November 2008

USA wins Pepsi ICC Americas Championship -- Posted Sunday, November 30 2008

The USA won the Pepsi ICC Americas Division 1 Championship. Pivotal wins over ODI-status Bermuda and Canada left the US in pole position for the final round of matches.
The US had powered to 4 wins from 4 matches, and were highly favoured to beat the Cayman Islands.

A shock Cayman win by a big margin was the one spin of the roulette wheel that might have given Bermuda or even Canada 1st place. Both had won 3 and lost 1, but Bermuda had the better net run rate. Shock champions emerged in the last round of matches in the ICC Americas Division 3 and Division 2 tournaments earlier this year. But there was no last minute twist on Sunday, other than some bad weather.

The US powered to a big score of 297 for 5 wickets from 40 overs and had the Caymanians struggling at 60 for 5 wickets when rain intervened.

Canadian openers Sandep Jyoti and Asif Mulla put 87 runs on the board, before Jyoti was out for 48. Mulla was next out after making 42 as Canada reached 190 for 6 in 42 overs against Bermuda. The Bermudian response was halted by rain in the 3rd over. Lionel Cann was 40 not out when a second rain stoppage came in the 10th over. This delay lead to the game being abandoned with Bermuda 53 for 1.

This no result ensured the US won the Americas Regional Championship for the second time. Bermuda and Canada each ended on 14 points from 5 games, two points behind the US 4-game tally of 16 points.

Canada lose to USA at ICC Americas -- Posted Sunday, November 30 2008
USA triumph in big game against Canada and one step away from Americas title / Convincing Bermuda beat Argentina to keep faint championship hopes alive / Suriname show encouraging improvement even in heavy defeat to Cayman Islands.

At the Central Broward Regional Park stadium in Lauderhill, hosts USA took a significant step towards the 2008 Americas championship with an ultimately comprehensive victory over North American rivals Canada by 81 runs. In what was in reality a see-saw battle, with periods of holding the upper hand for both sides, it was the USA’s qualities of perseverance and determination that saw them through critical periods of play and eventually to victory.

With back-to-back wins over ODI opposition in Bermuda and Canada, the USA have clearly showed how much quality is in the team.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the USA got off to the worst possible start, losing Nadkarni and Cush with the total on three, with Canadian skipper Umar Bhatti claiming both key wickets. Despite some repair work from Carl Wright (40, off 70 balls with 5 fours) and captain Steve Massiah (22, off 27 balls, 4 fours), at 89 for 6 after 29 overs, the scenario was bleak.

However to the rescue came Aditya Thyagarajan and Orlando Baker, who together added a priceless 105 runs in 20 overs, and steered the USA to a 50 over total of 201 for 8. Thyagarajan finished unbeaten on 84 at the end of the innings, made off 99 balls and including 5 fours. Baker, coming in at number eight, made 38, from 63 balls with 2 fours.

Bhatti finished with 2 for 48 in 9 overs, while Harvir Baidwan took 3 for 38 in 9 overs, but best of the Canadian bowlers was perhaps left-arm spinner Sunil Dhaniram, wicketless in 10 overs but conceding a mere 14 runs.

In reply, Canada made a slow but steady start, with Sandeep Jyoti and Asif Mulla putting on 44 for the first wicket. Jyoti was top-scorer for Canada with 40, from 83 balls with 3 fours, while Mulla made 18. The rest of the Canadian innings was more than disappointing, with wickets falling at regular intervals, especially with Orlando Baker in particularly fine form.

At 78 for 2 in the 25th over, the game was perhaps finely balanced, but Baker’s superb performance of seam bowling tore the Canadian innings apart, and they lost their remaining wickets for only 42 runs to be all out for 120 and slide to a 81 run defeat.

Baker eventually finished with 5 for 31 in his 10 overs, with opener Imran Awan also bowling brilliantly to take 3 for 14 in 8,5 overs. Sudesh Dhaniram more than matched Sunil’s performance, recording extraordinary figures of 1 for 10 in 9 overs.

USA team manager was rightly overjoyed with his teams performance and their great victory: “We proved that we can overcome adversity, thanks to Aditya (Thyragarajan) and Orlando (Baker), recovering from 3 for 2 and 88 for 6 to make a decent 201. We’ve also proved that the US batting order has depth and class and can compete at the highest level. The only way is up from here! We have beaten two ODI teams, which should prove our strength and worth.”

Canadian captain Umar Bhatti was extremely disappointed: “We were below par today, with batsmen repeating their mistakes over and over again. The US batsmen batted well and that made all the difference. We failed to convert a good start into a positive one.”

Tomorrow in the last round of matches sees the USA take on the Cayman Islands, and it is difficult, on current form, to see the hosts slipping up at the final hurdle. Canada and Bermuda meet with only slim hopes of snatching the title away from the USA – whoever wins between them will have to hope for a Cayman Islands upset, and then also hope net run rate runs in their favour.

On the Central Broward Regional Park “B” Field, Bermuda batted themselves to victory against Argentina, racking up an imposing 341 for 4 in fifty overs, thanks largely to a brilliant innings from Glenn Blakeney, who made 118 not out, off 113 balls with 14 fours and 2 sixes.

David Hemp weighed in with an accomplished 58 not out off 68 balls, with 3 fours and a six, and together with Blakeney, added an undefeated 139 runs for the fifth wicket. Earlier Lionel Cann continued his rich vein of form by blasting 63 off only 33 balls, with 6 fours and 5 sixes. Christopher Douglas weighed in with 29, and skipper Irving Romaine made 26.

For Argentina, Diego Lord yet again proved to be the most consistent and effective of their bowlers, taking 2 for 38 in 8 overs, while Esteban Nino took 2 for 70 in 10 overs. A poor start, at 17 for 2, it was all over bar the shouting, although Argentina batted resolutely to finish on 195 for 6 at the end of their 50 overs. Tomas Francis made a stylish half-century, reaching exactly 50 off 105 balls with 3 fours, while all-rounder added a fluent unbeaten 44, from 57 balls with 3 fours and a six.

Wicket-keeper Alejandro Ferguson made 34, from 46 balls, 2 fours, while Donny Forrester contributed 23, off 35 balls and including 3 fours. Thus a convincing win for Bermuda by 146 runs, thus they will meet Canada with a win the priority, while Argentina will take on Suriname to determine which team is relegated to Division 2.

Bermuda coach Gus Logie commented: “Today was a morale boosting and confidence building performance. The players knew they underachieved in their previous game (against the USA) and they were determined to get back on track. It was especially pleasing to witness the quality and class of Glenn Blakeney’s first hundred for Bermuda, but it was a little disappointing we were unable to bowl out the opposition.”

Player-coach for Argentina, Hamish Barton, took some positives out of the defeat: “Bermuda are a very attacking batting team, and it was always going to be difficult to defend, but we did well and I am happy with our progress. We stuck to the task of batting out 50 overs and reaching around 200. We are improving every day and that was our goal for this tournament.”

At Brian Piccolo Park, Suriname showed encouraging signs of improvement even though they were ultimately heavily defeated by 8 wickets in their clash against the Cayman Islands. After being put in to bat, the Surinamese batsmen worked hard to pass 100 for the first time in the tournament, eventually being bowled out for 103 in 46 overs. Kemraj Hardat batted positively to make 31, from 48 balls including 5 fours, while young Arun Gokoel showed continued improvement in making a resolute 20 from 67 balls.

Starring for the Cayman Islands was veteran leg-spinner Michael Wight, who took the last five wickets to fall and finishing with an outstanding 5 for 7 in 6 overs. Kevin Bazil was equally miserly, taking 1 for 8 in 8 overs. The Cayman Islands made relatively short work of the target, reaching 105 for 2 in 21 overs. All-rounder Ryan Bovell top-scored with 40, made from 40 balls with 2 fours, while young wicket-keeper batsman Ramon Sealy finished undefeated on 39 off 50 balls with 2 fours. For Suriname, Sanjai Oemraw showed yet again that he is the best of their bowlers, taking 1 for 28 in 10 overs amidst the Cayman Islands run-chase.

2008 Friendship Series – Under 15’s Ontario Selects wins -- Posted Saturday, November 29 2008

Summary score: Santa Clara, California – November 29, 2008 (Morning game)

Ontario Select U-15 169 for 4 wickets (20 overs)
California Cricket Academy U15 Selects 65 all out (18 overs)
Result: Ontario Select U-15 won by 104 runs

The Ontario Select Under-15’s beat the California Cricket Academy Selects by 104 runs in a T20 game on Saturday morning. A partnership of 149 runs between captain Nitish Kumar and BJ Kalsi lifted the Ontario side to an impressive 169 runs for 4 wickets in 20 overs. Kalsi struck 78 runs from 56 balls and Kumar garnered 66 runs from 47 balls. Ontario then dismissed the California Selects for 65 runs in 18 overs.

Eddie Norfolk

2008 Friendship Series Under-15's - US/California Selects beat Ontario Selects -- Posted Friday, November 28 2008

(Toronto/Santa Clara, California - Nov 28) The USA/California Cricket Academy Under-15 Selects beat the Ontario Under-15 selects by 50 runs in the second 40 over match of the 2008 Friendship Series. Kapil Talwalkar scored 103 not out and captain Pranay Suri was 98 not out when the US/California Select innings closed at 233 runs for 2 wickets. Ontario Selects replied with 180 for 9 wickets in 40 overs.

Ontario Selects won the first match by 5 wickets on Thursday. Ontario captain Nitish Kumar lead the way with 106 not out as his team reached 188 for 5 in the 38th over. The USA/California Selects had scored 187 for 8 wickets. Pranay Suri was 92 not out when the 40 overs had been completed.

The Friendship Series continues on Saturday with two additional teams, drawn from the California Cricket Academy, taking part in four T20 matches. The Ontario Selects are involved in two of those T20 games.

