High Performance Camp
By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Five Canadian cricketers have been chosen by Cricket Canada to participate in the International Cricket Council (ICC) High Performance Camp which is slated to begin on Sunday in Barbados.

The aspiring cricketers, all under-23, along with seven other players from United States of America and Bermuda will be under the guidance of high-level Australian Coach Tom Evans.

Nitish Kumar of Canada. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

As a move by the ICC in collaboration with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is to highlight these talents and pick six players to be part of the 2014 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 representing a Franchise each.

Nitish Kumar, a national player and Nikhill Dhutta who also featured at the highest level for Canada will be joined by Satimranji Dhindsa, Farhan Malik and Arshan Khan as the other boys from Canada.

The six teams that usually take part in the CPLT20 competition are defending champion Barbados Tridents, runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors, Antigua Hawksbills, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

The seven-day camp will be at the Three W’s Oval where the under-23 team is set to compete in three practice matches which would be showcasing the talent and abilities to impress the selection representatives.

They are scheduled to clash with a Barbados Cricket Academy Invitational X1 while the North American boys will collide with Combined Campuses and Colleges in a T20 over and 50-over encounters.

The CCC team is expected to lead by Guyana first-class player Steven Jacobs and he will have a bunch of senior players at his disposal including Barbadian captain Shemarh Brooks, Romel Currency, Omar Phillip among others.

Meanwhile, Cricket Canada’s General Manager Ingleton Liburd stated that the guys are very excited to be part of the action and more importantly staking a claim to touch gloves with some international cricket stars in the CPL T20 in the third edition.

Steven Taylor of USA. Photo ICC/ Kageaki Smith

“This [is] a huge motivation for our youngsters and I do hope they grasp it and is the cream of the crop of the young talent in Canada and this is an ideal opportunity for them to develop their skills and also qualify to play in the CPLT20 tournament,” Liburd mentioned.

Shiek Mohamed of newyorkcricket.com also expressed similar sentiments of their players from the US. The three cricketers: Steven Taylor, Keifer Phill and Kushan Ganji are quality players and should be able to make an impression in the Caribbean.

“I think it is a great initiative to include these kids from USA into the HPC program, they can only learn from this experience and become better cricketers. I think it should be done on a consistent basic so other guys can look forward to the opportunity yearly and no doubt these players would do well because they are naturally talented cricketers,” Mohamed declared.

In 2015 again the CPLT20 should attract worldwide audience while a large number of famous international cricketers are due to represent their respective teams.

Some of the names that already featured since inception two years ago are: Sri Lankan fast-bowler Lasith Malinga, Pakistani pair Mohammed Hafeez and Shohib Malik, England’s senior batsman Kevin Pietersen, West Indians Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo just to name a few.