By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier
Coach of the Canadian team former West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago batsman Gus Logie is highly confident they will qualify for next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Canadian coach Gus Logie. Photo: WICB Media

The Qualifier tournament is set to bowl off on Friday in Dubai with Canada tackling arch-rivals USA and Logie stated that once his cricketers play to their full potential making the mega event will be easy.

Canada began their trip to Dubai with four warm-up matches in Sri Lanka where they won two games. “The physical and mental aspects [are] always important and we have been preparing very hard and diligently for the Qualifiers and that has given me the confidence Canada will make it through to Bangladesh next year,” Logie related.

Over the past month the side under captain and the experienced Ashish Bagai commenced preparations even though they have been limited to indoor facility at the Scarborough Cricket Centre.

Notwithstanding that, the players have remained positive and are not daunted by that as they will be persevering to make an impression on their current overseas trip. He wants his players to do well since they are a bunch of quality and talented players while they have plenty of options in the bowling and batting departments.

“Well we can only control what we have at the moment; because of the winter season we have been forced to use the indoor facility and I think the guys have responded well; we went through lots of physical and mental fitness sessions and it shows that we are equipped and ready to go at the ICC world cup tournament,” the 53-year-old Logie mentioned.

Canada has been placed in Group ‘A’ alongside Ireland, Namibia, Uganda, Italy, Hong Kong, UAE and the USA. When the qualifying stage begins on Friday, 16 sides will split into two groups of eight, a total of 72 matches will be played over 15 days and the sides that top the two groups at the conclusion of the group stage will automatically qualify for Bangladesh.

Six places available are also up for grabs in the ICC World Twenty20 next year while the sides that finish second and third in each of the two groups will play cross-over matches with the two winners also progressing to the global event.
The teams that finish fourth and fifth in each of the two groups will also play cross-over matches with the winners of these two matches playing the losers of the second and third cross-over fixtures with the victors of these matches will then progress into the ICC World Cup T20.

“The challenge is out there now with the among of matches you have got to play and that is why I believe in fitness both mentally and physically; the team has come together very well in recent months and we also believe that we have assembled a strong group of Canadian cricketers that will be very competitive in the World Cup T20 qualifiers,” Logie, who featured in 52 test matches for the Caribbean side spanning from 1983-1991, said.

During the interview just prior to their departure, he also took the opportunity to stay that with the 50-over Qualifier tournament is also looming and is slated to be held in New Zealand early next year, they want to maximise on the occasion in Dubai to prepare for that important assignment as well.

“Obviously it is a different format but I just want the guys to focus on this T20 tournament first; of course that will be another big tournament in New Zealand but in Dubai at least the selectors will have a look at the players so we can have them prepared for the 50-over version as well,” Logie reckoned.

Logie highlighted the excellent performances the guys had at home recently against the Netherlands whom they defeated in the four-day version and that helped to boost their confidence tremendously.  He said the players showed great enthusiasm and zeal to make an impression from since then.

“We had a good match winning a four-day game after almost six and half years; the bowling was on top; Cheema (Rizwa) and Gordon (Jeremy) did well with the ball while some of the batsmen came good too so I think all that will add up to this huger assignment,” the right-handed Logie declared.

Meanwhile, Guyanese Damodar Daesrath and Gordon had also expressed optimism that they will do fine for their adapted country while Trinidad and Tobago’s Afzal Dean echoed similar beliefs.