Eddie Norfolk

Canada and USA to battle for Pepsi ICC Americas Senior Crown -- Posted Friday, November 28 2008

Eddie Norfolk - Toronto, Ont - Nov 28, 2008

Canada faces the USA in a crucial cricket match on Saturday with the winner likely to take the Pepsi ICC Americas Division 1 Championship at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida. Both teams have won 3 out of 3 matches, with two more rounds of play to decide the title. .A win for the USA would surely ensure the championship, as the hosts face the lower ranked Cayman Islands in the final round-robin matches on Sunday.

The US also has an impressive net run rate after hammering Suriname and Argentina. The hosts then overcame higher ranked Bermuda, who like Canada has ODI status.

Canada scraped out an opening day 1 wicket win over Argentina but re-grouped with solid wins overr the Cayman Islands and Suriname. But, surely only a Canadian win on Saturday could stop the hosts?

Canada would then have to overcome Bermuda on the last day in a meeting of the two teams with ODI status. A Canadian win on Saturday would re-kindle Bermudian hopes, as does the ongoing rivalry in cricket between these sides, for the last round on Sunday.

The ICC Americas Divisions 3 and 2 tournaments, held earlier this year, were each decided on the final day, with surprise victors. Might it be three late twists out out of three?

Canada won the first ICC Americas tournament in 2000, the USA won in 2002 but Canada took the honours in 2004. Canada has the higher current ranking, but the US will be keen to overhaul its northern neighbour.

On the west coast, a US/California Cricket Academy select is involved in the 2008 Friendship Series with an Ontario Select at the Under-15 level. Many of the Ontario side were in Canada’s Under-15 ICC Americas Championship winning team earlier this year in Bermuda are playing, as are some of the US team. The future of cricket in the Americas has a dependency on people being attracted to the game. It also needs financial support to build and maintain essential infrastructure and playing facilities.

A road those promoting this Friendship Series are valiantly trying to take. They deserve support and need more kindred spirits to help them across both countries.

Potential remains the name of the game in North American cricket. Canada and the USA first met on the international cricket field in September 1844.

Ontario Select wins Under-15 Friendship Series opener with US Selects -- Posted Friday, November 28 2008

Match played at: Santa Clara, California on Thursday November 27th, 2008 (40 overs per side – Under-15’s)

California & US Cricket Academies Select Under-15’s 187 for 8 wickets (40 overs)
Ontario Select Under-15’s 188 for 5 wickets (40 overs)

Result: Ontario Select U15’s won by 5 wickets

[Santa Clara, California – Nov 27] The Ontario Select Under-15’s beat the California and US Cricket Academies Select Under-15’s by 5 wickets on the opening day of the 2008 Friendship Series on Thursday (Nov 27). Both sides’ batting was lead from the front by the captains. Pranay Suri struck 92 not out for the California/US Selects. Nitish Kumar responded a match-winning innings of 106 not out for Ontario Selects.

Pranay Suri’s innings of 92 not out was made from 96 balls (4x4’s and 2x6’s) in a total of 187 for 8 wickets from 40 overs. Adhiraj Watave provided the main support with 34 runs. Harmandeep Malhi and Jeevanjot Sidhu each took 2 wickets in useful bowling spells.

Nitish Kumar, opening the batting for Ontario, lead stands of 44 runs for each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th wickets on his way to 106 runs from 121 balls. It provided steady batting and run accumulation, including more all-run threes than his two boundary shots. Suri took 2 wickets for 31 runs from his 8 overs.

The Under-15 2008 Friendship Series brings together many of the leading Under-15 cricketers in North America. It results from discussions between coaches at some of the leading cricket academies in the USA and coaching counterparts in Canada, in this instance being represented by Ontario-based players.

These teams meet in a second 40-over match on Friday. The series continues with four T20 matches on Saturday, expanding with two more teams drawn from the California Cricket Academy. The California Academy won the 2008 US National Under-15 championship.

Suri leads the way for California/US Selects

Pranay Suri and Adhiraj Watave combined in a stand of 58 runs for the third wicket, after Harmandeep Malhi had dismissed both opening batsmen with just 35 runs on the board. Vikram Valluri and Jacques Gerber each made 9 runs. Jeevanjot Sidhu struck back for Ontario having Watave caught for 34 runs, made from 56 balls, to make it 93 for 3 wickets. Sidhu followed by dismissing wicketkeeper J Fox for a duck (no runs).

Suri reached his 50 from 67 balls and provided the bulk of the later scoring for his side. Krish Goel supported with 9 runs during a stand of 56 for the 6th wicket. The Ontario side conceded 31 extras, including a hefty 23 wides, as the US-side reached 187 for 8 from 40 overs. Suri’s fine innings of 92 came from 96 balls and included 6 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Malhi bowled tidily to take 2 wickets for 18 runs from 6 overs. Sidhu took 2 wickets for 24 runs from 7 overs.

Ontario skipper responds with match-winning innings

Ontario Selects lost opener Nikhil Dutta for 7 to Pranav Pradham with just 18 runs on the board, but skipper Nitish Kumar then featured in three consecutive partnerships of 44 runs that carried the total to 150 for 4 wickets. Kesavan Juvajaran made 13 before being stumped by wicketkeeper Fox off Suri’s bowling (62 for 2). Jasjeet Kalsi made 14, before being caught off Krish Goel’s bowling (106 for 4) and Bryan Henry made 9 runs before being bowled by Gerber (150 for 5). Suri had Siddharth Mookerji caught by Valluri for 3 before Kumar and Vidura Ratnayake sealed victory for the Ontario Selects in the 38th over.

Kumar’s solid innings of 106 not out was made from 121 balls with just 2 boundaries. It highlighted the value of picking up the 1’s and 2’s, as the coaches often preach, and there were some 3’s. Suri followed his solid innings by taking 2 wickets for 31 runs in 8 overs.

It is good to see both sides making use of the 40-overs. Both teams will hope to build from the positives of this opening match when meeting on Friday. Both coaches are likely to seek improvements on the number of wides and no-balls conceded, as will be the bowlers. So, a promising start to an innovative series, for which the California and US Cricket Academies. As do the players and the sponsors.

The 2008 US Selects-Ontario, Canada, Friendship Series

The Under-15 2008 Friendship Series brings together many of the leading Under-15 cricketers in North America. It results from discussions between coaches at some of the leading cricket academies in the USA and coaching counterparts in Canada, in this instance being represented by Ontario-based players.

It comes as the leading senior teams in the ICC Associate and Affiliate ranks are contesting the senior Americas Regional Championships in South Florida. On Saturday, the senior teams from the USA and Canada will meet in Florida in the latest game between international cricket’s oldest rivals, while future prospects from these countries meet on the west coast. The first US-Canada international match dates back to September 1844 in New York.

The Friendship Series continues on Friday with a repeat 40-over match between the Ontario, followed by four T20 matches on Saturday. The T20 schedule adds two teams drawn from the California Cricket Academy to this series.

Eddie Norfolk

Nadkarni impresses with second ton -- Posted Thursday, November 27 2008

Results went according to the script on the second day of the ICC Americas Division 1 tournament as USA, Bermuda and Canada registered comfortable victories.

At Brian Piccolo Park another fine innings from Hamish Barton steered Argentina to a respectable 200 for 9 against USA, but that was put into perspective by Sushil Nadkarni, who struck his second century in two days.

Nadkarni hit 109 off 116 balls as USA cantered home with 12 overs to spare. Argentina's day didn't improve when Barton picked up an ankle injury and he is in doubt for the next match against Cayman Islands.

"We played well against determined opposition and did the job we set out to do," Imran Khan, the USA manager, said. "While our batting - and especially Sushil - is looking good, we have work to do on being more disciplined in the field, and especially not gifting the opposition with bowling extras."

Canada had a less stressful match than yesterday, when they almost slipped up against Argentina, easing to a 206-run victory against Cayman Islands. At Central Broward Regional Park, they racked up an impressive 298 for 9. Opener Sandeep Jyoti top-scored with a stylish 88 off 129 balls, while further half-centuries came from Zubin Surkari and Qaiser Ali.

Cayman Islands' chase began poorly when they lost a wicket first ball and the innings never recovered, eventually folding for 92 in under 33 overs. Khurram Chohan took 3 for 34 and Zahid Hussain claimed 3 for 11
"We set ourselves goals today and I believe we achieved almost all of them," Canada captain, Umar Bhatti, said. "The team performed tremendously well today, all three departments were up to scratch, and it was a huge improvement from yesterday."

On the main stadium field at Central Broward Regional Park, Bermuda were predictably too strong for Suriname and notched a commanding 224-run win. Lionel Cann's 97-ball 101 led Bermuda to 290 for 3 and he was helped by Stephen Outerbridge's 62, plus a half century from captain Irving Romaine.

In reply, left-arm spinner Delyone Borden proved too much the Suriname batsmen, taking 6 for 17 from his 10 overs as the minnows were bundled out for 66, having been skittled for 60 in their opening match.

Bermuda's coach, Gus Logie, was pleased with how his team are progressing. "Today was all about building on yesterday's effort, and we did that strongly," he said. "It was also good to continue building confidence for the tough games ahead. We are constantly looking for self-improvement and today we got that, also our attitude and approach towards the game was very business-like, which was important."

