ICC Intercontinental Cup 2006-07 April 20, 2007

Bagai to lead Canada in final

Eddie Norfolk

Ashish Bagai has been appointed as Canada's captain for the ICC Intercontinental Cup final against Ireland at Grace Road, Leicester starting on May 22. Vancouver's Kevin Sandher has been named vice-captain. Bagai was the Player of the Tournament at the inaugural World Cricket League in Kenya in February.

Ten of the 13 chosen, including Bagai and Sandher, were in the Canada squad during the World Cup. Five of those - Qaiser Ali, John Davison, Geoff Barnett, Ian Billcliff and Abdool Samad - each scored a century in Intercontinental Cup group matches. Opening bowler Umar Bhatti took ten wickets in both of Canada's home games, against Kenya and Bermuda. Bhatti also showed allrounder potential with an innings of 83 not out against Netherlands in South Africa.

Two Quebec-based players come into the side: Ashish Patel, a 31-year-old pace bowler, and Naresh Patel, a 39-year-old slow left-armer. Ashish Patel played three matches in the 2004 Intercontinental Cup and two games at the World Cup in South Africa in 2003. He has suffered some injury problems but believed he was back to fitness during the winter.

The inclusion of Trevin Bastiampillai, a 21-year-old batsman, injects more youth into the squad. He previously played twice for Canada in the Americas Regional Championships in August 2006 after several matches for the Under-19s.

Ireland are hoping for the release of some of their players with English county contracts to be available for the final.

Canada squad Ashish Bagai (capt), Qaiser Ali, Geoff Barnett, Trevin Bastiampillai, Umar Bhatti, Ian Billcliff, Austin Codrington, John Davison, Ashif Mulla, Ashish Patel, Naresh Patel, Abdool Samad, Kevin Sandher.