October 2008

USACA leaves competition in limbo. -- Posted Monday, October 27 2008

While many hoped the USA Cricket Association elections last March would herald a new era of openness and progress, the reality is that it seems to have slumped back into its bad old ways with little communication between it and its stakeholders.

The most recent high-profile event, the USA Senior National Tournament, should have started on October 10 but nothing seems to have happened and nobody knows when and if it will happen.

USACA’s unexplained failure to appoint a new chief executive is also threatening to affect the amount of funding it receives from the ICC.

The ICC Americas Division One tournament will be staged in Florida from November 24 to December 1, with the new Broward County stadium hosting some of the matches.
Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Suriname and USA will take part.

In the last competition in 2006 in Canada, Bermuda beat USA in the final.

Information sourced from:-

Canadian Federal Government Support for Cricket -- Posted Saturday, October 25 2008

At the CCA AGM in November 2005 it was publicly disclosed that five items needed to be addressed in order for Canadian cricket to qualify for Federal funding from Sport Canada, which operates within the broader Canadian Heritage funding program and ministry. Subsequently, the then CCA was given an initial grant of $40,000 by Sport Canada in March 2007. This grant came in the final quarter of the Federal financial year for this program.

By contrast, also in March 2007, two magazines about dogs received a combined $84,000, under a cultural program to support education and heritage through magazines. Indeed, “Dogs in Canada ” received about $56,000 and “Modern Dog” picked up $28,000.

At this summer’s media conference which was merely about Cricket Canada ’s continued qualification for Federal funding, Canadian Press reported cricket’s governing body was hoping for about $100,000 this year. During the main part of the conference, it had been disclosed that an overall $77,000 in funds had come from the Feds in the previous 12 months.

In a media release around the time the Ontario Auditor General issued a report about the $1 million grant from the Ontario Provincial government to the Ontario Cricket Association, the CCA President had again mentioned cricket being possibly the fifth biggest sport in Canada .

A few figures on some of the grants to Canadian sports bodies show cricket is nowhere near the top five. Indeed, some recent Canadian immigrants from major cricketing countries might not have heard of some of the sports that currently outstrip cricket in Canadian Federal Government funding, such as biathlon ($845,000); bobsleigh and luge ($2.3 million); bowling, as in 10 and 5 pin ($167,000); bowls, or lawn bowling ($85,000); broomball ($73,000); ringette ($227,000); curling (various grants including $180,000 in the 4th quarter alone); synchronized swimming ($1.2 million); triathlon ($700,000) and water polo ($1 million).

The likes of amateur (ice) hockey, baseball, football, soccer, rugby, equestrianism and cycling pull in various grants. So did the ‘old tyme’ shooting ($265,000) and archery ($322,000), which are still in the Summer Olympics. Winter skiing (downhill, cross-country, skateboarding) and skating pull in solid funds.

But the people behind the scenes with those sports do the proper background work, fill in the forms, provide background details that tie in with what can be seen in public records for their sports, culture or heritage projects. Support is available for hosting international events, but the other key need is to prepare, plan and apply well in advance, whether to the Federal Government, Provincial and Territorial governments, city governments or the corporate world. You also need to show proper thanks.

The organizers of the 2008 North American Indigenous Games received $3,400,000 in late March 2007. If you trace the records, the budget for such events in Canada was worked out a few years earlier at $10 million. The Federal Government then agreed on the level of support it would supply.

Those involved in cricket on Vancouver Island would probably be well aware of these figures. It was held in the homeland of the Cowichan tribe. I'm sure the Victoria and District Cricket Association or Cowichan Cricket Club would love to see that kind of Federal Government money coming into the local cricket scene.

Multi-sport opportunities

One area where Canadian cricket has been an absentee is in joining multi-sports events, such as the Canada Games, which has both summer and winter versions, or college and university sporting events run by governing bodies within those institutions. As far as I am aware, cricket is not in the current proposal for the 2015 Pan-American games to be staged in the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas.

A sudden email from a Cricket Canada official to try and give cricket a jumpstart to get into the next Olympic games is well away from the reality of how major multi-sports events plan and operate. Lords Cricket Ground is due to host Archery, not cricket, in 2012. Two sports in the Beijing Olympics – baseball and softball – are due to be dropped in London . This is the first instance of dropping a sport since polo was chopped in the 1930’s. Softball hopes to gain a reprieve at a meeting in 2009, but there are set rules on the number of sports (28) and the London Olympics mix was set in 2005!

Other sports bodies would be aware that cricket is not part of the next Commonwealth Games, which are being held in India in 2009, the country with the most cricket lovers in the world. But, at the time the sports mix for the 2009 games was under discussion , the BCCI did not favour T20 cricket.

Then came the formation of Indian Cricket League and then India won the inaugural World T20 event. Then money, although the first Stanford 20/20 in the West Indies had been in 2006, and up sprang the Indian Premier League. And now there is a certain amount of chaos over what really is going ahead on the global cricket stage. But that is a separate set of issues, although related to overall cricket governance, but not specific to merely Canada .

There are some interesting other sports-related large grants. The Feds supported the work of the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which sets and monitors standards on a global basis, to the tune of $968,000 in March 2007. Some $933,000 was provided in September 2006 for the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.

And the Vancouver Olympics organizing committee picked up $124.7 million in August 2006. But that’s a special case.

Who remembers the St Lucia dinner in October 2006 when the then Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration implored the Feds to give twenty times the $1 million his ministry had given to cricket. Who, in the CCA or Cricket Canada , has compiled the supporting business case that shows how $20 million might even be on the low side of what is really needed for the game to really thrive in Canada ?

I am sure the $20 million figure to get cricket moving would be a number for which some in his Minstry had done some background work. But it turned out the Minister had lead the way, rather than cricket, so he lost his Ministry.

At the University of Toronto seminar on Cricket after CWC 2007 in May 2007, there was no coherent response from the CCA President about the go-forward strategy for the sport. At this summer’s media conference on Federal Government funding, a strategy was required before funds would be flowing.

Setup costs for one reasonable indoor cricket facility in Toronto would probably be around $1 million. This excludes ongoing maintenance, operating and management costs. A functional new international ground with a pavilion and an initial stand might start in the $5 to $10 million category. And with those kind of amounts, there are again the ongoing maintenance and operating costs to consider. A projection of usage for at least some 20-30 years probably comes into the picture.

Someone would have to undo the claims that ‘we have the cricket stadia and grounds’ heard in the last 12-14 months and the ridiculously low claim that ‘we need 3 new grounds in Toronto ’ (meaning grounds for regular league use) heard at the opening reception for the South Asian Contribution to Cricket exhibition series in May 2007.

Some of Canadian cricket’s leaders have potentially shot the game in the foot by making such claims. The GTA, Montreal and Manitoba need more grounds and better facilities based on what I have seen. And turf wickets need to be treated with respect.

The standard for a cricket ground seems to be a rough outfield with tall grass, possibly with grass clippings, a shale base or artificial wicket, a container for storing a matting wicket and a portable toilet. Possibly a little hut and possibly a scoreboard.