Article sourced from:-

Canada beat Caymans at ICC Americas -- Posted Wednesday, November 26 2008

Pepsi ICC Americas Regional Division 1 – Day 2

Broward County, Florida – November 26, 2008 – Scoring Summaries

Canada 298 for 9 wickets (50 overs; Sandeep Jyoti 88, Zubin Surkari 62, Qaiser Ali 61)
Cayman Islands 92 all out (50 overs; Khurram Chohan 3 wickets for 24)
Result: Canada beat Cayman Islands by 206 runs

Bermuda 290 for 3 wickets (50 overs; Lionel Cann 101 ret hurt, Steven Outerbridge 62)
Suriname 66 all out (34.1 overs; Deloyne Borden 6 wickets for 17 runs)
Bermuda won by 224 runs

Argentina 200 for 8 wickets (50 overs; Hamish Barton 74)
USA 203 for 3 wickets (37.5 overs; Sushil Nadkarni 109)
USA won by 7 wickets

Day 3 matches:

Argentina v Cayman Islands
Canada v Suriname
USA v Bermuda

High Performance and host teams win again on Americas Day 2

(Broward County, Florida – Nov 26) - Canada and Bermuda, the two ICC High Performance countries, and hosts USA had convincing wins on the second day of the Pepsi ICC Americas Regional Championships. Canada produced a much-improved performance in beating the Cayman Islands by 206 runs. Bermuda thumped Suriname by 224 runs and hosts USA comfortably beat Argentina by 7 wickets with 12 overs to spare.

Top-order batsmen Sandeep Jyoti (88 runs), Zubin Surkari (62) and Qaiser Ali (61) set Canada on course for a solid 298 for 9 wickets. Khurram Chohan took 3 early wickets and the Caymanians were bowled out for 92.

Opening bat Lionel Cann struck 101 runs for Bermuda, before retiring hurt, as his side reached 290 for 3 wickets against Suriname. Steven Outerbridge struck 62 and captain Irving Romaine closed the innings with 50 not out at a run-a-ball. Delyone Borden then proved too much with the ball, taking 6 wickets for 17 runs and Outerbridge chipped in with 3 wickets for 15 runs as Suriname tumbled to 66 all out.

Argentina made 200 for 8 wickets, again lead by Hamish Barton’s batting. Barton laid the foundations with 74 runs from 118 balls, including 3 boundaries. Sushil Nadkarni struck his second century in two days, following an opening day 197, with 109 runs from 106 balls. His knock included 12 boundaries and three sixes. US captain Steve Massiah chipped in with 43 runs and the US strode to victory with 12 overs and one ball to spare in reaching 203 for 3 wickets.

Thursday’s schedule is headed by the USA against Bermuda. Canada should overpower Suriname, the one ICC Affiliate country (the third tier of ICC membership) and Argentina meets the Cayman Islands.

Canada shows teeth in 206 run win over Cayman Islands

Two ghosts were, at least temporarily, laid to rest as Canada beat the Cayman Islands by 206 runs on day 2 of the Pepsi ICC Americas Championships on Wednesday. The first ghost, an unconvincing 1 wicket win over Argentina on the opening day was laid to rest with some solid early batting and some early breakthroughs with the bowling. Three Canadian batsmen scored half-centuries in a total of 298 for 9 wickets. The short-term expectation is for a solid win over Suriname, before meeting hosts USA and Bermuda in the last two rounds.

Opening bat Sandeep Jyoti laid the foundations with an innings of 88. He shared stands of 87 for the second wicket wicket with Zubin Surkari and 145 for the third with Qaiser Ali. Jyoti’s innings included eight boundaries and a six, made from 129 balls. He was one of the most prolific batsmen in the Toronto and District Elite Division’s regular season in 2008. Surkari struck 62 from 54 balls (7 boundaries and 2 sixes) and Ali followed with 61 runs from 76 balls (4 boundaries and a six). Karun Jethi provided a late boost, striking three sixes and three boundaries to reach 37 runs from just 20 balls.

Khurram Chohan had a successful stint as an opening bowler, taking 3 wickets for 24 runs in eight overs. Veteran Steve Gordon made 24 runs at the top of the Cayman batting order, but the only other resistance came from Omar Wills (17 runs) and Alejandro Morris (18 runs). Spinner Zahid Hussain polished off this lower order resistance with 3 wickets for 11 runs in 4.2 overs.

So a much better day for Canada and relief after relying on a six from last-man Henry Osinde to overhaul Argentina on Day 1.

The second departing ghost was the memory of a shock and humbling 8 wicket loss to the Cayman Islands in the previous Americas Division 1 Championships in 2006. That loss was partly due to the enthusiasm of the Canadian side to get on with the game. The players made efforts to get the game underway after overnight rain and ended up struggling on a wicket that helped the seam bowlers early in the game. A rearguard effort from George Codrington (73 not out) and Steve Welsh salvaged an almost total batting disaster for Canada, but it did not avert defeat as sound batting took the Caymanians to a famous victory.

It came after Canada had lost to Bermuda in an ODI match that also served as part of the opening round of the Americas tournament. It has been a struggle for Canada to open tournaments with a solid performance in recent years. Adjusting to the particular wicket, especially overseas, is part of the issue.

But, for now, Canada has two wins on the board and three more wins would bolster confidence and secure the Americas Regional Championship.

Day 1 Results recap

Bermuda 220 for 7 (50 ov) beat Cayman Islands 147 for 9 (50 ov) by 73 runs
Canada 194 for 9 (48 ov) beat Argentina 191 for 7 (50 ov) by 1 wicket
USA 365 for 5 (50 ov) beat Suriname 60 (21.3 ov) by 305 runs

Eddie Norfolk

Canada secure last-gasp victory -- Posted Wednesday, November 26 2008

At Piccolo Park Argentina pushed Canada all the way with an excellent all-round performance and came within touching distance of a famous victory. Argentina were outstanding in the field with a succession of brilliant catches, but Henry Osinde launched a huge six to rescue Canada after a lackluster display.

Argentina posted a respectable 191 for 7 in their 50 overs, thanks to the efforts of their player-coach Hamish Barton, the former Auckland batsman. He remained unbeaten throughout the innings but was left stranded on 99 when the overs ran out. In reply, Canada seemed to be in control of the run-chase, but slumped to 148 for 7 and suddenly the pressure was on. The equation came down to eight needed with the final pair together and Osinde finally settled the nerves with his timely blow.

"The positive attitude of the boys throughout was amazing," Derek Culley, Argentina's team manager, said. "We will keep looking to improve, especially in reducing the bowling extras, and trying to generate more batting support from the middle order."

Canada captain Umar Bhatti, was relieved to have escaped with the win, and said they would be looking for strong improvement in the games ahead: "Our performance today was below par in all departments and needs immediate improvement if we are to challenge for the title. Chasing low totals is always tricky, and lack of application from our batsmen made it difficult in the end, but credit to Argentina for a great game."

At Central Broward Regional Park, Bermuda proved too strong and too experienced for Cayman Islands, and registered a comfortable 73 run victory. Batting first, Bermuda posted 220 for 7 with former Glamorgan batsman David Hemp showing his class with 51 off 59 balls.

Cayman Islands never got to grips with the run-chase and limped to 147 for 9. Christopher Douglas caused plenty of problems with 4 for 18. Bermuda coach Gus Logie was satisfied with his team's opening performance. "Today I think we played as well as we could considering the slow nature of the pitch, and I was pleased with the way the players adapted to the conditions during the game."

Suriname, the tournament minnows, were given a tough early lesson as they crashed to a massive 297-run defeat against USA. The match brought the day's most eye-catching innings as Sushil Nadkarni cracked 197 off 132 balls with 22 fours and nine sixes as Canada piled up 353 for 9. In reply Suriname fell apart for a paltry 60 with Timroy Allen claiming 5 for 7.

However, despite the thumping win USA team manager Imran Khan wasn't getting carried away. "We played very well today and executed our strategy to perfection. Sushil played an outstanding innings that set the tone for the match. Still, it is a given we have to improve with every match, and we need to continue to raise our game and come at the opposition hard as we did today."

Cyrill Bonar, Suriname's manager, tried to sound positive about the thrashing. "We definitely remain optimistic that if we can play to the standards we know we are capable, we will be more competitive in the games to come."

Article sourced from:-

Canada squeak home against Argentina (ICC) -- Posted Wednesday, November 26 2008

Osinde’s last-gasp six for Canada sinks fast-improving Argentina in opening day thriller / Nadkarni and Allen blast USA to victory over luckless Suriname / Bermuda prove too solid in comfortable win over Cayman Islands.

On the opening day of the Americas Division 1 Championship in Lauderhill, Florida, USA, the regional heavyweights Canada, Bermuda and USA all won as predicted, but in vastly contrasting styles.

At Piccolo Park Argentina produced an excellent all-round performance to have Canada reeling on the ropes and within one delivery of producing a historic shock victory. An especially dazzling display in the field, with a succession of brilliant catches, kept the South Americans in line for a famous victory until last Canadian batsman Henry Osinde heaved a mighty six over the ropes to clinch a nailbiting win for a lackluster Canadian outfit.

After electing to bat first, Argentina posted a respectable 191 for 7 in their 50 overs, with the undoubted hero being player-coach Hamish Barton in a dream international debut performance. The former Auckland player batted throughout the innings after opening the batting, and was left cruelly stranded on 99 not out when Argentina’s innings of 191 for 7 closed after 50 overs.

Barton’s undefeated innings came off 144 balls, with 6 fours and a six. Of the other Argentine batsmen, only all-rounder contributed more then twenty, his 26 coming off 19 balls, including 4 fours. Best of a steady but unspectacular Canadian attack were Karun Jethi with 2 for 46, and Harvir Baidwan and Henry Osinde respectively, both with 2 for 41.

In reply, Canada seemed to be control of the run-chase, but as Argentina grabbed key wickets at opportune moments, suddenly the Canadians were 148 for 7, with overs remaining not an issue, but faced with an awkward 44 runs still to collect and with only 3 wickets in hand. Skipper Umar Bhatti (22 off 29 balls, 3 fours) and Karun Jethi (20 off 16 balls with a four and a six) had seemed to take Canada towards a victory, but two quick wickets left the Canadian final pairing at the crease with 8 runs still to find.

However the hopes of a determined Argentina outfit were dashed by one towering blow from last man Henry Osinde, and Canada had ultimately snatched a breathtaking one wicket win. Top scorer for Canada was Asif Mulla with 55 off 66 balls, while Jason Sandher made an attractive 29.

