Three players from the Caribbean have been selected in Canada’s team for the 2013 International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup Qualifiers set to commence mid-next month in Dubai.
Guyanese all-rounder Damodar Daesrath, fast bowler Jeremy Gordon and Trinidadian off-spinner Abzal Dean are the members to represent the country.
Coach of the team, former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies batsman Gus Logie, also stated the players are ready to make a huge impression, and subsequently gained a spot in next year’s T20 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6.
Daesrath, a former Guyana First Class skipper, represented Canada at the recently-concluded Intercontinental Cup four-day match against the Netherlands while Gordon also featured in the game that was played at King City, Toronto.
Both players had impressive performances and are eager to resume with the same degree of confidence and optimism. They are also team mates of Brampton Masters Cricket Club. They played in the Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite Division final two weeks ago against Centurions Cricket Club that eventually won.
Dean last played for Canada in 2010 in a limited overs game against Ireland and is anxious to return to action for his new homeland in this exciting version.
Over the weekend, the team, under the guidance of fitness trainer and strength and conditioning athletic therapist, Scott Stanger, and performance analyst, Keith Deonaraine, fine-tuned the players’ preparations with a number of physical activities.
According to the 53-year-old Logie, the team has worked on every aspect of their game since the selection and commencement of the training sessions at the Scarborough Cricket Centre.
“The confidence level [is] very high and that is very important; the guys have put in a lot work on a daily basis and they have fitness test again to ensure they are physically and mentally prepared for the competition,” Logie related.
He also mentioned they have gone through work on the technical aspect of their game since that will help enhance their performance and morale simultaneously. Having played in 52 Test matches and 158 ODIs for West Indies, Logie believes that practice will improve their skills.
“The players are responding well and I think that is noticeably important; they seemed to be in good shape because they take extra-care of their diet too on a daily basis so I think we are mentally prepared given the fact we only limited to the indoor facility owing to the inclement weather,” Logie, who took over the coaching position in 2012, emphatically said.
Several players left on Monday while the remainder of the side will depart on October 31 to Sri Lanka where they will engage in a few warm-up games before heading across to the Dubai.
Logie, who led West Indies senior team as a coach to the Champions Trophy against hosts England in 2004, is optimistic that they will learn a lot during their stay in Sri Lanka.
“Going to Sri Lanka and feature in several practice games certainly will boost the team’s confidence tremendously for the ICC T20 Qualifier tournament; it is part of our preparations and that will also bring the players together and to detect any deficiency just ahead of the bigger encounters,” Logie mentioned.
Earlier, this year Canada also participated in the Auty Cup limited overs competition against neighbouring USA and a number of players emerged with outstanding performances, raising the side’s confidence of matching their skills with their opponents in the qualifiers.
The Canadian team is placed in Group A, alongside Ireland, USA, Uganda, Hong Kong, Italy, Namibia and UAE. With six teams advancing to the next stage, Canada is confident they will be one of those teams.
“We anticipating stiff competition and challenges from every team but we are confident of being among the top six by the completion of the competition; we have been working very tirelessly and the players have shown great commitment and enthusiasm to go out there and represent Canada,” Logie, who also coached Bermuda and Jamaica, expressed.
Canada has never featured in the T20 World Cup since its inauguration in 2006; they had placed fifth and eighth in the two outings at the Qualifiers in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Meanwhile, this publication also caught up with the trio and they spoke confidently of doing well for Canada on the tour, which begins from November 15-30. The side will return home but will immediately after to start their preparations for the ICC 50 overs Qualifiers early in January in New Zealand.
Canada will begin that campaign against old nemesis USA.