What practice facilities were available for the recent international T20 tournament at Maple Leaf Cricket Club ? Less than those at the Grammar School I used to attend back in England.

What promotion program was there to bring people into cricket in Canada at that event as future spectators, players, umpires, scorers or administrators ?

MAME (Middle East Media Agency) and SIM (Sports International Marketing, who were supposedly working with Cricket Canada on that tournament issued a media release that spoke of the "taking cricket back to the Americas initiative.' I saw nothing that supported that seemingly key initiative. But what was the target market? What was done to attract youngsters to the sport as future players?

How many realized that some of the action could be seen live on TV in the Greater Toronto Area?

What happened to the professionalism in cricket administration that was to be introduced under the current Cricket Canada, previously CCA, President?

But perhaps his concept of professionalism is rather below the standards I would set. Or which the CCA Bylaws and Guidelines propose for cricket events. Sure, some improvements could be made to those Bylaws and Guidelines, but those standards are better than is usually seen at home international cricket matches, especially against fellow ICC Associate Member countries in the GTA.

And the Federal Government, and other bodies might be able to help provided Canadian cricket had leadership that knew how to deal properly with Government and Corporate bodies.

The lack of, and sometimes late organization of matches and events, hits the playing side. But here it must be time for Cricket Canada's leaders to pay the price. After all, the current annual report from Cricket Canada states: "The on-field success of the senior men's team is the foremost test of the effectiveness of the programs that have been put in place by the organization."

Perhaps the leaders hoped the T20 tournament might bring Canada success on the field, but it did not. The playing record, since Cricket World Cup 2007 now reads:

ICC Intercontinental Cup (first-class matches) : Played 8, Won 1, Lost 6, Drawn 1.

One-Day Internationals (ODIs): Played 11, Won 2, Lost 7, Abandoned 2.
Twenty/20 : Played 7, Won 2, Lost 5

Overall record: Played 26, Won 5, Lost 18, Drawn 1, Abandoned (no play) 2.

I await an answer on Canada's plans in preparation for the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifying tournament that will now be held in South Africa, not the UAE. But I think the players, the coaches and the faithful few who keep the game alive are entitled to see some resignations from some of Cricket Canada's official leaders and some of the hangers-on.

Eddie Norfolk

British Columbia's Tomalin Cup held over to next year -- Posted Friday, October 24 2008

The playoff match between the winners of the British Columbia Mainland Cricket League (BCMCL) and the Metro Vancouver Cricket League (MVCL) was abandoned and will now take place next season. BCMCL Champions PakCan had been bowled out for 91 by Meraloma (MVCL).

The winner would then play the Alcos, champions of the Victoria and District Cricket Association, for the Tomalin Cup, British Columbia's club championship.

Manitoba Cricket Under-25’s win Inaugural T20 Sunrise Series -- Posted Friday, October 24 2008

Manitoba defeated Saskatchewan 3 - 0 to win the inaugural Under-25 Twenty/20 Sunrise Series at Douglas Park, Regina, Saskatchewan on September 27 & 28, 2008. Manitoba’s Ahadullah Khojazada took the Best Batsman of the Series with 94 runs and the Best bowler of the series, also went to a Manitoba player; Ravinder Khakh, who took 7 wickets.

In 2009, the Manitoba Cricket Association (MCA) plans to host this series in Virden, Manitoba.

More immediately, the MCA hosts its outdoor season ending Banquet and Awards Ceremony this Saturday (October 25) at Sport Manitoba, 200 Main Street, Winnipeg. One of the two MCA indoor cricket competitions begins in early November.

Sunrise Series Results 2008

Game 1: Manitoba 156 for 5 wickets (20 overs) beat Saskatchewan 120 all out (19 overs) by 36 runs.

Game 2: Saskatchewan 84 all out lost to Manitoba 85 for 4 wickets by 6 wickets

Game 3: Manitoba 184 for 5 (20 overs) beat Saskatchewan 56 all out (? Overs) by 128 runs.

Eddie Norfolk, based on information from the Manitoba Cricket Association.

Alberta - United tops in Calgary; Gujarat and Elites lead in Edmonton -- Posted Thursday, October 23 2008

The Calgary and District Cricket League, and the Edmonton and District Cricket League are the historic backbones of cricket in the province of Alberta. The Edmonton League was founded in 1901 and the Calgary League to 1908. Inter-city representative matches are staged under the governance of the Alberta Cricket Association.

Encouragingly, both Leagues have expanded and a new web-site has emerged for the Edmonton and District League (www.cricketedmonton.ca/edcl), which includes some photos and news on recent events in Edmonton cricket circles.

United CC wins Calgary Premier League

United Cricket Club won the 2008 Calgary Premier League. United won 9 and lost 3 games, ended with 53 points and an average of 4.42 points per game (ppg). Crown came second with 8 wins, 3 defeats and one abandoned match, gaining 48 points for an average of 4.36 ppg. St John’s also ended on 48 points, but with 8 wins and 4 defeats, averaged 4.00 ppg. An abandoned match is not counted in calculated the ppg, so Crown’s average was based on 11 games, the extra defeat suffered by St John’s lowered its ppg.

Cavaliers CC II (second team) won the five team Division 1. A record of 9 wins and 3 losses was one win more than second-placed Glenmore (8 wins, 4 defeats). United CC II won Division II, although both United II and Patriots CC had similar regular season records of 8 wins, 2 defeats, 2 abandoned games and each had 1 penalty point deducted. Cavaliers III came third in this seven team league.

The Weekday League in Calgary has expanded. This year, Patriots II won the six-team Community Conference and Cavaliers IV won the eight team Corporate Conference. Patriots II took the overall championship. Weekday League games are staged on Mondays and Fridays.

Gujarat beats Elite in Edmonton Premier - Elite hits in T20 play

Gujarat CC beat Elites CC by 53 runs in the Championship final of the Edmonton and District Cricket League. Gujarat, who beat previous champions Millwoods in the semi-finals scored 263 runs, then bowled out Elites for 210.

The report of the Final mentions how Elites headed the regular season standings. Elites won 9, lost 2 and had 1 no-result to end on 54 points. Gujarat won 9 and lost 3 for 54 points. The Premier Division had 7 teams in 2008.

Scona (60 points) edged out Elites B (57 points) and Millwoods B (54 points) in the First Division. Scona won 10, lost 3 and had 1 no-result in its 14 game schedule. Elites won 9, lost 3, drew 1 and had 1 no-result. Millwoods won 9 but lost 5 games.

Elites won the Twenty20 playoffs and regular season standings, beating Gujarat by 4 wickets in the Final. Gujarat made 135 in 20 overs with Elites notching victory with 5 balls to spare. Elites headed the league standings with 12 wins and 1 defeat to register 60 points. Millwoods, Gujarat and Edmonton each ended on 48 points.

Trinidad-Canada a washout -- Posted Thursday, October 23 2008

Trinidad & Tobago v Canadians, Pointe-a-Pierre

Canadians 57 for 7 v Trinidad & Tobago 30 for 3 - match abandoned

The so-called Clash of the Reds Twenty20 match between Trinidad and Tobago and a Canadian side proved to be nothing more than an exhibition match at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre, with rain providing most of the excitement for both players and fans in a washout.

