By Ravendra Madholall in Canada
USA and Canada have not known to be dominant cricket teams on the world map.
From Sunday in Namibia, the North American cricketing fraternity can rest their hopes high on these two money-rich territories USA and Canada to create history this year, though.
Late down in 2023, the International Cricket Council will be staging its 13th edition of the acclaimed limited-over (50-overs) World Cup tournament in India.
Canada had a taste at this mega event on three successive occasions (2003, 2007 & 2011), but USA has remained in the doldrums when it comes to this level of engagement. Total fascination if they can qualified!
The stage is set and both USA and Canada will be heading into this showpiece with profound optimism that they can get to the World Cup tournament.
Their commitment is about the reliability of these players who are undoubtedly anxious to attire in that prestigious world cup suites for their respective country.
They are there (Namibia) to continue their World Cup Qualification pathway. To start making their dreams a reality. No big buzzing though as these countries are more dominated by Ice-Hockey and Basketball. Soccer comes exponentially closed since both Canada and USA featured in last year’s FIFA World Cup held in Qatar. Dreams came true despite with limited successes but the vision for cricket is still a big thing or work-in-progress.
Six teams have assembled in Namibia for the round-robin competition which is slated to climax April 5. Opportunity is one thing but triumphant performances are of paramount importance.
Effectively, by April 5, the two teams advancing will be known. Competitors are USA, Canada, Namibia, Jersey, United Arab Emirates and Papua New Guinea.
It wouldn’t be the final buzzer for the World Cup participation as another qualification competition awaits them.
The two top teams will move on. They will reach up with stronger oppositions. From June 18 to July 19 in Zimbabwe. They will join the four bottom teams from the last world cup event which was kept in 2019 by hosts England, the reigning champions.
For the ardent fans in the great north white, it will be a challenge. Canada and USA played some really facile cricket to reach this far. They competed well in the League section albeit against less-fancied teams but their manifestation to feature in the big dance is fully reflected to be Namibia’s backyard.
For Canada, they churned out victory after victory since the commencement of their pathway to the world cup tournament while they perhaps have been living with the disappointment since 2011. They never got the opportunity to play in World Cup again and more pathetically they lost their one-day status.
Nothing seems vulnerable for them in the League tournaments both on home soil and then in Malaysia but the tussle starts on Monday against Jersey.
USA have gone from strength to strength. Their eagerness to reach at the game’s hugest event is understandable and they are accelerating their aim to place this globally-great country on the cricket coveted fixture.
On the opening day Sunday, things will get cracking with USA and the hosts from 3:30 am.
Canada squad: Saad Bin Zafar (c), Aaron Johnson, Srimantha Wijeyeratne, Matt Spoors, Nicholas Kirton, Nikhil Dutta, Pargat Singh, Ravinderpal Singh, Parveen Kumar, Shreyaas Movva, Dilon Heyliger, Harsh Thaker, Jeremy Gordon and Kaleem Sana.
USA squad: Monank Patel (c), Steven Taylor, Gajanand Singh, Sushant Modani, Saiteja Mukkamalla, Usman Rafiq, Gajanand Singh, Aaron Jones, Shayan Jahangir (wk), Nosthush Kenjige, Nisarg Patel, Jasdeep Singh, Kyle Philip, Ali Khan, and Saurabh Netravalkar.