Argentina’s outstanding fielding performance was backed up by some disciplined bowling, the picks being skipper Esteban MacDermott, with 3 for 34 in 10 overs, and also seamers Gary Savage (3 for 36 in 9 overs) and the dependable Diego Lord, with 3 for 31 in 10 overs.

After the match, Argentina team manager Derek Culley commented on the great performance of his team: “The positive attitude of the boys throughout was amazing. We will keep looking to improve, especially in reducing the bowling extras, and trying to generate more batting support from the middle order.”

Canadian captain Umar Bhatti, although relieved to have escaped with the win, said they would be looking for strong improvement in the games ahead: “Our performance today was below par in all departments and needs immediate improvement if we are to challenge for the title. Chasing low totals is always tricky, and lack of application from our batsmen made it difficult in the end, but credit to Argentina for a great game.”

At the magnificent Central Broward Regional Park (CBRP), Bermuda proved too strong and too experienced for the Cayman Islands, and registered a comfortable 73 run victory. Batting first, Bermuda posted 220 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs, with David Hemp showing his class with a fine timely innings of 51 off 59 balls, with 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Also making good contributions with the bat for Bermuda were Christoper Douglas and Stephen Outerbridge, both making 39. Best of the Cayman bowlers were Ryan Bovell, 2 for 42 in 10 overs, and Alessandro Morris, 2 for 30 in 10 overs.

In reply the Cayman batting never got to grips with the run-chase, and finally saw the end of their 50 overs arriving with their total on 147 for 9. Skipper Pearson Best top-scored with 29, off 60 balls, while other small but valuable contributions came from Ainsley Hall, 27 off 53 balls.
Christopher Douglas turned in a fine bowling performance for Bermuda, finishing with 4 for 18 in 8 overs, while Rodney Trott took 2 for 34.

Bermuda coach Gus Logie was satisfied with the performance and win: “Today I think we played as well as we could considering the slow nature of the pitch, and I was pleased with the way the players adapted to the conditions during the game.”

Theo Cuffy, coach of the Cayman Islands, pointed to a need in improvement in the teams batting: “A lot of the guys got good starts and didn’t carry on, but we need it more difficult for ourselves by not creating good partnerships and losing wickets in twos and threes. We definitely let the game slip away in the middle overs, even though our work rate in the field was excellent.”

On their debut at Division 1 level, Suriname unfortunately walked into a juggernaut on the day that was opening bat Sushil Nadkarni, whose scintillating 197 came off 132 balls, with 22 fours and 9 sixes propelled Canada to a mammoth 353 for 9.
The baton was then passed on to the bowlers, and particularly Timroy Allen in outstanding form, with 5 for 7 in 5 overs as Suriname were dismissed for a mere 60 run total and a 297 victory.
Steve Massiah made 62 off 53 balls and Carl Wright chipped in with 39, while along with Allen, best of the rest was Orlando Baker, with 2 for 24.

USA team manager, Imran Khan, was pleased with the winning start, but warned that challenges still lay ahead: “We played very well today and executed our strategy to perfection. Sushil (Nadkarni) played an outstanding innings that set the tone for the match. Still, it is a given we have to improve with every match, and we need to continue to raise our game and come at the opposition hard as we did today.”

Cyrill Bonar, Suriname team manager, was disappointed that his team did not at least meet their own standards in the field against strong opposition: “Our bowling was poor, and the fielding below our normal standard, and for that we have no excuse, but in batting we struggled to cope with the wicket, which was something new to us. We definitely remain optimistic that if we can play to the standards we know we are capable, we will be more competitive in the games to come.”

Trinidad & Tobago wins WICB Cup -- Posted Tuesday, November 25 2008

Trinidad & Tobago beat Barbados by 7 wickets on Sunday to win the
West Indies Cricket Board one-day cup. Barbados won the toss and
batted, but soon lost 2 wickets with just 10 runs on the board. Only
Dwayne Smith, 29, and Joanathan Carter, 36, made a start with the bat
as Barbados struggled to 142 all out in the 46th over. Rayad Emrit
took the first two wickets and ended with 3 wickets for 36 runs.
Samuel Badree had a fine spell of bowling taking 3 wickets for 14
runs in 10 overs. It was spinner Badree's best bowling at this level.

Daren Ganga made 48 not out (5 bounaries) as Trinidad moved to a
winning 143 for 3 wickets after 27 overs. He came in after the loss
of an early wicket, acting in a supporting role as opener Adrian
Barath hit 31 and Darren Bravo fired 4 boundaries in making 20. Lendl
Simmons then joined Ganga in an unbroken stand of 60 to secure

After losing 3 matches and having the match against Trinidad & Tobago
abandoned without a ball being bowled, Canada faces Argentina on
Tuesday (Nov 25) as the ICC Americas Regional Division One
Championship begins in South Florida. Bermuda, USA, Cayman Islands
and promoted Suriname are the other participating countries. The
event ends on Sunday.


Turning cricket on its ear -- Posted Sunday, November 23 2008

It's loud, wild and fun.
There are cheerleaders, night games, music, fans in the millions and a pack of high-profile owners.

Television is constant, there's a reported 10-year, billion-dollar broadcast deal and players are being paid up to $1.5 million for 45 days work.

Team names include Royals, Knight Riders, Daredevils, Indians, Chargers and Challengers. And if the games go longer than three hours, penalties are imposed.
A competitor to the National Football League?
Nope, cricket. Honestly.

Twenty20 cricket, to be exact, and just five years since being introduced in England, of all places, this new, fast-paced, adrenalin-charged game is sweeping the world and sending traditionalists running for the cover of their pavilions.

And it has local adherents. Cricket Canada is jumping on the bandwagon by holding its first national championship under the new Twenty20 rules, sending "50 overs" cricket to the wayside. Eight teams from seven provinces will compete May 17-18 in King City, just north of Toronto.
They have a local cable television contract for the tournament with games called by the CBC's Nigel Reed, and a fair amount of media coverage.

It is, however, nothing compared to what's happening in India. Sis, boom and a lot of bats

It was on April 18 of this year (a date that will live in infamy for cricket purists) that the Washington Redskins cheerleaders pranced onto the home field of the Bangalore Royal Chargers to get a crowd of over 30,000 up and dancing, ready to cheer the locals against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Signalling the opener of the Indian Premier League's inaugural season, the event also let cricket fans everywhere know the game was never going to be the same again.

Eight clubs, some owned by Bollywood superstars (Shahrukh Khan is in the Kolkata group, for example) and others by Indian billionaires, and in one case a major daily newspaper, set out on a double round robin schedule that would see each play the other twice with the top four to the semifinals.

It would take 45 days to bring the thing to a close and as of this writing, the Rajasthan Royals led the pack nine games in with a 7-2 record for 14 points, followed by the Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings at 12 and Kolkata Knight Riders with 10.

Rounding out the standings were the Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and, as every league needs bottom dwellers, the Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers with four points each.

Scores are high, power hitters rule and websites on the league and its stars are everywhere.

Like a trip to Bollywood
Atul Ahuja, CEO of the Canadian Cricket Association, was there for the opener, and it helped shape his ideas about how the game could be packaged.

"It's something new for [the Indian public]," he says. "It's like going to see a Bollywood movie, and more.

"What this gives you is live [action] and seeing your favourite stars from Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and India, right there in front of you, playing alongside each other.

"And you have this whole inter-city hype, like here in North America."

Indeed, everything about it is like professional sports on this side of the ocean, including the stars (each club can declare an "icon" player from India, and that means seven-figure salaries for Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag), the television, the loud uniforms, tons of media coverage and, yes, those cheerleaders.

Some of the clubs are actually developing their own cheer squads.

Other key players include Jacques Kallis of South Africa (making a reported $900,000), Ishant Sharma of India ($950,000), Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India ($1.5 million) and Andrew Symonds of Australia ($1.35 million). Cost of a franchise reportedly ranged from $67 million US to $111.9 million US, all done by bid.

"Stadiums are absolutely chock-a-block, it's being played at night, it's hot in India at this time and it's being televised globally every day, even here through Asian Television Network," Ahuja says.

The key for all of this is simple — time. Or rather, lack thereof.

Time for other pursuits
When Ahuja was a boy in Pune, India, he would go along with his father and sister to five-day cricket tests.
Dad would take his newspapers, Ahuja and his sister their homework, and out to the grounds they'd march, ready for a test of patience and their love of cricket.

"And we'd watch the game for about an hour and then there'd be a tea break and [Dad] would catch up on his reading and we'd do our homework," Ahuja says.

"And then the players would come back on the field and they'd be warming up [for a long time]. When I look back, it was almost quasi-comical. But that's just the way it was."

Not any more.

First there was the introduction of the 50 overs (300 balls) game in the early 1970s. That was poo-poohed by traditionalists then as "instant cricket," Ahuja says. He can't imagine what the old-timers of 30 years ago would think of the Twenty20 game and its rules:-

Twenty20 refers to the number of overs — each team gets one inning of 20 overs, or 120 balls, and that's it. Score as many runs as you can and then get off and let the other team try and catch you.

No bowler is allowed to toss more than four overs, or 24 balls. That's creating all sorts of new tactical opportunities for when you use you pace bowlers, or your spin bowlers. It also behooves a team to hold back a star for the end, like using a closer in baseball, to wrap things up. Cricket managers no longer sit around chatting about the weather or last night's meal any more, they have to pace back and forth and think along with the other team's boss.

If the fielding team doesn't get all of its balls across within 75 minutes, the batting side gets a six-run bonus for each uncompleted over.

Wasting time by the hitting team can cause the umpire to give more minutes to the fielding club. A tie is broken by a bowl-out. Five bowlers from each side deliver one pitch at an unguarded wicket and whoever knocks down the most wickets wins.

There are other rules regarding where fielders can be placed and when, etc., but everything is arranged so television can show the game within three hours and the fans can come at night, have a good time and get home.

