By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Eion Katchay is very confident Canada and the two Canada-based Guyanese cricketers Mark Montfort and Dillon Heyliger will churn out good performances at the forthcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) 2 limited-over tournament in Namibia.
Katchay, who represented Canada at the first-class, one-day and T20 levels, stated that once Canada doesn’t lose their confidence that they gained at the World Division 3, they will continue to be victorious which will see them elevating to Division 1.
The Canadian side is currently in Barbados for several warm-up matches and to intensify their preparations for the seven-day tournament. According to the 40-year-old Katchay, based on their outing in Uganda where Canada emerged as the second best team, just below Oman, they have the ability to be heading to the World Cup Qualifiers.
With that as their main objective, the former Guyana youth cricketer, feels they have showed great commitment to do well and they should continue in that same manner. The World Cup Qualifier is slated for next March/April in Bangladesh.
“Obviously, they are on a road to the big world cup event and I think they should do well at the Division 2 and then at Division 1. Once they keep focusing hard and with this bunch of talented cricketers, I feel very confident Canada can advance to the Qualifier stage,” Katchay reasoned.
The side is replete with experienced players and Katchay has the assertion that could be a psychological factor to come out as the top two teams in Namibia. Veteran and flamboyant all-rounder Rizwan Cheema is one of them and his style in this version, the former skipper should be able to make an impact.
“Yes, with Cheema and the rest of guys still showing great form and willingness to make an impression, I think Canada can be at the World Cup again; having said that, with Canada already featured in World Cup series, I think that should boost this side which has some good youths as well,” the Level Two coach Katchay related.
Meanwhile, Katchay has also thrown his support behind his fellow countrymen Montfort and Heyliger to establish themselves in the side and to perform to the best of their abilities. Montfort played internationally for Canada and Heyliger represented the country but in friendly encounters.
The left-handed Montfort represented Demerara Inter-county and first-division for Guyana National Industrial Corporation before his migration to North America. Heyliger, the Essequibian, played for Guyana in regional Under-19 tournament.
Canada last appeared at the mega event in 2011 but missed out in 2015 after they failed to qualify. In addition to his confidence, Katchay mentioned the Canadian cricketers have an excellent coaching staff and they are capable of bringing out the best from the players.
The head coach is former Canada all-rounder Ingleton Liburd and another ex-player Henry Osinde is his assistant while Daulat Khan has taken up the Assistant Coach/Analyst responsibility. Canada is once again skippered by Nitish Kumar, who played in 2011 World Cup as a teenager. The next World Cup event is set for 2019 in England.