Canada’s senior men’s team arrived in Abu Dhabi today ahead of the International Cricket Council Twenty20 Cricket World Cup Qualification tournament. The tournament starts Thursday across the UAE with Canada looking to lock up one of six spots for the 2014 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup.
Prior to arrival, in Abu Dhabi, the team spent 10 days in Sri Lanka preparing for the tournament. The gruelling training camp included 4 matches against top Sri Lankan sides as well as rival Scotland. Canada finished with a 2-win and 2-loss record including a convincing 6-wicket victory over the Scots. Coach Gus Logie had this to say about the preparation of the team
“We leave Sri Lanka feeling a lot more confident about our ability to play the T20 format… during the past 10 days we saw a marked improvement in our fitness levels, and skills levels. We tried many different batting and bowling combinations, and we are quite confident that we have a good idea of what works.”
Logie’s men will be put to a quick test early as 2010 Champion’s Afghanistan lock horns with Canada in the first warm up game on November 12th, 2013. Canada take on regional rivals Bermuda in another warm-up on November 13th before the tournament starts in earnest on Friday with a match against the United States of America. Canada has never qualified for the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, having been unsuccessful at the previous 3 incarnations of the this tournament.
Chief Executive Officer Doug Hannum believes that this time, Canada will get the correct result.
“This qualification tournament represents the culmination of 8 months of training and preparation for the team. As an organization we have thrown all of our support into the team and we believe that they are completely prepared. Everyone with Cricket Canada believes in this team and we are very confident that they will do their best and qualify for the T20 Cricket World Cup next year.”
Canada’s captain Ashish Bagai is playing in his fourth T20 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. The captain, a veteran of three 50 over World Cup Campaigns for Canada believes his team has the right mix to win this tournament.
“Being a Twenty20 short format competition you obviously go in there to finish on top. Our first goal is, however, to qualify, but if you get that far there is no reason any of the top six Associate countries can’t win the tournament…In saying that, it is not going to be easy, we haven’t really had the results we would have wanted in the last year or so. We know there is a lot of hard work ahead, but we are absolutely going in there to win the tournament”