It was not the best circumstances to judge the progress of the T&T team ahead of their Stanford Super Series match against Middlesex later this month. But Saturday's match did suggest that Daren Ganga's men still have some work to do.

More was expected of the Canadians, fresh from a four-nation tournament which also involved Sri Lanka, Pakistan Zimbabwe. But to a large extent, the T&T bowlers benefited from the Canadian batsmen's inability to get the ball away.

A combination of pace from Ravi Rampaul, opening the bowling from the refinery end and Samuel Badree's leg-spin, made it difficult for Canadian openers Abdool Samad and Ravain Yusuf to get their timing right.

However, the almost silent crowd did not have to wait long for the first wicket, as Badree trapped Abdool Samad lbw in the fourth over for 8 with only 15 runs on the board. The Canadians never really recovered as they lost their other opener Yusuf, run out by Badree without scoring. Fast bowler Navin Stewart was then introduced into the attack and was aggressive in his spell. He was rewarded when he bowled Karun Jethi for 5, while Mohsin Mulla was caught by Lendl Simmons for 2.

Amit Jaggernauth (1 for 9) came into the attack with immediate success as Sunil Dhaniram tried to go over the top and was caught by Stewart running in from the long-on boundary. There were only two fours and no sixes in the Canadian innings as Badree finished with 2 for 6 and Stewart two for 12, while Samad Shaikh was undefeated on 14.

William Perkins top-scored for T&T in their aborted reply, hitting 14, including the only six of the match off Eion Katchay in the third over before he was stumped by Rustum Bhatti off Karun Jethi. A second shower at 9.30 p.m. forced the abandonment of the match.

Roger Seepersad
October 18, 2008

Article sourced from:-

Cathedral tumbles to attacking Defence in Ottawa T20 Final -- Posted Monday, October 20 2008

Ottawa Valley Cricket Council T20 Final:

Scoring summary:
Defence Cricket Club 189 for 7 (20 overs; Ahmed Shah 74, Richie Kapoor 33)
Cathedral CC 132 all out (18.5 overs; Dave Mendorca 40, Aneel Nauth 39; Karandeep Singh 5 wickets for 25; Delawar Ahmadzai 4 for 17)

Result: Defence won by 57 runs
Match played October 18, 2008 at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ontario.

(Ottawa, Oct 19): An opening stand of 73 runs supported by a bowling duo that took 9 wickets in the space of 8 overs lifted Defence Cricket Club to the Ottawa Valley Cricket Council’s T20 Championship. Richie Kapoor made 33 runs off 16 balls (1 boundary, 4 sixes), with opening partner Ahmed Shah surging on to 74 runs off 39 balls (6 boundaries, 4 sixes) for Defence. Shah was fifth out, with the total on 130. Karandeep Singh made 20 from 16 balls and wicketkeeper Rajiv Bhatia 24 not out (16 balls). Fahd Khan took 3 wickets for Cathedral, but conceded 34 runs in his 4 overs.

The Cathedral opening batsmen Dave Mendorca, Jr. and Aneel Nauth lead a brave reply, but both fell to the bowling of Karandeep Singh, who went on to take 5 wickets for 25 runs from his 4 overs. Singh’s mid-innings bowling partner Delawar Ahmadzai took 4 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs. Nauth was first out, for 39 runs (20 balls, 3 boundaries, 3 sixes) at 70. Mendorca went for 40 runs from 37 balls (1 boundary, 3 sixes) to make it 85 for 2 wickets. The mid-innings bowling blitz saw Cathedral tumble to 96 for 8 wickets. Tony Forde fought back with 23 runs off 22 balls, but was last out, caught by Singh, to leave Cathedral all out for 132. Defence won by 57 runs.

There were 19 sixes in the match. Karandeep Singh was named Man-of-the-Match for his all-round efforts, obviously headed by 5 wickets for 25, but well supported by his 2 catches and 20 runs.

Eddie Norfolk (with thanks to John Lexmond and the Ottawa Valley Cricket Council)

Zimbabwe thrash lowly Canada -- Posted Saturday, October 18 2008

Canada may lack the might and skill of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but Zimbabwe don't often have the opportunity to rout opposition. That's exactly what they achieved, however, thrashing Canada by 109 runs and, in doing so, winning the third-place playoff in the T20 Canada.

It was an important win for Zimbabwe, not least because their opponents today forced a bowl-out in their last game.

No need for such footballesque antics this time, however. Hamilton Masakadza again propped up the batting with a brutal 79, and he was well supported by useful contributions from Chamu Chibhabha (40), Elton Chigumbura (25) and Keith Dabengwa, lifting Zimbabwe to the lofty heights of 184 for 5. It was by 31 runs the tournament's highest score, and comfortably Zimbabwe's best in this format - all the more impressive given the juicy, overcast and bowler-friendly conditions.

After the early loss of Cephas Zhuwawo, Chibhabha and Masakadza put on 89 for the second wicket at a rollicking rate. Much as he did yesterday in his entertaining but futile 53, Masakadza was savage on anything too short - of which, from Canada, there was plenty. Four crunching boundaries off the usually economical Harvir Baidwan propelled Zimbabwe before he took Abdool Samad for two huge sixes over the bowler's head. Samad removed him after the second crashing blow, stumped by Ashif Mulla, but the damage had been done.

Impressively, Zimbabwe didn't let their foot off the gas, with Chigumbura launching Samad for six, four, four in a blistering 25 from just 10 balls. Likewise, Dabengwa iced the cake with three more boundaries in the final over, taking advantage of Canada's obvious lack of experience.
A target of 185 would challenge better sides than Canada, and they were immediately put on the back foot with the early wickets of Ashif Mulla and Rizwan Cheema, whose thrilling strokeplay yesterday made Sri Lanka sweat. When Sandeep Jyoti was stumped off Ray Price, Canada had fallen to 10 for 3; at the halfway point, they had crawled to 27 for 4, still needing 158 to win. They avoided the ignominy of the lowest Twenty20 total (Kenya's 67 against Ireland in August), but only by a whisker. Prosper Utseya, with 3 for 26, was the pick of the bowlers, ably supported by Price's remarkably economical return of 2 for 6, as Canada sunk without trace.

Zimbabwe 184 for 5 (Masakadza 79) beat Canada 75 (Samad 25, Utseya 3-26) by 109 runs

Article sourced from:-

Ireland reaches third consecutive ICC Intercontinental Cup Final -- Posted Wednesday, October 15 2008

Ireland pulled off an amazing full-points win over Kenya on Tuesday, with time and overs running out, to reach the Final of the 2007-2008 ICC Intercontinental Cup Final. Kenya battled hard in its second innings to try and force the draw that would have seen the Kenyans, rather than the Irish qualify to meet Namibia in the Final. But with just 6 overs remaining on the final day, Regan West dismissed last man Peter Ongondo leg-before wicket and Ireland had won by an innings and 65 runs. This clinched a win by an innings and 65 runs. Ireland now meets Namibia in the Final of this tournament, starting later this month in South Africa .

