By Ravi Madholall
Coach of the Canadian Cricket team Henry Osinde has expressed profound confidence of his team winning the Americas Cup International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup T20 Qualifiers tournament.
The seven-day competition is expected to begin Wednesday and will conclude on September 26 in North Carolina, USA.
According to Osinde, the team is well-balanced and also eager to make a huge impression against the other participating sides USA, Panama and Belize.
Canada will open their campaign against Belize before taking on Panama and then clashing with rivals USA. The double-round format will see the top teams advancing to the next round at a venue to be announced later.
“I think we have a good team to do well in North Carolina; the guys are talented and experienced enough to be the winner by September 26,” Osinde, who represented Canada at the highest level, stated.
Recently, the Canadian side was beaten badly by West Indies B in a T20 encounter and then two 50-over games but Osinde mentioned that the players would taken out lots of positives against tourists.
“Yes, we were beaten but we were able to identify our errors and try to get things sorted out for this assignment in USA; we know USA, Panama and Belize will want to play tough cricket and qualify but we have to stay focused and committed to play better cricket,” the right-arm fast-bowler related.
The team once again being led by versatile all-rounder Nitish Kumar while he will have veteran hard-hitting batsman Rizwan Cheema at his disposal.
Senior Left-arm orthodox spinner Saad Bin Zafar is included as well. Zafar was the star player for Vancouver Knights at the inaugural Global T20 Canada tournament which was run under the auspices of Cricket Canada last June/July.
“Cheema has been around a long time and his experience is vital for a tournament of this magnitude; he is a quality player having started his international career for Canada since 2008 and I am sure and he and the rest of the players would want to perform well,” Osinde explained as the team left on Monday.
Meanwhile, since the inauguration of ICC T20 World Cup, in 2007, Canada have not been able to feature but Osinde said the cricketers have a great opportunity from here to make this nation proud. The next ICC World Cup is slated for the year 2020 in Australia.
Canada squad reads: Nitish Kumar (Captain), Abraash Khan, Cecil Pervez, Dilon Heyliger, Hamza Tariq, Junaid Siddiqui, Navneet Dhaliwal, Nikhil Dutta, Ravinderpal Singh, Rizwan Cheema, Rodrigo Thomas, Romesh Don, Saad Bin Zafar and Srimantha Wijeyeratne.