By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Former Canada cricketer Eion Katchay has thrown his support behind Canada to come out victorious in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division two competition which is slated to commence Saturday against Hong Kong.
The North American boys recently arrived in Namibia for the 11-day tournament which will have five more teams contesting for the top four spots to advance to Division 1 next year. Their quest will continue to stake a claim at the ICC 2023 World Cup 50-over mega event. According to the Canada-based Guyanese Katchay, Canada have the fire-powers to beat all the competing teams. “They have got quality players in their team and I am very confident they will do well in this important tournament; yes, we want to go back to the ICC World Cup, but I know the guys are talented enough to make that a reality,” Katchay related.
The top four successful teams will earn ODI status and will join Scotland, Nepal and United Arab Emirates in League 1 which is just two steps away from qualification to the 2023 event.
“We were a world cup team already so no doubt the guys would want to be back there to play in this big tournament but they have to play competitive cricket from the first match; they have to stay fit both physically and mentally and they should able to do that quite easily on this occasion,” Katchay, who played for his native country at the highest level, mentioned.
Canada will have former South Africa wicketkeeper/batsman Davy Jacobs as their leader and Katchay believes that his wealth of experience and his representation for South Africa will bring a new dimension to Canada’s cricket and that should inspire them to dominate proceedings on the African soil.
“Obviously, he is one of the quality players and his experience will be an asset for them as well; I think he will do a fantastic job because of his international exposure for South Africa; the Canada players, especially the young ones, should learn a lot from him too,” the right-arm fast-bowler Katchay declared.
Canada last featured in the ICC World Cup in 2011, 2007 and 2003, but missed out in 2015 having relegated to Division 5 owing to some poor performances at the Qualifying stage. But this is a great opportunity for Canada to be back at the famous sporting event in the aforementioned year stated above says the optimistic Katchay.
“Well, based on the combination of the side, it looks formidable and that has given me the confidence they have the winning team. Yes, it is cricket and you cannot underestimate the other countries but Canada is certainly one of the favorites,” he further emphasized.
Meanwhile, Canada no doubt should be buoyant and ready to rumble after chalking up six warm-up match victories in Sri Lanka. The 14-man squad with three reserved players toured the Asian Continent to sharpen their skills and techniques as part of the preparations for this showpiece.
The other four teams taking part are: USA, Oman, the hosts and Papua New Guinea. Meanwhile, another edition of the ICC 50-over World Cup campaign will take place from next month in England and Wales and again Canada will be missing the show as they still plying their trades at the qualifiers stage.