Ireland had been put in to bat by Kenyan skipper Steve Tikolo at the start of the game. One early wicket fell, that of Irish captain William Porterfield, but a three centuries from Niall O’Brien (135 runs), Andre Botha (129) and Kevin O’Brien (171 not out) helped Ireland to declare on an imposing total of 578 runs for 4 wickets. Andrew White was 92 not out at the declaration.

Spin bowlers Kyle McCallum (4 wickets for 52 runs) and Regan West (4 wickets for 67) saw Kenya all out for 186 runs in its first innings. Tikolo made 44 runs. Kenya was asked to follow-on and made a better second innings showing, But the efforts of young Seren Waters, top-scorer with 75, Tikolo who made 44 runs and the valiant efforts of Thomas Odoyo (61 runs) and Jimmy Kamande (42 not out) were not enough to save the day for Kenya.

Ireland will play Namibia in the Final at Port Elizabeth , South Africa , from October 30 to November 3, 2008. Ireland recently beat Namibia in a group match to keep its hopes alive of a top-two place in the round-robin standings. However, Namibia topped the standings with 108 points, Ireland was second with 106 points and Kenya third on 96 points. I

Canada ended in a lowly seventh place in the eight team competition, just above Bermuda . Canada reached the first final but lost to Scotland , then in May 2007 lost to Ireland in the delayed final of the 2006 Intercontinental Cup. Ireland beat Kenya in the 2005 final, so will be seeking a third consecutive title.

Summary scores (end of 4-day match): Ireland 578 for 4 (160 overs; N. O'Brien 135, A. Botha 129, K. O'Brien 171 not out, A. White 92 not out)

Kenya 186 (85.1 overs; S. Tikolo 44; K. McCallum 4 for 52, R. West 4 for 67) and 327 (135.4 overs; S. Waters 75, S. Tikolo 47, T. Odoyo 61, J. Kamande 42 not out; T. Johnston 4 for 43, R. West 3 for 81)

Ireland won by an innings and 65 runs
Match played at Gymkhana Ground, Nairobi , Kenya - October 11 to 14, 2008

Namibia and Ireland qualify for the Final of this competition in Port Elizabeth , South Africa – October 30 to November 3, 2008. .

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Afghanistan and Hong Kong retain hopes of Cricket World Cup 2011 place

Afghanistan and Hong Kong qualified for World Cricket League Division 3, the next step on the path to Cricket World Cup 2011, by taking the top two places in the Pepsi World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 in Tanzania. Afghanistan had won WCL Division 5 in Jersey in May 2008 to progress to the Tanzania event.

Afghanistan beat Hong Kong in the Division 4 Final at the weekend. Afghanistan made 179 all out then bowled out Hong Kong for 122 to win by 57 runs. WCL Division 3 will be in Argentina in January 2009 with the top two teams qualifying for the World Cup Qualifying Competition later in 2009.

Canada has previously qualified for the World Cup Qualifying Competition.

Eddie Norfolk

Sri Lanka celebrates Thanksgiving T20 success; Zimbabwe sinks Canada -- Posted Monday, October 13 2008

T20 Final: Pakistan 132 for 7 wickets (20 overs) lost to Sri Lanka 133 for 5 wickets (20 overs) by 5 wickets

3rd/4th place: Zimbabwe 184 for 5 wickets (20 overs) beat Canada 75 all out (19.2 overs) by 109 runs

Sri Lanka bowled well to restrict Pakistan to 132 for 7 wickets, setoff like a roaring train with the bat, before the Pakistani bowlers cut the scoring rate in mid-inngs, then cashed in when Shoaib Akhtar came back into the attack for one fateful over and stuck to sensible cricket to secure the Canadian Thanksgiving Al Barakah T20 Series championship.

The Sri Lankan headlines came from Sanath Jayaruiya, who hit 40 in 34 balls, and young spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took 3 wickets for 23 runs. But several other useful contributions, in the context of 20 over matches, were made by the rest of the side. The bowling was quite tidy. Weeraratne and Dilshan ensured the last 18 runs were scrimped and scraped in the dying overs.

On an unseasonably warm weekend, and an almost uncharacteristically dry weekend by this summer’s standards, fans from both countries turned out to support this event. Sri Lankan, Pakistani and some Canadian flags were waved in the stands. There were even a few Zimbabwe supporters on hand. The Zimbabweans were able to celebrate a fine innings from opener Hamilton Masakadza of 79 runs from 52 balls (8 fours & 3 sixes). This effort lifted his side to a total of 184 for 5 wickets and a 109 run win over Canada .

Salman Butt lead the Pakistani batting with 44 runs off 41 balls and Misbah-ul-Haq’s 23 not out anchored the late overs. Captain Shoaib Malik with 2 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs and Shahid Afridi taking 1 wicket for 15 in 4 overs applied the brakes in mid-innings. However, Malik will face criticism for bringing back Akhtar in the dying overs. The Rawalpindi Express was derailed on this occasion, and had not bowled very well in his opening two overs. Conceding 40 runs in 3 overs, Akhtar’s bowling accounted for a large share of the 133 runs Sri Lanka needed for victory.

In the morning match for third place, Canada made an early breakthrough, but Hamilton Masakadza and Chibhabha (40 runs) turned the tide with a second wicket stand of 89 runs in ten overs. Several fielding lapses and poor decisions on trying for direct-hit run-outs, rather than return the ball to wicketkeeper or bowler helped the Zimbabwe cause.
But a key part of the answer is in the state of the grounds commonly used in leading senior divisions in Canadian club cricket.

Zimbabwe ’s innings closed with a flourish from Chigumbura blasting 25 runs in 8 balls. Canada ’s Umar Bhatti conceded 16 runs in the 20th over, after conceding just 10 runs in his first three overs. Leg-spinner Balaji Rao made the ball turn a lot, and might have deserved better than 2 wickets for 33 runs in 4 overs.

Ray Price, a slow-left arm bowler, was one of Zimbabwe ’s opening bowlers. He helped keep the pressure on the Canadian batsmen, and aided by the quick work of wicketkeeper Taibu removed dangerman Rizwan Cheema. Abdool Samad struck a couple of defiant blows for six in making 29 runs, left-hander Bhatti played a couple of nice cuts for four and made 11 runs. Next best was number eleven bat, Eion Katchay showed how by steering the ball around the score can tick over. He made 8 not out from 9 balls.

In September 2005, Balaji Rao outdid Cheema in opening the batting for Canada A in a match against the MCC. How to turn good club players into solid international performers, some of whom would specialize as batsmen or bowlers, rather than all be all-rounders are key challenges for Canada and other leading ICC Associate countries.

Christ Church Cathedral Cricket Club win OVCC Challenge Cup Final -- Posted Sunday, October 12 2008
Christ Church Cathedral Cricket Club won the Ottawa Valley Cricket Council's Challenge Cup Final, the league' s top division, on Saturday (Oct 10). Cathedral scored 150 all out in 42 overs, helped by useful contributions from the opening batsmen, three others reaching double-figures and the dreaded extras top scored with 43, including 40 wides.