The CBC's Reed, who grew up as a cricket fan in the southwest of England, admits the game is not for the purist, "but it sure is good entertainment. Laxman, captain of the IPL's Deccan Chargers addresses a press conference in Hyderabad during the team's unveiling ceremony."

VVS Laxman, captain of the IPL's Deccan Chargers addresses a press conference in Hyderabad, India during the team's unveiling ceremony. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

Report by Malcolm Kelly, CBC

Article sourced from:-

Canada out with with no wins in four matches -- Posted Friday, November 21 2008

Leeward Islands booked their place in the semi-finals with a 70-run win over Windwards Islands at the Uitvlugt Community Centre Ground, West Demerara on Wednesday.

Choosing to bat, Leewards were dismissed for 172 in 48.4 overs, with left-arm spinner Dennis George taking 3 for 7 in his ten overs, four of which were maidens. Only four of Leewards' batsmen reached double figures - all going past 25 - with opener Austin Richards top scoring with 37. Leewards were in a trouble at 96 for 7; however, wicketkeeper Devon Thomas and Justin Athanaze put on 59 runs for the eighth wicket to rescue their side. Leewards' win with a bonus point was sealed by a four-wicket haul for opening bowler Gavin Tonge, and some tidy back-up from spinners Omari Banks and Anthony Martin.

At the Providence Stadium, hosts Guyana, already knocked out of the competition, finished their campaign in style with a seven-wicket win over Canada. Set a target of 165, Guyana reached home in 36.2 overs, with Steven Jacobs, playing his second List A game, scoring an unbeaten 54 after the openers fell in the 30s. Canada, who bowed out with no wins in four matches, played out their 50 overs to score 164 for 4. Sunil Dhaniram, their captain, made 53 not out.

Trinidad and Tobago also ended the group phase on 16 points, but had a higher net run-rate compared to Leewards, and will now face defending champions Jamaica in the semi-finals. Against Combined Campuses and Colleges at Bourda, they piled up 282 for 9 in 50 overs and then dismissed the opposition for 197 in 44.4 overs. Kieron Pollard scored 54, Darren Bravo 45, Lendl Simmons 42, and Adrian Barath 36 to help Trinidad and Tobago to the third-highest total of the tournament. Romel Currency once again starred for CCC with a 62, but his team fell way short of their target.

Article sourced from:-

International Cricket’s Diversity Day: November 20th -- Posted Thursday, November 20 2008

Cricket is “the game par excellence which brings unity and good fellowship between mankind generally all over the world.” Thus wrote Mr. F.W. Terry of London , Ontario , back in 1894. Fitting words for the International Cricket Council (ICC’s) Diversity Day 2008 recently declared as Thursday November 20th.

Haroon Lorgat, the present ICC CEO, introduced this day by stating “Cricket is a truly diverse and global sport, played by people regardless of their age, gender, cultural background or ability. We want to use ICC Diversity Day to celebrate cricket as a sport played all over the world by people from very diverse backgrounds and that the game can build bridges between continents, countries and communities.”

“As a South African, I have seen how cricket has contributed to unifying people from different backgrounds and I hope through initiatives like ICC Diversity Day we can have a positive impact across the world. ”

The first cricket world cup was for women, in 1973, two years before the more famous West Indies men’s win over Australia at the inaugural 1975 Prudential World Cup. An Under-19 World Cup was introduced in the 1987-1988 season, and separate World Cups for the blind, and the deaf have also been staged.

The 1975 World Cup had eight teams. Last year in the West Indies there were 16 teams, but this has been cut to 14 for the 2011 Cricket World Cup (CWC) being hosted by the four South Asian countries: India , Pakistan , Sri Lanka and Bangladesh . The ten full members of the ICC automatically qualify, so just four places are up for grabs in next year’s qualifying competition in South Africa . Canada is in that qualifying event.

Cricket is currently challenged by the mix of traditional Test Matches, the 50-over per side One-Day International matches and the more recently marketed T20 matches. T20 has also seen some independent events and some big money come into the game, although several leading countries have limited finance for the sport. Some T20 incarnations have taken cricket rewards for the few well beyond the significantly increased rewards due to Australian magnate Kerry Packer’s independent 50-over international matches in the late 1970’s.

Somewhere a balance in both game format and financing is required, as are rest periods for leading international players. Domestic cricket and the flow of talent into the game must continue in a world where international cricket seems part of almost the daily diet.
This applies throughout the ICC Full Member countries, and to leading ICC Associate countries seeking a place in the upper ranks of the game.

Playing T20 cricket itself is nothing new in countries such as England , or even Canada . Long summer evenings have allowed evening matches to be played without floodlights for many years.

Diversity in Canada

Canada is a country dominated by immigrants and, over time, the descendants of immigrants. Canada has supported some major United Nations initiatives on Human Rights since World War II, including “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”.

This continues leadership dating back to July 1973 when Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe worked to secure the approval of an “Act to Prevent the Importation of Slaves into Upper Canada ”. Upper Canada is modern Ontario . It was the first move in the then British Empire to begin moves on the abolition of the slave trade.
There are several federal, provincial and local government observances and celebrations of cultural contributions during the course of each year. The City of Toronto , for example, issues many proclamations each year, some on broad topics, such as supporting literacy, public health and overall human dignity and respect, others specific to particular communities.

The proclamations typically note “everyone has the right to live in conditions of dignity, respect and peace in a city in which all residents are full and equal participants in its social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life”. Observations relating to a particular community, such as First Nations, Asians, South Asians and the far from ubiquitous Caribbean communities, typically pay tribute to the accomplishments and contributions “to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our City”, and thus to Canada.

A February 2007 proclamation on UNESCO’s “International Mother Language Day” claimed Toronto ’s residents “come from over 200 countries” and “speak more than 170 languages and dialects.” Diversity indeed. Diversity and potential.

Diversity in Canadian Cricket

Cricket’s roots in Canada came from British servicemen and settlers. It has remained an essentially amateur sport but the current mix of players in domestic cricket has a high proportion with Caribbean and South Asian heritage. A trait recognized in the film “Cricket and the Meaning of Life”, written and produced by Sanjay Talreja in conjunction with the National Film Board.

The Canadian cricket team at Cricket World Cup 2007 had the most diverse background of the sixteen participating teams. It included players born in Canada who learned their cricket overseas. Many were born overseas, some learned the game mostly in Canada , but others arrived in Canada as adults and kept playing the game here.

After Canada ’s last match of CWC 2007, then captain John Davison mentioned Kevin Sandher as an example of an international player born and bred in Canada . Davison hoped for more home-grown products. Davison was born in British Columbia but grew up in Australia . He scored the fastest century of CWC 2003 in South Africa and took 17 wickets (out of a possible 20) in Canada ’s inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup match against the USA in 2004.

CWC 2007 squad members Kevin Sandher, Ashish Bagai, Asif Mulla, Abdool Samad and Umar Bhatti played for Canada at the Under-19 level. They, like most of the current Canadian juniors at Under-15 and Under-19 levels developed through individual clubs, private cricket academies and the work of enthusiasts in some of the provinces. Not due to any core program from the Canadian Cricket Association.

The Canadian women’s cricket team similarly has a multi-cultural background. The women’s first overseas tour came in April 2008 to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). But precious little has been done for the side, or Canadian women’s cricket, since then. Indeed, the tour to T&T failed to raise a mention on the official Cricket Canada website. The Canadian women’s team first played in 2006.

Potential remains for Cricket in Canada

The story of Canadian cricket remains one of potential,

In 1979, Canada was one of two qualifiers for the eight team world cup. Sri Lanka was the other qualifier. Sri Lanka progressed to ICC Full Membership, won the World Cup win in 1996 and reached the final in 2007. Canada did not re-appear in a CWC until 2003 in South Africa , after placing third in the 2001 ICC Trophy, staged in the Greater Toronto Area.

Canada qualified for the sixteen team CWC 2007. Results have not been good since that event and there are only four places up for grabs for CWC 2011 at the qualifying event in spring 2009.

Several of those involved in running Canadian cricket need to recognize the need to reach out to followers of ‘mainstream” international cricket to try and attract them to Canada’s bread and butter matches, as well as to domestic cricket. Some sports lovers with non-cricketing backgrounds were tempted to the United Way game in 1989 at the then SkyDome between West Indies and the Rest of the World. Others may have attended some of the Sahara Cup series between India and Pakistan , and there were definitely a few ‘cricket outsiders’ at the 2001 ICC Trophy.

But what was done by Canadian cricket’s governing body to attract such people to Canadian cricket? Precious little, if anything.

Advertising, if any, tends to be a case of too little, too late. And what was done by the powers that be to highlight the abilities of Canadian cricketers? Again, virtually nothing. There was basically nothing done by Cricket Canada for this year’s Inter-provincial T20 Championships to identify participating teams and players. Existing guidelines propose a program is produced for such major events, with advertising subsidizing the costs. But nothing was done. Not even a banner at the entrance gate proclaiming the Scotiabank Nartional T20 Championship.

An initiative by one of the Ontario league’s saw Rogers Community Channel televise the final, with some highlights from other games. But there was no advice on the official Cricket Canada website on when those highlights were shown on TV.

Print advertisements for the recent Thanksgiving Weekend international T20 did not include any Canadian player. There was mention of “live TV” but no mention of where such coverage would be found. As it turned out, the TV trailers on a pay channel I had not previously heard of lacked even a glimpse of Canada in action. Some Zimbabwe footage had been found, but reading a media release about the two companies assisting Cricket Canada on the promotion of this event, I wondered if there was knowledge Canada had played at CWC 2007.

Cricket Canada ’s efforts to host and promote the Scotiabank Series 2008 (Canada , Bermuda and the West Indies ) were little short of pitiful, in my opinion.

Information on several Canadian international players over the past 30 or so years include many from professional wrestling’s great heartland “parts unknown” or from an unknown large country such as Canada, India or Pakistan. Some were never born and do not seem to bat or bowl. How does the selection process work, if, it does?

