9 September 2005

The Ontario selection committee, headed by Kris Sawh of Toronto, has included three new caps in its team to meet the famous MCC (Marlyebone Cricket Club) in the opening game of its eight-match tour of Canada at King City Sunday September 18.

Former Indian "A" team legspinner Balaji Rao (Centurions), hardhitting middle-order batsman Aravind Kandappa (Centurions) and leftarm paceman Naresh Roopnarine (Vikings) will make their debut in local representative cricket.

The team: Sandeep Jyoti (Hamilton and District), Rizwan Cheema (Yorkshire), Donovan Maxwell (Tranzac), Aravind Kandappa (Centurions), Ashish Bagai (Toronto), Sunil Dhaniram (Vikings) (vice captain), George Codrington (Victoria Park) (captain), Balaji Rao (Centurions), Arjune Nandu (Southern Ontario), Naresh Roopnarine (Vikings), Sanjay Thuraisingham (Centurions). Jason Patraj (Vikings) emergency fieldsman. Kris Sawh (manager). Wijay Senathirajah (assistant manager), Errol Townshend (head coach), Wilbert Plummer (assistant coach/ trainer).

Meanwhile, MCC has named a strong squad that includes one former England Test player, seven other current or former English county players and one former Australian state player. Richard Illingworth, the miserly left arm spinner who played nine Tests and 25 onedayers and was a member of England 1992 World Cup team that lost to Pakistan in the final, headlines a squad that will be more than a handful for their Canadian opponents. Illingworth took 3-110 against West Indies on his Test debut including a visit to the lumberyard of Viv Richards after the Master Blaster was well set on 80.

The squad: Tom Harrison (Derbyshire) (capt), David Brown (Gloucestershire/Durham), Tony Penberthy (Northants), Neil Kendrick (Surrey), Nick Compton (Middlesex), Brendan Smith (Essex), David Balcombe (Hampshire/Durham), Michael Foster (Victoria), Stephen Ogilby (Ireland), Fraser Stewart (Dorset), Carl Rogers (Norfolk), Ben Claypole (Australian Country X1) and Illingworth.

The 50 overs match starts at 10.30. Umpires: Hameed Malik (Hamilton and District), Rob Bailey (MCC). Match Referee: Elvin Pompey, former T&D president and current president Maple Leaf Cricket Club.

The MCC will play two other matches in Toronto---Canada "A" on Monday Sept 19 at Ross Lord Park and a three-day game against Canada starting Wednesday September 21 at Toronto Cricket Club---- before departing for Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver. (OCA press release)