Canada news May 30, 2011

Bagai steps down from Canada captaincy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ashish Bagai has stepped down as captain of Canada ahead of the Intercontinental Cup which begins in June. The 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Bagai, who made his debut in 2003 and has had two stints as captain, will still be available for selection as a player. Bagai led Canada in the 2011 World Cup in which they beat higher-ranked Kenya in the group stages. He made two half-centuries during the tournament.

"It has been an honour to captain my country in the sport I love and I thank everyone in this organisation who helped and supported me throughout my term including administrators, coaches, managers and most of all, the players," Bagai said in a letter to Cricket Canada's board.

"I undertook each task over the last two years with the primary objective of moving not just the team but also the entire organisation forward."

Bagai was appointed captain for the 2007 Intercontinental Cup when he was just 25 but chose to take up a job in the banking industry in the UK later the same year, making him unavailable for many of Canada's matches. In 2009 he quit his job and signed a contract with Cricket Canada to play the sport full-time and has been captain of the national team since.

Cricket Canada have accepted Bagai's decision to step down and indicated they would still select him as a player.

"Cricket Canada thanks Ashish for his outstanding contribution to Canadian cricket at a time when circumstances were difficult and challenging," Cricket Canada president Ranjit Saini said in a statement. "I wish him well and look forward to his continued contribution as a player and strong supporter of Canadian cricket."

Canada will have to name a new captain for the Intercontinental Cup in which they will play four-day matches over a 28-month time frame against Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Netherlands, Namibia and UAE.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on May 30, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    @TeamSelector - LOL! @cooljack_143 - in terms of PURE w/k, Dhoni is not that good. When you add batting, Dhoni & Sanga are the two best in the game.

  • Saeed on May 30, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    You guys must be joking, right ??? ........ everyone knows that Kamran Akmal is the greatest wicketkeeper/batsman in the history of the game -:)

  • Ashok on May 30, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Thanks for your contributions to Canadian Cricket, Ashish. Youi should seriously consider participating in the next year's IPL to improve your image and bank balance.Playing in Canada does not give you any profile. IPL is now the best source for young Cricketers to make their living. You can be a Banker for 9 months and play cricket for 4 months in the IPL. Of course you can still represent Canada but once you are in IPL your profile and visibility is known to all cricketing world.Try one of the southern teams like Kochi, Deccan or even Pune.Good Luck in your career both as a cricketer & as a Banker.

  • sumeet on May 30, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    @cooljack_143 If u had watched him play in the WC, i m sure u wudnt have said that...!! Dhoni and Sanga are very good in general... (u forgot AB who is the best) but in the WC, if we consider both wicket-keeping and batting, it ws Bagai who was the best after ABD. Dhoni although is a wonderful keeper, but only played 1 responsible innnings in the whole WC. This lad on the other hand, was the backbone of his team throughout the WC. GO CANADA!! u rock!!

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    This man surely has all the love for cricket. He left a job as an I Banker and got into contract with a Associate Nation, why just for love of the game. I hope to see him again in 2012 in ICC World T20. Best of luck and keep the fire

  • cool on May 30, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Dhoni behind in WK class.mautan do you ever watch cricket????????????? Dhoni and sanga are the best WK's in the present scenario.

  • mau on May 30, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Undoubtedly the best WK in the last world cup....superb gove work, no frills and excellent footwork. Taibu or Rahim or Dhoni are some way behind in WK class. Congrats Ashish on your achivements...

  • Andrew on May 30, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    @ A_HTIMAN - I actually thought Taibu & Rahim were the best!

  • Nami on May 30, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    The best wicket keeper in the ICC WC 2011. Forget his batting he's even a great player only for his keeping. :) Good luck Ashish - from SL

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