But to find a trace of many such players, there is a need to go beyond the records and A to Z of Canadian cricketers on the official website.

Canadian cricket remains a sport of great potential but lacking proper management, communications, promotion, transparency and funding with a consequent lack of quality facilities for play and practice. The game depends on too few people to really keep it going. The players have to be pretty thick-skinned to keep plugging away, whatever their cultural background. As do the umpires, and the small band of scorers.

The objective of the CCA/Cricket Canada is “to foster the growth and development of cricket throughout Canada . It shall provide participants the opportunity to compete at their level of competence.” A role requiring a structured and systematic approach. A role that still needs to be addressed.

** Mr. F.W. Terry’s comments can be found, with much more on early Canadian cricket history, in “Sixty Years of Canadian Cricket” by John E/ Hall and R. O. McCulloch (Bryant Publishing, Toronto, 1895)

Eddie Norfolk

Canada lose to Guyana in final match -- Posted Wednesday, November 19 2008

Canada 164 for 4 wickets (50 overs; Sunil Dhaniram 53 not out, Sandeep Jyoti 37, Khurram Chohan 32 not out).

Guyana 168 for 3 wickets (36.2 overs: Steven Jacobs 54 not out, Rajendra Chandrika 39, Christopher Barnwell 33, Gajanand Singh 21 not out).

Result: Guyana won by 7 wickets

In the other two matches, the Leeward Islands (172 a/o) beat the Windwards (102 a/o) while Trinidad & Tobago was close to beating the Combined Campuses and Colleges.

Jamaica blasts past Canada by 9 wickets -- Posted Monday, November 17 2008
Georgetown, Guayana; Nov 17): Jamaican fast-medium bowler Andrew Richardson took 4 wickets for 36 runs as Canada was bundled out for 104 runs in its 37th over at Bourda. Devon Brown and Gavin Wallace each chipped in with 2 wickets for 14 runs. Canada won the toss and elected to bat, but struggled from the outset. Captain Sunil Dhaniram top-scored with 24 runs.

Jamaica then polished off the runs in the 21st over for the loss of just one wicket. Brenton Parchment made 50 not out and David Bernard 40 not out.

Canada (2 losses, 1 no result) closes its schedule against hosts Guyana on Wednesday, the last day of group matches.

The fourth day of the West Indies Cricket Board one-day championship also saw the Leeward Islands beat Barbados by 62 runs while Trinidad & Tobago beat the USA by 4 wickets. Justin Athanaze made 30 as the Leewards battled to 172 all out against Barbados. Off-spinner Omari Banks then took 4 wickets for 51 as the Barbados innings spluttered to 110 all out.

Carl Wright bolstered the USA with an innings of 90. Akeem Dodson battled away to make 31 not out in a US total of 186 for 7 wickets against Trinidad and Tobago. Richard Kelly took 3 wickets for 34 runs. Danen Ganga struck 79 runs and Adrian Barath 66 as T & T powered towards victory. But Barath’s dismissal was followed by two more consolation wickets, including Ganga’s, before T&T reached a winning 187 for 4 wickets. US bowler Aditya Thyagarajan took 3 wickets for 30 runs.

West Indies Cricket Board Regional Championships – Round 4 Results

Matches played in Guyana on November 17, 2008

Jamaica beat Canada by 9 wickets (Played at Bourda)
Canada 104 all out (36.5 overs)
Jamaica 108 for 1 wickets (20.5 overs)

Leeward Islands beat Barbados by 62 runs (Played at Uitvlugt)
Leeward Islands 172 all out (50 overs)
Barbados 110 all out (31.2 overs)

Trinidad & Tobago beat USA by 6 wickets (Played at Enmore)
USA 186 for 7 wickets (50 overs)
Trinidad & Tobago 187 for 4 wickets (38 overs)

Trinidad and Tobago v Canada washed out -- Posted Saturday, November 15 2008
Both the Trinidad and Tobago v Canada, and Jamaica v USA matches have been washed out without a ball being bowled.

In a match reduced to 27-overs per side, Guyana made 170, the Windward Islands have replied with 62 for 3 wickets off 10 overs.

Day 2 Windies Regional wins for Barbados , Trinidad & Tobago and the Colleges -- Posted Friday, November 14 2008

(Georgetown, Guyana; Nov 14) Barbados beat the United States of America by 100 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) method in a rain interrupted matches on the second day of the West Indies Regional Championships in Guyana . Trinidad and Tobago opening its schedule with a 9 wickets win against the Leeward Islands . Prride of place goes to the Combined Campuses and Colleges for a 70 run win over the Windward Islands . Romel Currency was again in the runs with 70 and Floyd Reifer made 62 in a score of 224 for 6 wickets off 50 overs. Kavesh Kantasingh and Anderson Sealy each took 3 wickets as the Leewards replied with just 154 all out at Enmore.

Omari Banks followed his 75 not out against Canada with 52 runs for the Leeward Islands against Trinidad and Tobago (T &T) in a match restricted to 45 overs per side due to rain. Kieron Pollard took 3 wickets for 47 as the Leewards reached 219 all out in 42.5 overs. Lendl Simmons, who made 112 not out, and Adrian Barth, with 72, lead the charge from the start of the T & T innings in a 9 wicket win. A winning score of 221 for 1 wicket was reached 33rd overs were completed. Canada faces T & T at Uitvlugt on Saturday.

Ryan Hinds lead the way for Barbados , striking 84 runs. Half-century knocks were also registered by Dale Richards, 63, and Dwayne Smith, 52. Orlando Smith took 4 wickets for 48 runs for the Americans. A rain delay left the USA needing 259 runs from 42 overs. Adityya Thuagaraian made 42 but the USA was restricted to 149 for 9 wickets. Barbados won by 110 runs under the D/L method.

Saturday’s matches include Jamaica against the USA at Everest. It is the Americans who would have to climb a high mountain in modern cricket to achieve success. Hosts Guyana opposes the Windward Islands at Blairmont.

Heavy loss for Canada as Wi regional tournament gets underway -- Posted Thursday, November 13 2008
(Georgetown , Guyana , Nov 13): The Leeward Islands racked up 367 runs for 4 wickets in 50 overs and thumped Canada by 184 runs on the opening day of the West Indies Regional Championships in Guyana on Thursday (Nov 13). Austin Richards’ ( Antigua ) lead the way for the Leewards’ with 141 runs. Omari Banks (Antigua) hit 75 not out and Runako Morton (Nevis) chipped in with 72, Canada was then restricted to 183 runs for 7 wickets in its 50 overs. Qaiser Ali made 53 runs and skipper Sunil Dhaniram 44. Banks took 2 wickets for 24 runs. Canada meets Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.

Barbados beat a depleted Jamaica side by 21 runs at Bourda. The current West Indies team playing Pakistan in an ODI series in the UAE includes several Jamaicans. Dwayne Smith made 65 not out in Barbados total of 249 for 5 wickets. Jamaica was all out for 228, topped by 76 runs from. Tamar Lambert. Barbados ’ Pedro Collins took 3 wickets for 39 and Ryan Hinds 3 for 40.

Combined Campuses and Colleges gave hosts Guyana a scare at the National Stadium, Providence . Romel Currency hit 102 not out and Kurt Wilkiinson 76 in a useful total of 250 for 6 for the students. Guyana won by 4 wickets with just 9 balls to spare. Narsingh Deonarine made 67 and Assad Fudadin 57 in Guyana ’s 252 for 6 wickets (48.3 overs).

Opening Day Scores from Guyana :

Leeward Islands 367 for 4 wickets (50 overs) beat Canada 183 for 7 wickets (50 overs) by 184 runs (Played at Everest CC)

Combined Campuses and Colleges 250 for 6 wickets (50 overs) lost to Guyana 252 for 6 wickets (48.3 overs) by 4 wickets (Played at the National Stadium, Providence )

Barbados 249 for 5 wickets (50 overs) beat Jamaica 228 all out (48.3 overs) by 21 runs (Played at Bourda)

Eddie Norfolk

Canadian national squad bound for West Indies Championships in Guyana -- Posted Tuesday, November 11 2008

Toronto, Ont. – Nov 11: The Canadian men’s cricket team flew from Toronto’s Pearson Airport to Georgetown, Guyana overnight to play in the West Indies Regional One-day tournament that begins on Thursday (Nov 13). Khurram Chohan’s departure was delayed while travel documentation is finalized. Chohan has played first-class playing experience with various teams in Lahore, Pakistan.

Abzal Dean, who made his debut during the Canadian Thanksgiving T20 tournament has been added to the original squad. Leg-spinner Zahid Hussain, a newcomer to the national squad, also has first class cricketing experience in Pakistan.

Canada opens with a match against the Leeward Islands on Thursday (Nov 13). This is followed by games with Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday (Nov 15) , Jamaica (Nov 17) and hosts Guyana (Nov 19). Nine teams are involved in this tournament. Four teams will progress to semi-finals on Nov 21 and 22. The Final is on Sunday November 23. This year’s event will help preparations for the ICC World Cup Qualifying Competition, set for South African in April 2009.

Canada played in six West Indies Regional tournaments between 1996 and 2003. Canada has recorded wins against the USA (2000), Antigua & Barbuda (2002) and the Rest of the Windward Islands (2002). The best individual Canadian batting performance was by Muneeb Diwan (130 runs v Leeward Islands in 1997) and the best bowling by Davis Joseph (6 wickets for 39 runs v Jamaica in 2000).

In the 2003 event, current captain Sunil Dhaniram took 3 wickets for 15 runs against the Windward Islands and wicketkeeper/batsman Asif Mulla made 66 runs against the Rest of the Leeward Islands.

Three of the Canadian squad were born in Guyana; Dhaniram, Abdool Samad and Eion Katchay. Abzal Dean is from nearby Trinidad & Tobago.

