The Under 19 World Cup finishes today, with an exciting final between India and Bangladesh. The Canadian team’s participation is over, placing 13th after beating UAE in their final match. Although perhaps Canada had hopes of a higher placing, 13th is on par with the recent performance at this level. Canada has only beaten a full member country once (Zimbabwe in 2010) and has had mixed results against other associates.
Emerging Cricket reviews Associate performance in the tournament– well worth a read.
Given the relatively small player base, the challenges of preparing for a tournament in the middle of a Canadian winter, and the lack of resources in the country, it is unlikely that Canada would challenge full member countries at this level. In the past Canada have been part of very one sided matches against full members- in this tournament they achieved respectability, even if perhaps they were not competitive.
The tournament is really about gaining experience and development. The one undoubted success of the tournament was Akhil Kumar, whose 16 wickets led all bowlers at the tournament until India’s Bishnoi passed him with 4 wickets in the final (no other Canadian bowler took more than 3 wickets). Overall the batting was weak. Manohar scored a century and five bats made over 100 runs in the tournament but the top run getter, Patel, made only 137 runs.
The challenge for Cricket Canada is translating the experience gained at this tournament to further development at national level. The 2018 squad had a similar record, with some promising performances but none of that squad has established themselves at senior national level. Overall the conversion rate from U19 national player to senior national player is poor- there are some obvious successes, notably Nitish Kumar and Nikhil Dutta from the 2014 squad; and Hamza Tariq, Ravindu Gunasekera, Hiral Patel, and Usman Limbada from 2010. It would be good to see Akhil Kumar given the opportunity with the senior national squad this year – all players should be improved by their experience in this tournament and there’s a chance to build on this momentum.
Summary of Canada’s performance at the Under 19 World Cup
2020 – placed 13th, 2 wins (UAE, Japan), lost 3 (RSA, UAE, Zimbabwe), 1 abandoned
2018 – placed 12th; 2 wins (PNG, Namibia); lost 4 (Bangladesh, England, West Indies, Zimbabwe)
2016: placed 15th, 1 win (Fiji), lost 5 (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Ireland)
2014: 1 win (PNG), lost 5 (RSA, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Namibia),
2010: placed 11th, 2 wins (Zimbabwe, PNG), lost 2 (NZ, Sri Lanka); NR 2
2006, 2008: DNQ
2004: placed 15th; lost 6 (Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, Uganda)
2002: place 16th. Lost 6 (India, Bangladesh, RSA, Nepal, Scotland, Namibia)