Horace Boswell made 18 of the 27 scored for the first wicket and his opening partner Anell Nauth lead the personal runs from the bat in making 26. Nauth was the third batsman to be dismissed with the total on 75 runs. Steve Pinhey removed Boswell and ended with 3 wickets for 29 runs. Dravya Sharma took 4 wickets for 25 runs in the later part of Cathedral's innings.

New Edinburgh lost its first three wickets for just 21 runs, all being taken by Amit Sawh. Captain Pankaj Srichand tried to turn the game around with a valiant 44 nor out, but New Edinburgh was dismissed for 110. Christ Church won by 40 runs, the margin equalling the wides conceded by New Edinburgh. Terry Nandlal, 15 runs, and Dravya Sharma, 10 runs, provided the main support for Srichand.

Amit Sawh took the Man-of-the-match award with 3 wickets for 20 runs from 10 overs and a crucial 16 runs with the bat. He conceded 7 wides when bowling in his personal cost of 20 runs.

Cricket continues at Ottawa's Rideau Hall on Sunday (11 am) with the OVCC Citizen's Cup Final (effectively Division 2) and on Thanksgiving Monday with the semi-finals of the T20. The final of the T20 is next Saturday.

Best wishes to the OVCC's cricketers, supporters and officials.

Eddie Norfolk in conjunction with, and thanks to, Mr. John Lexmond (Ottawa Valley Cricket Council)

Two nail-biting finishes in the T20 Canadian Thanksgiving sun -- Posted Saturday, October 11 2008
Pakistan edge home with a ball to spare after Zimbabwe pip hosts in tie-breaker

Morning game: Canada 135 for 7 wickets (20 overs; Karun Jethi 24, Rizwan Cheema 23, Mohammad Iqbal 22, Balaji Rao 22) ‘tied’ with Zimbabwe 135 for 9 wickets (20 overs; T Taibu 37, E Chigumbura 30, Harvir Baidwan 3 wickets for 27)
Zimbabwe won on a bowl-out tie-breaker (3-1)

Afternoon game: Sri Lanka 137 for 9 (20 overs; J Mubarak 39, C Kapuedera 27; Umar Gul 3 wickets for 13) lost to Pakistan 141 for 7 wickets (19.5 overs; Shoaib Malik 42 runs, Younis Khan 24, Fawad Alam 23 not out; Weeraratne 4 for 19)

( King City , Ont – Oct 11): There were two nail-biting endings as the afternoon sun shone in the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend T20 on Saturday (Oct 11) at Maple Leaf CC. The sun brought out a much larger crowd, mostly to see the battle of the giants, Sri Lanka and Pakistan , which tossed and turned until Pakistan scraped home with 1 ball to spare. This after the morning game between Zimbabwe and Canada ended in a tie, where even the last over twisted and turned. But, there had to be a winner, and Zimbabwe prevailed in cricket’s overtime (for ice hockey buffs) or a penalty shoot-out (for soccer fans): a bowl out. Zimbabwe ’s bowlers hit the stumps 3 times in a row. After Canada ’s first bowler hit the stumps, the next three missed.

The scoring highlights of the two matches came down to Canada scoring 135 runs, with four players scoring in the twenties (two at the start of the innings, two later in the order) and two of the Zimbabwe spinners bowling well to apply pressure in mid-innings, off-spinner Prosper Utseya (1 wicket for 12 runs in 4 overs) and the slow-left arm spin of Ray Price (1 wicket for 17 in 4 overs).

Zimbabwe ’s 135 was secured with Taibu and Chigumbura reaching the thirty mark, Taibu’s 37 was his side’s top-score for the second game in a row. Canada ’s Henry Osinde bowled a fine opening spell, including some controlled hostility. Rizwan Cheema bowled tidily and Harvir Baidwan’s tidy bowling against Pakistan and then his first three overs against Zimbabwe meant he became the bowler chosen for the 20th over.

The crowd increased in numbers and volume for the second match, featuring the prized visitors from South Asia . Jayasuriya played two fine shots for four was caught in the opening over. Udawatte (16 runs), Mubarak (39) and Kapugedera (27) seemed to have the Sri Lanka buzzing but Pakistan’s bowling improved after Mubarak was out at 80 for 3 wickets in the 11th over and the buzz turned to fizz as Umar Gul took two wickets in each of the 17th and 19th overs. He ended with 4 wickets for 13 from 3 overs. So, for the many Sri Lankan fans in the crowd, it was a disappointing 137 for 9 wickets off 20 overs. Not the 150-160 that seemed to be beckoning.

The pendulum swung back in favour of Sri Lanka as Maharoof quickly removed both opening batsmen in the 3rd over with just 13 scored. Younis Khan (24 runs) and Misbah-ul-Haq (20 runs) but both were out within 2 balls and the total was 62 for 4 wickets at the midway point. Skipper Shoaib Malik provided some solid batting, but three more wickets fell and at 91 for 7 wickets with 5.1 overs left, T20 debutant Weeraratne had taken 4 wickets for 19 runs and Sri Lanka was surely back in control. But Malik and Fawad Alam thought otherwise. Malik went on to make 42 off 33 balls, including 5 boundaries. Fawad struck 3 sixes in making 23 runs from 8 balls and Pakistan scraped home with one ball to spare.

On Sunday morning Zimbabwe plays Pakistan and in the afternoon, Canada faces Sri Lanka.

The joy of cricket is such that there will be some people who attended Saturday’s matches who will be arguing over the outcome of these games, the mistakes, the great plays (as North Americans might term them) and whatever else for another 50 years or so. As will a whole collection of people who never saw either match.

Some of the best performances would not show up in the short scoring summaries of the matches. They were the tight bowling and resultant pressure applied on the batsmen by the spinners.

The bowl out and Zimbabwe’s last over against Canada

An appendix, almost, to this summary of the day, follows on the bowl out and the final over of the Zimbabwe-Canada tussle.

Now, it might seem easy to bowl the ball and hit the stumps with no batsman at the crease. However, this fallback method has been in the knock-out cup regulations in England for many years and Zimbabwe ’s tactic of using bowlers with short or almost no run-up has often prevailed in bowl-outs. It is also unnatural for a bowler, before delivering the ball, to see the stumps with no batsman at the crease.

So ‘the blame’, in some spectators eyes might shift to the last over of Zimbabwe ’s innings. Two well taken catches at wide long-on by Henry Osinde saw Maruma depart for 4, then, more significantly, T Taibu out for 37. Taibu, along with Chigumbura, who made 30, had pulled Zimbabwe back into the victory hunt in adding 53 for the 6th wicket in about 6 overs. Two fielders combined to turn a boundary into just 3 runs, but a misfield by a substitute fielder had some in the crowd howling as 4 runs came when in normal circumstances there should have been just one. But this is partly down to playing in such pressure situations. So the last ball arrived with Zimbabwe needing 2 runs to win. One run counted as Prosper Utseya was run out attempting the second.

A Zimbawean might think the first ball of the over deserved to be a six. How about kudos to the Canadian skipper for having long-on in a wide position?

