By Ravi Madholall
New head coach of the Canadian Cricket team that will be featuring in the forthcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) Division Three limited-over tourney Henry Osinde is very optimistic of them making a huge impression when the action gets cracking from May 23 in Uganda.
According to the former Canadian fast-bowler, there is a lot of positive in their preparations and that is an essential element in an effort to succeed at the mega event on the African soil.
On Tuesday the side under the watchful eyes of Henry and manager Iglinton Liburd, had another routine session at Yashi Cricket Indoor facility in Toronto and Osinde related that the guys have shown great enthusiasm and determination to dominate proceedings from the commencement.
Henry was recently appointed the head coach after regular coach Davy Jacobs relinquished the job owing to personal reason(s). Osinde spoke enthusiastically about the intensity in their preparations and that has given him the confidence his charges are also confident of doing well.
Canada will begin their campaign against the hosts before meeting Oman, then colliding with Malaysia. They will also clash will Kampala and Singapore.
“I think our build-up to the tournament is very important and that is why we [are] putting in every effort to come out on top in Uganda; yes, stiff competition is expected from the other teams, but I am confident the boys will give a good account of themselves,” Osinde stated during the practice session on Tuesday evening.
As a part of their preparations for their ICC assignment, team Canada traveled down to Barbados recently to play five warm-up games and Osinde mentioned the guys were [just] outstanding in which they emerged victorious in all the scheduled games.
“We had a great outing in Barbados, it was good to have some turf practice matches and we were able to identify any areas that needed to be strengthening and so on,” the 38-year-old Canadian-based Ugandan disclosed.
What had transpired in the Caribbean country (Barbados) certainly underlined the level of commitment and eagerness to win the Division 3 tournament, according to Osinde because in both departments, the players demonstrated their skills excellently well.
Former skipper and seasoned campaigner Rizwan Cheema hit a scintillating 172 while another batsman Navneet Dhaliwal smashed 176, and Osinde knows that those two breath-taking innings with several more meaty ones really illustrated the degree of confidence these players have.
Once Canada come out as one of the top two teams, they will advance to Division Two which is slated to be played in August at a host-nation to be announced by ICC shortly. In addition to that, once they can emerge as one of the top teams there too, they will be participating in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Bangladesh next year.
The 2019 World Cup is billed for England and Osinde believes Canada can return to the epic one-day event once they continue to play committed and dedicated cricket.
“Well, we are taking it step by step; we just want to concentrate on these Divisional cricket, 3 and then 2 before we start thinking about the World Cup tournament; that will be very special indeed but we have to focus now on Uganda.
Canada last participated at the World Cup 50-over tournament in 2011 but failed to make it back in 2015 after losing badly at the Qualifiers stage.
Historically, Canada had also made its first appearance in 1979, the second edition of the World Cup after it was inaugurated in 1975. They had a 24-year break until 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Meanwhile, the 21-man training squad is expected to cut to a 16-member traveling squad including the two reserved players soon.
Before the team arrives in Uganda, the Canadian side will play four more practice matches against a Zimbabwe High Performance team and then the country’s A side in the other encounters.