By Ravendra Madholall
Canada hopes of participating at the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup in Australia next October were dashed last Saturday at the Qualifier tournament in Dubai. Canada ended in fifth position in Group B after suffering three consecutive defeats, and consequently failed to qualify to the knockout stage.
Of the seven teams featuring in Group B, Canada had to be in the top three to enhance their chance of heading to Down Under.
The top three teams in their Group are Ireland, Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE) while in Group A, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands and Namibia are the emerging three sides. In the knockout stage, the winner and runners-up nations will join the other high-profile countries at next year’s mega event with West Indies as the defending champions.
Canada, who have never taken part in the T20 World Cup tournament since its inauguration in 2007 got a promising start in Dubai by chalking up three convincing victories only to be stunned in their final three games with heavy defeats.
In their final encounter last Saturday against UAE, the North American boys were beaten by 14 runs after previously going down to Oman by eight wickets two days earlier followed by an upset by the less-fancied Hong Kong by a comprehensive 52-run margin.
Notwithstanding these failures, Canada started off proceedings nicely beating Jersey by 53 runs and continued with the same momentum by trouncing Nigeria with a handsome 50-run margin.
In one of their hugest games, Canada then humbled Ireland by a thrilling ten-run margin until their fortunes ultimately changed against Hong Kong.
Former skipper of Canada Nitish Kumar was a standout player by scoring three attractive half-centuries inclusive an impressive 83, while quickies Jeremy Gordon and his Guyanese compatriot Dillon Heyliger bowled splendidly through the tournament.
Gordon, who also represented Guyana at the highest level, bowled the fastest delivery which reached an impressive 146.4 KPH in the match against Jersey; he went on to claim three wickets for 14 runs from three tidy overs.
Meanwhile, the Canadians will turn their attention to the forthcoming Cricket West Indies regional Super 50 tournament which bowls off Wednesday, November 6 in St. Kitts and Nevis and co-host country Trinidad and Tobago.
Canada is set to begin its campaign against Leeward Islands in Group A which also includes reigning champions Combined Campuses and Colleges, Barbados and Jamaica. Group B is comprises Guyana, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies Emerging side and Windward Islands.