Eddie Norfolk

The Masters 2008 at Edmonton -- Posted Tuesday, November 11 2008

After a long three-year absence and a few unexpected snags, the Masters were back in force at scenic Victoria Park over the August 23/24 weekend under clear, blue skies and blazing late summer sunshine which saw two competitive matches that narrowly went the home team way.

It was a genuinely exhilarating occasion to witness the great interest shown in the matches by the veterans from the two Alberta cities. It was equally uplifting to see the masters of yesteryear, many of whom coming out of long retirements, grace the field with enthusiastic cameos and an unending zest for the game, masters like Spencer Gooden, Paul St. Rose, Bhandari, Ivan Mahelal, Art Alfonso, yours truly, Charlie Green, at 70, probably the oldest man in Alberta who can still acquit himself admirably on a cricket field, Wilfred Steele, Sammy Naicken, Arthur Chung, Zafar Khan, Roy Thomas, Tallboy, and many more.

The matches were played in the true Spirit and Tradition of the Game. To observe the mutual respect, camaraderie, cooperation, sportsmanship, bantering and friendship was, indeed, exemplary. It would have been magnificent if more of the younger players had been present to witness.

The Masters are a great Alberta tradition and maybe other provinces will pick up on it before long. Alas, we must fully support it and retain the opportunity for our veterans and contributors to stay in the game for as long as they want and we must never again allow any reason keep it off the agenda.

Day one: Calgary scored 210 for 8 in their allotted overs with Paul St. Rose top-scoring with 56, followed by Ron Saywack 41 and Trevor DeFreitas 30. C. Chung and A. Jackson bagged two wickets each whilst A Chung, R Beepat and R. Singh captured one each
In reply, Zafar khan was unbeaten on 87, Art Chung 63, Sammy Naicken 19 and Ryan Rahaman 18.
For Calgary, Paul and Art took two scalps each with Ron and Bhandari chipping in with one each.
Day Two: Calgary batted first again and amassed 236 in 39 overs: Manny 98, Ivan 43, Art 35 and Paul 19. Steve Dutchin trapped six Calgary batters for 46.
Edmonton: 238 for 8: S. Dutchin 115, T. Browne 25 and K. Clark 28.
Bowling: Manny 3/44, Jackson 3 for 26.
* Jackson was a cross-over Edmontonian playing for Calgary.
* Steve Dutchin was the class of the competition with his lone but scintillating century and a brilliant six-for.
* Edmonton were great hosts...hats off to them. Thanks, guys, for making the was truly a great gesture we hope to match next year in Calgary!

Ron Saywack - September 5th, 2008

Will sense prevail in the Canadian Cricket Heartland’s Civil War? -- Posted Saturday, November 8 2008

This Sunday, November 9th, the Toronto and District Cricket Association (TDCA) is to hold a Special Annual General Meeting regarding affiliation with the Ontario Cricket Association (OCA) and a desire for more proportional representation for larger leagues. The meeting is due to start ‘12 noon sharp’ in room 3B of the Ontario Sports Alliance Building at 1185 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto (Don Mills/Eglinton Ave East intersection).

Some of the issues seemingly stem from the Semi-Annual AGM of the OCA held in Waterloo, Ontario, on September 20th. Some, doubtless go back further, including some issues surrounding voting at the November 2007 Canadian Cricket Association AGM. Hopefully, some of the personality-specific components might be ignored and whatever real, or perceived, underlying issues are discussed and given proper consideration. This may require a further meeting or two of the TDCA before further a further formal meeting of the OCA.

Some of the language out in the public domain is highly emotive. Nothing I have seen clearly describes whatever was being sought by the TDCA, or whether a reasonable amount of notice was given and adequate time made available for proper discussion, either within the TDCA or at the OCA level.

In the overall mix at the OCA level, the Etobicoke and District Cricket League is unhappy at still being an Associate, rather than a full member. At the EDCL’s Presentation Meeting early in 2008, one Cricket Canada/OCA official spoke of the OCA making the EDCL a full member. But this never happened.

I was have not been impressed by various aspects of the two CCA AGM’s I have attended (2005 & 2007).

Since the 2005 CCA AGM I have gained a broader insight into the minor league politics of the Canadian Cricket scene, where rhetoric and dreams too often overshadow the sensible content of the day.

Some of the other public events (receptions, dinners, post-event presentations, exhibition launches), the sparse range of media conferences and some other associations AGMs sometimes show weaknesses, to mature observers, in promoting and marketing the Canadian Cricket scene.

Some personality clashes may stem from a real underlying issue where stating the problem and laying out and agreeing a sensible course of action is either left out or disappears under the storm clouds of the inter-personal battles. Poor communications, including the whole host of subtopics of lack of disclosure, inadequate disclosure, inappropriate disclosure, ignoring more sensible, quieter or less eloquent speakers, etc through to not actually listening to what is said, or not reading and understanding whatever proposals are being presented (sometimes due to lack of proper notice and distribution).

The critical question remains: who is really working or trying to advance Canadian cricket in a planned and structured manner in accordance with the objectives of the CCA/Cricket Canada, and other Canadian cricket associations and leagues?

As a reminder, the Objective of the CCA in the prevailing Bylaws and Guidelines is to “foster the growth and development of cricket throughout Canada. It shall provide participants the opportunity to compete at their level of competence.” [CCA Bylaw, Clause 2.]

Dreams and realities

The realities are obvious to many; cricket in Canada is still discussed in terms of unrealized potential. That was the case in 1859 when a team of English Professional Cricketers made its first overseas tour to North America, including matches in Montreal and Hamilton (Ontario). Australian tourists in the 1970’s saw potential. I became involved because of love of the game, personal skills and willingness to devote some of my own resources towards the game because I saw initial potential.

And if the game was properly run, some of the pipe dreams could be achieved. But it needs proper leadership and management, plus a structured series of plans and accompanying resources which some of the current 1-4 week administrative thinking timeframes will never achieve.

There is not a systematic approach to running the game. Much of the structure and achievement is due to individual commitments from a small body of individuals, clubs and some of the provinces. These are the folk who should be helped rather than maligned.

Where are the proper practice facilities to support and develop cricketers in Canada? Where are the quality grounds on which juniors and competitive stream cricketers can play? How can the national coach and his players properly prepare for matches without knowing what competitions are even on the short-term horizon?

Where, even, are the power supplies that might make it possible to distribute scoring news, reports and photographs from matches in Canada?

What is the prospect that whoever in Cricket Canada wrote “the on-field success of the senior men’s team is the foremost test of the programs that have been put in place by the organization” will do the decent thing and resign?

Far more likely, officialdom will focus on the success of the Under-15’s in the Americas Regional Championship. Players largely developed by some of the clubs and some provincial programs. Four of the squad were aided by playing for the ICC Americas Development team in the CLICO International Under-15 Championship back in March and April 2008.

But two international trips by some form of Canadian men’s national team have gone unrecorded on the official website, to date. The first overseas tour by the Canadian women’s team has similarly been missed. Canadian cricket has some good friends in both cricket and the media in Trinidad and Tobago. But are some of Canadian cricket’s current official leaders good friends, or even competent leaders, of Canadian cricket?

One of the Ontario leagues failed to complete the schedule for the 2007 season. Neither the OCA nor the then CCA stepped in to resolve an impasse over one semi-final game. The President of that league was already President of the OCA and was subsequently elected as a VP of the CCA last November. Thankfully, the Southern Ontario Cricket Association season completed this year. The ‘Windsor Star’ sent a photographer to the final of the 45-over competition.

A high ranking-diplomat spoke of the future potential for Canada to host a Cricket World Cup during the opening ceremony for the 2007 Canadian Universities and Colleges Tournament. One of the richer people in Canada was present for part of the final day of the tournament. Who from the inner circle of cricket leadership in the GTA knows these things?

Others might think of it as: one giant leap for Cricket Canada, one small or medium step for those in the firing lines of playing and maintaining cricket in Canada. I did not bring up the fact that one grant in March 2007 to a dog magazine was greater than the $40,000 Cricket Canada had received in March 2007 under the overall Canadian Heritage Ministry/Sport Canada funding program. I am convinced Canadian cricket ought to be able to obtain a much better level of Federal funding if it did a quality presentation.

Short-term hope

In the short-term, I hope common sense will prevail at the TDCA meeting, that teams delegates will turn up for that meeting and work for the advancement of Canadian Cricket. And that common sense would prevail in subsequent OCA meetings.

It would certainly be interesting to complete a process-orientated audit of the workings of Canadian cricket. That would combine a basic series of tick-and-bob audits (checking vouchers and cheques against simple financial records) of each set of financial records with the surrounding decision making and authorization processes. Some may think this sounds like management consultancy, but diligent reviews of processes are the reason why, in the broader picture, some major financial institutions are in much stronger situations than others – especially some previous US industry leaders that have failed.

It might begin to address some of the TDCA leadership’s concern about cricketing bodies being run properly in accordance with the prevailing rules and constitutions.

Lost opportunities seem to abound in potential sponsorship for Canadian cricket. I am sure I was not the only person who wondered why there was no tourism advertising around the ground during the Scotiabank Series 2008 involving Canada, Bermuda and the West Indies.

Some efforts had been made back in 2006 to get some of the tourist offices from the West Indies to help sponsor a CCA golf tournament. The golf event never took place. Couldn’t that potential sponsorship have been transferred to the Intercontinental Cup matches and ODIs with Kenya and Bermuda later that summer?

Small initial amounts per day or match in 2006 might, by now, have grown as the sponsorship partnership grew. Some of the long-overdue supporting infrastructure for playing might already have begun to be in place. It seems so simple to me. A simple matter of doing the basics well; off the field, as well as on it.

A matter of doing the hard work behind the scenes, as Richie Richardson said, back in April 2006.

