Canada Preparing for ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup Qualifier

Canada, the ICC Americas T20 Regional Champions, is set to play Singapore in a warm-up game in Dubai this Canadian Thanksgiving Monday (14 October 2019). The game with Singapore and a Tuesday match against Kenya form part of the preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Qualifier that officially begins on Friday (18 October).
Six of fourteen participating teams will advance from the Global T20 Qualifier to the first group stage of the 2020 Men’s T20 CWC in Australia. Canada, who won the ICC Americas T20 Regional Championship in August, is drawn in Group B along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Jersey and Nigeria.
Canada’s warm-up games are against two countries, Singapore and Kenya, who are in Group A. The other countries in Group A are Scotland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Kenya and Bermuda.
Canada’s opening Group B match is against Jersey on Sunday October 20 in Abu Dhabi. Canada then plays Nigeria on October 21. Nigeria placed third in the African Regional Qualifier but were added as replacements for Zimbabwe, an ICC Full Member country, who were suspended from ICC events in July 2019 due to government intervention in the operation of Zimbabwe Cricket.
Canada’s third match in Group B is against ICC Full Member Ireland on October 23. Canada then plays Hong Kong (October 24), Oman (October 25) and closes Group B with a game against hosts UAE (October 27).
Win the Group for Certainty…Fourth Place Brings a Chance of Australia 2020
The top team in each group will automatically qualify for a place in the initial group phase of the 2020 ICC T20 CWC in Australia as well as securing a place in the current T20 Global Qualifier semi-finals.
The second and third placed teams in each group take part in crossover playoff semi-finals; the second team from each of Groups A and B will play the third placed team from the other Group. The winners advance to the semi-finals while the losing teams will compete with the fourth placed teams from Groups A and B to determine 5th and 6th places.
Canada’s Success in the ICC Americas T20 Regional Final
Canada won 5 of 6 games in the ICC Americas T20 Regional Final played in Bermuda during August 2019. Canada won both matches against the USA and Cayman Islands. Canada’s record included a No Result in the first meeting with Bermuda. Bermuda made just 82/9 from 16 overs and Canada was on 40/0 after 4 overs when rain halted play. Canada was well ahead on runs scored but it was not possible to complete play 5th over before the allotted time for the game ran out. Canada won the second game against Bermuda.
Bermuda, aided by the availability and performances of Delray Rawlins, who plays professionally for Sussex in the England and Wales county cricket scene, placed second in the ICC Americas T20 Regional Final ahead of the USA and Cayman Islands.
Canada’s General Manager and interim Head Coach Ingleton Liburd was optimistic about the team’s prospects of qualifying for a the Men’s T20 World Cup after the success in Bermuda. Liburd told a reporter from Bermuda’s “The Royal Gazette”: “We’ve been looking at the teams that have qualified for Dubai and we think we have a really good chance. Everyone will be going there wanting to finish inside the top six to qualify for the T20 World Cup, but we want to win it.”
“The Canadian mentality would be to be content with finishing inside the top six where as if you asked an American they’d say straight out, ‘We want to win it’, so I’m saying now we want to win it, that’s the goal, that’s the aim. We can be the real dark horses in Dubai.”
Canada’s Squad
Canada’s squad for this Global T20 World Cup qualifier includes most of the players involved in the ICC Americas T20 Regional Final. The Global T20 squad comprises 15 players due to the longer duration and number of matches compared with the Americas Regional Final.
Srimantha Wijeyeratne, who was successful with the bat for Canada during September’s inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League Group A tournament in Malaysia, is included in the Global T20 squad. Right-arm pace bowler Jeremy Gordon, who took 8 wickets for Toronto Nationals in this year’s Canada GT20 has been brought into the squad. Left-hand bat Nicholas Kirton returns to the Canadian squad for the first time since scoring 73* against Namibia in the 3rd place playoff of the 2018 ICC World Cricket League.
Navneet Dhaliwal, Nitish Kumar and Srimantha Wijeyeratne each scored centuries in September’s 50-over CWC Challenge League. Ravinderpal Singh came close with 94 runs before being caught trying to strike the six for a century off the last ball of the innings against Malaysia.
Navneet Dhaliwal hit 54 when Canada beat the USA with 5 balls to spare in the first meeting during the Americas T20 Regional Final. Ravinderpal Singh clipped 67 from 33 balls in Canada’s 15 run win against the USA in the closing match of that tournament.
Canadian squad: Navneet Dhaliwal (captain). Rizwan Cheema, Nikhil Dutta, Jeremy Gordon, Dilon Heyliger, Nicholas Kirton, Nitish Kumar, Junaid Siddiqui, Ravidnerpal Singh, Hamza Tariq, Abraash Khan, Rodrigo Thomas, Srimantha Wijeyeratne and Romesh Eranga.
Eddie Norfolk

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