Home-grown leader policy June 25, 2008

Surkari Canada's new captain

Cricket Canada have announced their first born-in-Canada captain in many years with the appointment of Zubin Sarkari. Although he is the fourth captain in the space of 18 months, the board was keen to emphasise that several recent captains were unable to have day-to-day contact with the players owing to commitments in other countries.

John Davison was captain despite living in Australia; Ashish Bagai moved to London to pursue a financial career while in charge, while Sunil Dhaniram's leadership proved short-lived.

A spokesperson from Canada Cricket told Cricinfo: "The situation of four captains in a very short space of time is one more example of the challenges of organising top-flight Associate member cricket in a non-professional environment, where players (including captains) need to take account of job commitments. It is important that players in leadership positions have on-going, day-to-day contact with players in the national squad - at least as far as that is possible in a country as geographically spread as Canada."

Toronto-born Surkari certainly adheres to the criteria. He has represented Canada at all age levels and had been groomed previously as a captain. He would have played more matches but for battling with a debilitating disease of the auto-immune system over the last couple of years.

His appointment is line with the board's aim of pursuing "a policy of grooming Canadian-based players in leadership roles." Cricket Canada has been moving forward positively in recent months - persuading the government to add them to the list of sports eligible for funding being a major recent coup - and this step is yet another one in the right direction.

Jenny Roesler is an assistant editor at Cricinfo