Eddie Norfolk

Canada cricket -- Posted Friday, November 7 2008

While there are fleeting references to cricket being played in Canada in the 18th century, it only established a more substantial footing in the 1820s with the founding of the Toronto Cricket Club in 1827 by George Barber, a master at Upper Canada College and newspaper publisher. He instigated local matches and in 1844 Canada met USA in what is widely believed to be the oldest international sporting contest in the world. The game, at the St. George's Club in New York, attracted large crowds and reportedly more than $100,000 in bets changed hands.
George Parr of Notts brought the first touring team to Canada from England in 1859, and although the tourists were far too strong for the locals the visit was a great success, becoming the first cricket tour in history. During these years of healthy cricket activity in the east, the game was spreading rapidly in the west. In 1864 the North West Cricket Club was formed at Winnipeg and in 1876 the famous Victoria Cricket Club was formed on the west coast. Cricket had already been played in both areas prior to the formation of these two clubs, but the game was now beginning to take hold in the west and as a result the sport was played from coast to coast.
By the 1860s the game was booming and when Canada became a nation in 1867 the prime minister declared cricket to be the national sport. In 1872 a third England side, including WG Grace toured, and the Australians visited for the first time six years later
A weak Canadian side toured England in 1880, then in 1887 the first major tour was undertaken by an all Canadian-born team. The side toured England under the captaincy of Dr ER Ogden and took on several of the counties on level terms. The team far from disgraced itself, recording wins over Ireland, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, and Leicester. In 1905 and 1907 MCC teams made brief tours to the USA and Canada.
The USA v Canada series reached its zenith in the 1890s, at which time the USA were strong enough to tour England themselves. But the growth of baseball and World War One saw cricket decline in popularity both sides of the border. The series with the USA ceased in 1912 and Canada did not play any overseas opposition until 1932 when Vic Richardson brought a strong Australian side including Don Bradman - he lived up to his reputation by smashing 260 not out against Western Ontario. Tours took place to and from the country in the 1930s - a public schools representative side was in Canada when war broke out in September 1939.
After the war, touring resumed and a visit from MCC (1951) was followed by Canada touring England in 1954 where they played four first-class matches, including a game against the Pakistanis at Lord's. In 1958 Pakistan played a single match against Canada in Toronto at Varsity Stadium.
In 1963 the series against the USA was resumed at Toronto, while tours continued to arrive and the game was popularised by the increasing numbers of immigrants from the Caribbean and then the subcontinent. In April 1968 the Canadian Cricket Association was incorporated. Australia played four matches in Canada on their way to the first Prudential World Cup in 1975 and an Eastern Canada side beat Australia by five wickets in Toronto.
Canada entered the inaugural ICC Trophy in 1979 and finished as runners-up to Sri Lanka, a result which earned them a place in the World Cup proper which followed but they were easily beaten by Pakistan, Australia, and England. Throughout the next two decades Canada continued to perform admirably, although never recapturing the success of 1979.
The large expat community led to Canada being identified as a potential venue for matches as the game looked to broaden its horizons. In 1989 a game took place between Rest of the World and West Indies which attracted more than 40,000, and in 1996 the Toronto Club hosted a one-day series featuring India and Pakistan, and this continued for four years. Official ODIs resumed in 2006 when Canada played their first games, although they had hosted the 2001 ICC Trophy
While Canada has benefited from the ICC's desire to expand the game, it still faces major logistical problems. The season is short, the facilities are almost all shared with other sports and owned by local authorities, and the government, which used to back the sport, no longer does. Like the USA, the domination by expats, while improving the standard, raises concerns for the future and for the development of home-grown talent.

Article sourced from:-

Rizwan Cheema - Big fish, small pond -- Posted Thursday, November 6 2008

He may play for Canada but he's drawing favourable comparisons with the big boys of international cricket thanks to his ability to clear the boundary at will

"When I left for the ground this morning, I told my family I would hit Shoaib Akhtar for a six today." Not many batsmen in the world would begin their day with such a prophecy and then see it fulfilled, but then not many batsmen are Rizwan Cheema.

The 30-year-old Cheema has taken Canadian cricket by storm - first by smashing West Indies around during the summer, and then demonstrating his immense hitting prowess against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the recently concluded T20 Canada tournament.

Associate countries are rarely blessed with players who have such an immediate impact on the team, but from the moment Cheema dispatched West Indies' Jerome Taylor for his first six in a 61-ball 89 in his second ODI for Canada, there has been an air of expectancy around him.
Canada has no shortage of cricket fans but the vast majority would struggle to name a single player in the national team. Cheema's heroics have gone some way in building a following for Canadian cricket, but at the moment it is almost exclusively tied to his fortunes.

The buzz he creates is similar to that which greets Shahid Afridi when he steps out to bat. It isn't the expectation of a knock laced with deft touches, precision cuts or elegant drives; it is primal: the crowd wants Cheema to smash the ball out of the ground, and in his short career he has rarely disappointed.

In the recently concluded T20 tournament, which also featured two of history's greatest hitters, Afridi and Sanath Jayasuriya, it was Cheema who emerged the home-run king, with ten sixes - the most in the tournament. Cries of "Boom-Boom Cheema" were heard whenever he walked out to bat and the player admits to getting a kick out of it, especially with Afridi around.

Born and raised in Pakistan, Cheema only ever played cricket at club level, which he sought to continue doing after he moved to Canada six years ago. "I love playing cricket, so I just wanted to find a team in Toronto that I could play for recreationally. I didn't think that I'd end up playing for Canada".

It took a couple of years for Cheema to make a name for himself as an allrounder in the Toronto and District Cricket Association league, which besides being the best in Canada is also the biggest league in North America.

While his medium-pace bowling was certainly useful, it was his tendency to belt the ball into orbit that really caught the eye of observers around the league.

Following his exploits in international cricket, there are now a number of people in Toronto's cricket circles who claim to have discovered Cheema during his earliest days in the league. But it wasn't until 2005 that he turned in a noteworthy season, scoring 627 runs (with three centuries) in 14 matches at an average just under 50, and taking 24 wickets at 13.12. After a disappointing 2006, Cheema established himself as the league's most dangerous batsman the following year with two big hundreds: 161 off a scarcely believable 61 balls (eight fours, 15 sixes), and an effort of 145 with 15 fours and nine sixes. It was clear that Toronto's amateur weekend cricket league would not be enough for Cheema and at this point he certainly was on Cricket Canada's radar, but eligibility issues stood in the way of an international debut until this summer.

Canadian teams of the recent past were overly dependent on John Davison for runs, a tendency which has continued, with the burden now on Cheema. In the seven international matches he has played for Canada, Cheema has scored three half-centuries, all against Full Member countries. In that period no other Canadian player has passed 50 even once. Since his debut Cheema has only had one real failure with the bat, when he was dismissed for 2 runs in the third-place match against Zimbabwe in the T20 tournament.

Predictably Canada collapsed, folding for 75 all out. Cheema however is loath to criticise his team-mates. "The players are all good, in my opinion, but I think they just need to be a little more confident."

When pressed if the pressure to do the bulk of the scoring for the team is an annoyance, his reply is typical. "No, not at all. In fact, I always tell my partner at the other end to just be easy and relax and not worry about the runs, I'll handle that. By the grace of God I know that I can make ten runs in an over whenever I want."

It may sound cocky, but Cheema does not come across as arrogant, just someone who believes in his own abilities. And it is this confidence that makes him tick, whether he is muscling Shoaib Akhtar away for a low, flat six or charging out of his crease to clobber Ajantha Mendis out of the park.

Fearless to a fault, Cheema admits that his targeting of big-name bowlers is deliberate. "Anyone can score a single off Shoaib Akhtar, but not everyone can hit him for a six. I like doing things that not everyone can do."

His 43-ball 68, scored off the likes of Dilhara Fernando and Mendis, was also pleasing: "I feel very good about the innings against Sri Lanka. It was amazing. If the team is good you feel better about the runs that you score. I feel happier after I've scored runs off better bowlers."

With Cheema in sparkling form it is unfortunate that personal reasons have kept him out of Canada's squad for the West Indies Regional Tournament in Guyana later this month. Notwithstanding the bounty of international cricket this season in Toronto, playing for Canada ultimately means that opportunities to take on the world's better bowlers are few and far between outside of the World Cup. But maybe not in Cheema's case. There is some talk of IPL interest in him, which is simply astounding for a largely unknown amateur cricketer from an Associate country. If he does make it to India, Rizwan Cheema may not be unknown for much longer.

Faraz Sarwat
November 5, 2008

Faraz Sarwat is the cricket columnist for the Toronto Star and the author of The Cricket World Cup: History, Highlights, Facts and Figures

Aricle sourced from:-

Canada without Cheema for Windies domestic tour -- Posted Sunday, November 2 2008

The Canadian squad for West Indies' domestic one-day tournament beginning in November features some new inclusions, but is weakened by the notable absence of batsman Rizwan Cheema. One of the star performers in the tri-series in King City also involving West Indies and Bermuda in August, Cheema scored two half-centuries in three ODIs and averaged 61.33 in his debut series. The reason for his non-selection is yet to be made known.

While Sunil Dhaniram has been retained as captain, Umar Bhatti, the fast bowler who missed tri-series, has been appointed his deputy, marking another change from that tournament when Abdool Samad, the middle-order batsman, was vice-captain. Samad will also keep wickets as Ashish Bagai misses out due to work commitments.

Sandeep Jyoti, the opening batsman who made his last ODI appearance in January 2007 against Scotland, makes a return to the squad. Qaiser Ali, the middle order batsman who has also played domestic cricket in Pakistan, too finds a place after being left out for the tri-series. Zahid Hussain, the legspinner, who has played six first-class matches in Pakistan, is the fresh face in the team.

USA and Canada are the two overseas teams invited to participate in the nine-team tournament which runs between November 13 and 23.

Squad: Sunil Dhaniram (capt), Abdool Samad (wk), Mohammad Iqbal, Sandeep Jyoti, Qaiser Ali, Khurram Chohan, Zahid Hussain, Harvir Baidwan, Henry Osinde, Eion Katchay, Karun Jethi, Umar Bhatti, Asif Mulla.

Report sourced from:-