Canadian Cricket

Thursday, February 08, 2007

World Cricket League Report Card

Considering everything that went on for Canada at the World Cricket League tournament in Nairobi, we basically got what we expected. We beat Bermuda, picked up another close win, and were reasonably competitive overall. We ended up missing the finals, but picking up some valuable experience heading into the World Cup in just over a month from now.

As a team, I've got to give Canada a B-: they did well, but not quite well enough to earn a top grade. A record of 2-3 over the tournament could just as well have been 4-1, with a few edges going the other way against Scotland, and a different situation against Kenya. That being said, they didn't, and we have to consider the results as they are. Now you'll see my evaluation of the individual players' performances.

Qaiser Ali - C - His high score of 60 against Ireland was an integral part of Canada's win, but he only managed 9 additional runs in 3 innings. He will be in the competition to stay in the lineup with the return of Barnett and Billcliff for the WC, and did nothing to distinguish himself here.

Ashish Bagai - A+ - It's pretty easy to evaluate a player when he is given the player of the tournament award at the closing banquet. He averaged 86.50 runs, with a high score of137, and was as good as ever whilst wearing the gloves. Hopefully he can continue with this form into the future, as he is becoming a star. Also a candidate for the captaincy in the future.

Umar Bhatti - B- - A difficult tour for Umar, he battled injury throughout and bowled decently when he had the chance. He could have been better, but could also have been much worse. I can't help but think he was hurt by the inclusion of Anderson Cummins as an opener, as his tandem with Osinde seemed unstoppable in the summer.

Desmond Chumney - D- - Only charity stopped me from giving an F here. When you are selected as a batsman, you cannot have a high score of 8. I have heard a lot about his potential, but he needs to show me (and the selectors) something if he wants to keep wearing Red and White.

George Codrington - B - Big George had a decent tour, doing his thing as an all-rounder. He bowled tight lines, made some runs, and served as a strong vice-captain to Davison. His years are likely coming to a close soon, but he is still able to produce an innings with the best of them.

Austin Codrington - C - This Codrington didn't get much playing time, only appearing in one match in the tournament. When he did, it was not memorable, as he went for plenty of runs and no wickets. It seems the powers that be favour the older Cummins, and that is bad news for Codrington, seeing as Bhatti and Osinde are shoo-ins.

Anderson Cummins - D - Eyebrows were raised when this man was named to the squad, and my eyebrows were on the back of my head when I noticed how many chances he was given. His bowling was erratic, he gave away heaps of extras, and he was just not good enough.

John Davison - B+ - Davison continues to do his thing as jack-of-all-trades for Canada. He captains well, he bats elegantly, and he bowls tightly. He also made a move many of us have been calling for for some time - moving himself down to the 4 spot in the order. Hopefully he will continue to have success from there; and give batsmen fits with his spinners.

Sunil Dhaniram - A - It was a great tournament for Dhani, especially with the ball. He was on fire, picking up 8 wickets at 15.38, and chipped in with the bat as well. Along with Davison, he will be the man to get us through the middle overs in ODIs without giving up runs.

Donovan Maxwell - D - Had trouble with bat and ball when he had the chance. He will have a tough time retaining his spot on the team at the World Cup with the readdition of the Killer B's.

Asif Mulla - B - Batted decently enough, averaging 23.80 and maintaining a run rate near 100. Also served as a decent backup for Bagai with the gloves, which could prove important as Bagai takes on a greater batting role. He may be better off batting at 5-6, as he can give the ball a mighty whack.

Henry Osinde - A- - He was Canada's leading wickettaker, grabbing 9 at 26.56. The only downfall of his game was that he was not as economical as he would have liked. Still, he is probably Canada's top strike bowler and a valuable commodity.

Abdool Samad - C+ - Batted well against Ireland and Scotland, poorly against the rest. Nothing more to be said here.

Kevin Sandher - B- - Got limited playing time as he had to split time with George Codrington. Really didn't get to see enough of him to give him a real rating here, but he did decently enough when given a chance.

In totally unrelated news, I'm starting a new blog which will be my discussion of all manner of sports. Cricket may creep on there at times, but I'm sure you'll all find my musings interesting. Check it out, and let me know what you think. Cheers!


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