Canada had scored 135 for 7 wickets. Zimbabwe ended on 135 for 9 wickets. And after a while, it was announced there would be a bowl-out. Now someone should point out, that local wisdom suggests whoever has to bat first at 9.30 am on a cold day might be at a disadvantage.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka start with wins in Canadian T20 -- Posted Friday, October 10 2008

(Oct 10) Pakistan and Sri Lanka both won on the opening day of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend T20 cricket tournament at King City, Ontario. Pakistan beat hosts Canada by 35 runs, after Sri Lanka opened the event with a 5 wicket win over Zimbabwe. Play resumes on Saturday with Canada taking on Zimbabwe (9.30 am) followed by the key match-up between the two top-ranked teams: Pakistan versus Sri Lanka.

Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu was the backbone of Zimbwe’s 106 for 8 in 17 overs; the match being reduced to 17 overs due to a damp outfield. He made 45 not out off 47 balls. Sri Lankan openers Tillakaratne Dilshan, 33 runs from 37 balls, and Mahlea Udawatte, 25 runs from 15 balls, made a good start, but spinner Ray Price hit back with 2 wickets for a mere 9 runs in 4 overs. But a minor slump ended with a sound, unbroken partnership for the sixth wicket that saw Sri Lanka to victory with one over to spare.

Canadian umpire Karran Bayney, from Manitoba, made his T20 international debut in this match. Mark Benson (England) is also umpiring this event.

Salman Butt lead the way for Pakistan, striking 74 runs from 56 balls (6 x 4’s, 3 x 6’s) against Canada. Younis Khan, 13, and Miabah-ul-Haq, 17, gave support as Pakistan reached 137 for 7 in 20 overs. Harvir Baidwan took 3 wickets for 15 runs in 3 overs and Umar Bhatti 3 for 23 in 4 overs.

Rizwan Cheema continued a good run in international cricket, scoring 35, joining with Ramesh David to add 52 for the third wicket. David was out for 17 and Cheema’s innings ended to leave Canada 71 for 5 wickets. Sunil Dhaniram notched 17 runs, but Canada was unable to overcome the Pakistani bowlers top flight experience and lost by 35 runs.

-----------------longer versions of match reports follow -------------

Sri Lanka heads off Price’s bowling challenge

Zimbabwe 106 for 8 wickets (17 overs) Sri Lanka 107 for 5 wickets (16 overs)
Result: Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets

Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 5 wickets with an over to spare in the opening match of the T20 international series at King City. Zimbabwe’s innings revolved around early aggression from Hamilton Masakadaza, with 22 runs from 14 balls, followed by a solid innings from wicketkeeper Tatneda Taibu. He made 45 not out off 47 balls, including six boundaries.

Sri Lanka’s reply began well with Tillakaratne Dilshan providing 33 runs from 37 balls and Mahlea Udawatte plundering 25 runs from 15 balls. But there was a mid-innings slump, thanks to good bowling from left-arm spinner Ray Price. He bowled Dilshan to make it 64 for 2 wickets, bowled Jeevantha Kulatunga and ran out Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jaywardene. Price ended his 4 over spell with 2 wickets for just 9 runs, during which the innings had stumbled to 77 for 5 wickets. Chamara Kapugedera (18 not out) and Farveez Maharoof (13 not out) took control to complete a 5 wicket win with one over to spare.

The match was reduced to 17 overs per side due to a damp outfield, due to overnight dew.

Butt and bowlers steer Pakistan to victory

Pakistani opening batsman Salman Butt lead the way with 74 runs, taking the total to 127 in the 19th over before being caught out by substitute fielder Sandeep Jyoti off Harvir Baidwan. Baidwan took 3 wickets for 15 runs in 3 overs, picking the prize scalps of Younis Khan and Mia=sbah-ul-Haq. Left-arm bowler Umar Bhatti, himself born in Pakistan but who developed his cricket in Canada, took 3 wickets for 23 runs in 4 overs.

Butt his xx boundaries and xx sixes in his –ball knock of 74. Younis Khan, with 13, and Misbah-ul-Haq, with 17, were the only other batsmen to reach double figures for Pakistan.

Shoaib Akhtar struck two early blows to dismiss Abdool Samad and Mohammad Iqbal. Rizwan Cheema and Ramesh “Manoj” David added 52 for the third wicket, before David was out to Umar Gul for 17. Cheema went on to make 35 runs off xx balls but became one of two Canadian batsmen dismissed by Shoaib Malik. Captain Sunil Dhaniram made 17 as the innings drew to a close, also falling to Malik.

Eddie Norfolk

T20 Canada 2008 -- Posted Friday, October 10 2008

Pakistan and Sri Lanka odds-on favourites

The publicity for the tournament was rather last-minute and the buying of tickets might have needed more perseverance than ideal, but the four-nation T20 Canada competition kicks off on Friday in Toronto.

If the hype is to be believed, there will be big crowds at the four-day event, despite the withdrawal of West Indies and their replacement with the less attractive Zimbabweans.

The main draw for organisers are Pakistan, who landed less than 24 hours before the first match at 9.30am on Friday after hassles with visas for some of their players.

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka arrived a day earlier, so none of the three visiting sides have had much time to acclimitise with early-autumn conditions.

The ground at Maple Leaf CC has been given a complete overhaul. Stands can accommodate 10,000 spectators and there is also a large video screen for replays as well as improved media and player facilities. The capital has been underwritten by the Dubai-based organisers who are promoting Canada as a major tourist destination.

With hosts Canada making up the four teams, it is hard to see how the final can be anything other than a Pakistan-Sri Lanka affair. Canada are among the lowest-ranked of the leading Associates, and Zimbabwe have done nothing in the last year to suggest that their Twenty20 victory over Australia in September 2007 was anything other than a flash in the pan. The star of that win, Brendan Taylor, is absent, again and inevitably after falling out with the board.

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Boycott, Bradman, & Brockton Point -- Posted Tuesday, October 7 2008

A recent “Canada Cricket Online” article discussed the Brockton Point cricket club and ground in Vancouver, British Columbia. It ended with a note about Australian batting legend Sir Donald Bradman being reported as admiring the beauty of the ground.

Well, in “Boycott The Autobiography” (PAN Books, 2006), Chapter 5 deals with ‘New Horizons. Geoffery Boycott, the former Yorkshire County and England cricketer, mentions how he went on a tour to Canada, the USA and Bermuda in 1964; his first trip overseas from Britain at the age of “almost twenty-four.

The “New Horizons” chapter begins “The most beautiful cricket ground in the world is not, as many might imagine, in one of the great cricket playing nations.” No, Boycott’s “unhesitating” nomination is to “the Brockton Point cricket ground in Vancouver.”

He relates how Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa and the Queens Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago are “generally accepted as the most memorable Test arenas in the world”. But, in his forthright plain speaking manner, he concludes “for sheer scenic impact they can’t hold a candle to the Brockton Point ground’”

Boycott states he is in “good company” as “Sir Donald Bradman referred to it as the most beautiful ground in the world in his autobiography.”

I believe Boycott’s research is good, as he refers to Sir Garfield Sobers as “Garry Sobers” (as used in Barbados) rather than Gary Sobers (the usual spelling in England).

