malaysia, the Canadian’s will spend almost three weeks (November 12-30) in Oman as part of a preparation Pre-Tour. They will also participate in an Oman-hosted four country T201 tournament. Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia and hosts Oman will contest the 2022 Desert Cup T20I Series which will be played from November 14-21 at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.

Canada’s participation in the Oman Desert Cup has been arranged as part of the National squad’s preparation for its Malaysia ICC Challenge League A final round engagement. The winner of which will progress to next year’s Zimbabwe hosted Qualifier to determine the final four remaining participating teams for the 2023 ICC 50 Overs Word Cup.  The Canadians will play six matches against their hosts and two each versus Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively during their Oman Pre-Tour. 

Saad Bin Zafar’s appointment as squad captain was made as a result of the unavailability for personal reasons of the team’s customary skipper Navneet Dhaliwal. Zafar who made his Canadian debut in 2008, currently holds a world record for having completed his maximum quota of four overs in a T20I without having conceded a single run. He also holds the record for the 5th most maiden overs bowled in his T20I career.

The sixteen-member Canadian National Men’s Team squad which departed from Toronto on Friday, November 11 also included the experienced, ultra-quick, pacer Jeremy Gordon who was brought in as a replacement for Akhil Kumar who also became unavailable for the Tours. The Oman-Malaysia bound Canadian squad was as follows:

Saad Bin Zafar (Captain), Nikhil Dutta, Jeremy Gordon, Dilon Heyliger, Aaron Johnson, Armaan Kapoor, Ammar Khalid, Nicholas Kirton, Shreyas Movva, Salman Nazar, Kaleem Sana, Pargat Singh, Ravinderpal Singh, Matthew Spoors, Harsh Thaker and Srimantha Wijeyeratne. 

The squad was selected following the conclusion of the September 27 -30, 2022 Canadian National High-Performance Championships which were held at Ontario’s King City based Maple Leaf Cricket Club. Three teams representing Canada Select, President XI and U25s participated in the four-day round robin tournament. 

The squad will be managed by Alphonso Franco. It will also be accompanied by a coaching staff consisting of recently appointed Canadian National Head Coach Pubudu Dassanayake with Abhishek Sharma as his Assistant. Ankur Sharma is the team Physio.

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