Boycott mentions Sobers played as a guest for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in a match as St George’s, Bermuda, during that same first tour for Boycott. Doubtless several of the Yorkshire CCC members had fits over an outsider playing for the county. Heck, people from outside the county of the white rose are probably still deemed “foreigners” by some born and bred in the historic boundaries of the old county of Yorkshire. The county was the last to make use of ‘real’ foreigners – those born overseas.

Boycott’s autobiography includes insights for the cricketing politicians (minor and major) on player selection, turmoil in cricket administration, which can send teams of whatever on a downward spiral, or sometimes upwards and attitudes.

Now you will have to read the recent PAN paperback edition of Boycott’s book, or the original hardcover, first published by MacMillan in 1987, or the 1988 Corgi paperback to read his description of the beauty of the Brockton Point ground and all the other stuff.

“Garry Sobers My Autobiography” is published by Headline Book Publication (first hardback 2002, first paperback 2003). It is well worth a read.

Sobers underlines how cricket “at the top level is very much like golf with 99 per cent of it above the shoulders.” Now, perhaps, Sobers ignores his seemingly natural fitness, eyesight and talent for cricket in seeing the game as 99% mental, but the mental side of cricket is surely at least as important as the mechanics of the game. Surely the focus needed to play cricket successfully is summed up in his chapter “On Batting” by the keynote thought: “The only ball that matters is the one to come.”

But, I suspect, as the bowler moves in, Sobers would be adopting an underlying strategy and plan as to how to turn a potentially good ball into a run-scoring opportunity by moving his feet and the use of soft-hands, or to play defensively, whatever the ball and game situation merits.

Sobers was a key player as the Calypso Kings – the West Indies – rose to prominence in international test cricket in the 1960’s. A time before one-day limited over internationals. In a chapter that includes discussions on declarations he made in trying to win matches he cites his underlying approach to cricket:. “My whole game was based on attack, whether as a batsman, bowler or captain. ….. My attitude was that the game had to be played so that everyone could enjoy it, not only the players, but the spectators as well.”

Boycott, according to Australian writer Bernard Whimpress, “amazed Australian Cricket followers by loosening his customary defensive shackles in giving several outstanding displays in the first World Cup Series Cup matches of the 1979-80 season.” (Understanding Cricket, Axiom Publishing, Australia, 2006). Wimpress prefaced this comment by stating “there are some surprises too” in limited overs cricket.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many in the Great White North admire the fall colours as the leaves on deciduous trees change colour. However, to others, it is a sign that winter is approaching. As is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Eddie Norfolk

Brampton Masters Champs in Canadian Commonwealth Premier Cricket -- Posted Tuesday, October 7 2008

Canadian Commonwealth Cricket Association of Toronto – Premier Division
Final: Brampton Masters 210 (36.1 overs) beat Jays Auto 106 (29.1 overs) by 104 runs

Brampton Masters won the playoff final of the Canadian Commonwealth Cricket Association of Toronto (CCCAT) Premier Division just one year after winning the First Division. Masters beat Jays Auto by 104 runs in the Final at Keele Reservoir, Toronto, on Sunday (October 5). Aiyub Matadaf hit 54 runs as Masters totalled 210 in 36.1 overs. Jays Auto replied with 106 all out in 29. 5 overs. The sun made very occasional guest appearances under threatening skies and winds varying from west or north.

Masters made a shaky start, but 11 for 2 wickets was turned around into 150 for 5 wickets and an eventual 210 all out. Jays lost three early wickets to opening bowler Tariq Khan, whose opening four overs cost 12 runs, There was a partial recovery between Ramesh Brown (17) and Nelson Gooljar (12) but it ended after 38 runs had been added to leave the score on 48 for 4 wickets . Number eight batsman R. Somwaru hit 28 runs, but Jays challenge for the title ended with the total on 106.

Aiyub took 3 for 15 from 3 overs and Munaf Bala bowled 9 tidy overs, conceding just 18 runs and taking 2 wickets. Tariq never returned to the bowling attack, as Jays innings lasted just over.

Uves Bordi (35) and Zaid Shaik (33) lead Masters recovery in the Final, adding 63 for the second wicket. Yunus Malam then made 22 and Aiyub top-scored with 54, batting at number six. Ramesh Brown dismissed 3 of the higher scoring batsmen, but at a cost of 56 runs from 8 overs. Two other batsmen reached double figures, but the innings ended with a run out off the first ball of the 37th over.

Jays certainly missed the batting of Arjune Persaud, top-scorer with 59 against Heritage in Saturday’s semi-final win. Persaud and Ramesh Brown had added 55 for the 4th wicket to provide substance to the Saturday score. Masters beat Wanderers Sports Club in the other semi-final.

Masters senior team recently lost to Cavaliers in the Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite Division Final.

Indo-Pak won Division One of the CCCAT. After making 110 all out, Indo-Pak bowled out Stallions/Avengers for 86. Suhail won Division Two.

La Club Sports takes Canadian Commonwealth Twenty20 trophy

Brent Lezama (47 runs) and Timothy Sinahan (34 runs) provided the main spark as La Club Sports won the Canadian Commonwealth Association’s Judy Sgro Twenty 20/20 trophy against Mississauga Cricket Club at Keele Reservoir on Sunday (Oct 5) by 88 runs.

Five bowlers shared the wickets for La Club in the Final. Shahroze Shah took 3 wickets for 16 (4 overs). The opening duo of Lezama (2 wickets for 12 in 3 overs) and Kamal Boodram (2 wickets for 8 in 4 overs) soon had the Mississauga batsmen struggling at 7 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. The innings ended on 72 in the 17th over. Munawal Dar, batting at number seven, battled away for a creditable 30 runs.

Mississauga’s Asim Hameed Khan took 3 wickets for 25 runs in 4 overs during La Club’s innings.

Earlier in the day, Lezama also made 47 but Sinahan lead the way with 62 in a nerve-racking 3 run semi-final win over CriAsia Stampeeders. La Club skipper Winston Duncan made 34 as his side reached 198. Khurram topped the Stampeders scoring with 66 but a total of 195 runs was not quite enough.

Eddie Norfolk

Canada Squad for the Al Barakah T20 Tournament -- Posted Tuesday, October 7 2008
The Canada squad for the Al Barakah T20 Canada 2008 this coming Thanksgiving Weekend (Oct 10 thru 13) comprises:

Sunil Dhaniram (Captain), Umar Bhatti (Vice Captain), Harvir Bhadwan, Rizwan Cheema, Manoj David, Abzal Dean, Mohammed Iqbal, Karun Jethi, Sandeep Jyoti, Eion Katchay, Ashif Mulla, Henry Osinde, Balaji Rao and Abdool Samad.

Abzal Dean of Brampton Masters (Toronto & District CA Elite Division) is new to the Canadian squad. He was born in San Fernando, Trinidad and played at Under-19 level for Trinidad & Tobago. He bats left-handed and bowls off-breaks.

Several of the players were going through their paces at Maple Leaf CC on Tuesday afternoon under the guidance of National Coach Pubudu Dassanayake.

Temporary stands were in the process of being completed at the ground. Two large stands will feature on the east side. The spectating area on the western side of the ground has a temporary canopy, Work to move the hydo (electricity) wires inside the ground to a more southerly position was being completed by Hydro One.

Canada ban their captain -- Posted Tuesday, October 7 2008

Zubin Surkari has been handed a two-game suspension and fined by the Canadian Cricket Association for conduct and behaviour-related charges.

While no specifics have been given by the board, Surkari, who was named as Canada's captain in June, is believed to have been reprimanded after comments that he was not being given any say in the way the team operated.

It is reported locally that he clashed with board officials and that his comments were considered to be unbecoming of the captain.

As a result, Surkari will miss the T20 Canada 2008 tournament, and the side will be led by Sunil Dhaniram.

Canada squad Sunil Dhaniram (capt), Umar Bhatti, Harvir Bhadwan, Rizwan Cheema, Manoj David, Abzal Dean, Mohammed Iqbal, Karun Jethi, Eion Katchay, Ashif Mulla, Henry Osinde, Balaji Rao, Abdool Samad.

Article sourced from Cricinfo staff

Ireland keeps ICC Intercontinental Cup hopes alive -- Posted Sunday, October 5 2008

Ireland 69 all out and 164 all out beat Namibia 119 all out and 106 all out by 8 runs

( Windhoek , Namibia – Oct 4) Ireland pulled off a shock 8-run win over Namibia in the ICC Intercontinental Cup on Saturday. The low-scoring match ended on the second of a scheduled four days. Ireland began the day just 25 runs ahead and with only 5 wickets in hand, after making just 69 all out in the first innings and trailing by 50 runs.

But the later batsmen fought it out to reach 164 all out and this proved just enough as Namibia was dismissed for 106 in its second innings. Opening bowler Boyd Rankin took 5 wickets for 39 runs to keep Ireland ’s hopes of a place in the Final alive.

Ireland now needs an outright win, worth 14 points, and to prevent Kenya from taking the points for a first innings lead in the last round-robin match of the 2007-2008 event. The six points for first innings lead gained by Namibia against Ireland was enough to seal a place in the final for the south-west African nation.

Canada ended in a disappointing 7th place, just above Bermuda, after losing in the previous Intercontinental Cup final to Ireland.

ICC Intercontinental Top 3 with 1 match to go:

Namibia Played 7, Points 108
Kenya Played 6, Points 96
Ireland Played 6, Points 86

The top two teams meet in the Final, now due to be played in 2009.

** In September, Karran Bayney, who lives in Winnipeg , Manitoba , made his first-class debut as an umpire in the ICC Intercontinental Cup match between Bermuda and Namibia in Hamilton , Bermuda . Namibia won that match by 103 runs.

Bayney was born in Bel Air, Guyana . He was also an umpire for the 2007 World Cricket League Division Two one-day international matches in Namibia . His assignments included the Final.

Eddie Norfolk

York Central wins Etobicoke Cricket’s Premier League -- Posted Friday, October 3 2008

York Central beat United CC by 31 runs on Sunday (Sept 27) in the Premier Final of the Etobicoke and District Cricket League. Put in to bat, York Central reached 198 all out in 46.3 overs. Jamal Thomas hit 41 and Courtney Messam 33. Rajesh Sharma took 3 wickets for 25 in 4.3 overs.

Saeed Anwar (42) and Mohammed Quereshi (35) gave hope to United with a middle order stand, but the side was eventually bowled out in the 48th over for 167. Opening bowler Chad Neptune took 3 wickets for 38. Messam took 2 wickets for 24 and Joe Clarke 2 for 18.

The match was pushed back from Saturday at Centennial Park, Etobicoke, due to rain and a wet outfield. KVSS comprehensively beat Melbourne CC by 215 runs to take First Division honours under the hydro wires on the eastern ground at Centennial Park.

Eddie Norfolk

Details released for Canadian T20 Thanksgiving Tournament -- Posted Friday, October 3 2008

“Al Barakah T20 Canada 2008” is the title given to the T20 cricket series over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, Ontario. ICC Full Members Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe join hosts Canada in the tourney that runs from October 10 thru 13.

Teams meet in round-robin over the first three days, with the top two meeting in Monday’s final. Two matches are scheduled per day at 9.30 am and 1 pm Eastern time. Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe replaced original invitees Bangladesh and West Indies. Canada held a national camp last week at the Maple Leaf ground.

Tournament information has on been posted on the Cricket Canada website (www.canadiancricket.org), including links to purchase tickets and to a tournament web-site. Daily general admission tickets range from $30 (Friday) to $50 (Monday’s final). A four-day ticket costs $120 and the Silver stand costs $100 per day.

Al Barakah is a Dubai-based real estate group founded in 2007. Two event partners are so-far named on the event web-site: Media Agency Middle East, and Sports International Marketing.


Oct 10 (Fri) : 9.30 am Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe ; 1 pm Pakistan v Canada

Oct 11 (Sat) : 9.30 am Canada v Zimbabwe ; 1 pm Pakistan v Sri Lanka

Oct 12 (Sun): 9.30 am Pakistan v Zimbabwe ; 1 pm Sri Lanka v Canada

Oct 13 (Mon) 9.30 am 3rd v 4th: 1 pm Final (1st v 2nd)

Squads named so far;

Sri Lankan squad: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan (wk), Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Udawatte, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandamby, Farveez Maharoof, Thilina Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, Jeevantha Kulatunga, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Kaushalya Weeraratne.

Zimbabwe squad :Prosper Utseya (capt), Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Keith Dabengwa, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Taurai Muzarabani, Raymond Price, Tatenda Taibu and Cephas Zhuwao.

MCC overhauls tours policy -- Posted Wednesday, October 1 2008

The MCC has announced an overhaul of its touring policy which will enable it to concentrate on areas of development.

Until now, the club has undertaken a number of trips each year with tours categorised as A, B or C status depending on the strength of the opposition. A tours were fully funded by the club while B and C tours were partially or fully paid for by the participants.

From 2009, the MCC will scrap the three tiers and only send a limited number of trips to countries which can fully benefit from MCC playing members' coaching skills and passion. All such tours will be fully funded by the club.

MCC will send a team to a European country every year plus teams to three out of four ICC regions of Asia, the Americas, East Asia/Pacific and Africa. In 2009 teams will go to Croatia, Japan and Indonesia, Nepal and Mozambique.

There will also be special tours to the USA and Canada to mark the 150th anniversary of the first cricket tour across the Atlantic.

The 2000 playing members of the MCC will be able to compete for a tour place. Teams will still be picked to reflect the strength of opposition in the destination country.

John Stephenson, MCC's head of cricket, explained the thinking behind the changes: "MCC is committed to developing cricket across the globe and we believe the best way of doing that is targeting greater resources to slightly fewer tours. As well as playing for the club, tour members will provide coaching and expertise to leave a strong legacy in countries they visit.

"Representing MCC abroad is a pinnacle of many players' careers and is both a privilege and an honour. We want to reward those players who have shown consistency and loyalty in MCC matches, whilst taking their ability to pay out of the equation. All tours are equally important to the club and have a great potential to develop cricket in the host country, and I believe this new system reflects that."

Overseeing these changes will be ex-Somerset wicketkeeper Rob Turner, who will assume the chairmanship of the MCC tours sub-committee.

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