Intercontinental Cup, 2007 August 28, 2007

Canada trio withdraw from Intercontinental Cup squad

Cricinfo staff
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Three Canada players - including their usual captain Ashish Bagai - have withdrawn from the Intercontinental Cup squad for Kenya and Namibia in October. Steve Welsh and Kevin Sandher have also made themselves unavailable.

These are just the latest players to drop out - the original squad wasn't the strongest as some players were unavailable then, too.

Welsh has been replaced by Mohsin Mulla of Ontario, while Krunal Patel will take the place of Sandher. Sunil Dhaniram will be Canada's captain in the meantime, while Qaiser Ali is vice-captain.

The selectors have not named a replacement for Bagai, as they are waiting for him to confirm if he can secure the time off from his new job in the financial services industry in London in mid-August.

A spokesman from the Canada board told Cricinfo: "The CCA fully expects him [Bagai] to be available in the future, quite possibly returning in the role of captain. In the interim, Sunil Dhaniram will captain the side for the Kenya and Namibia tour.

"We were extremely disappointed with the number of non-availabilities for the Kenya and Namibia games, but this is really a fact-of-life with amateur sports, particularly in the North American commercial context.

"While it's obviously disappointing, it does give us an excellent opportunity to assess the performances of players who might not otherwise have been exposed to this level of international competition - which can be helpful in the long-term development of the game here."

Pubudu Dassanayake will be coach for the upcoming Kenya and Namibia tour, which includes two Intercontinental Cup matches and three one-dayers in Kenya. The team leaves on October 7.

The CCA also clarifed the position of Ian Billcliff and John Davison, telling Cricinfo: "Davison and Billcliff have most certainly not retired. Both remain "in the frame" for the future. Davison was not selected in order to have maximum opportunity to analyse the performance of future possible squad members with a view to the next ICC Trophy tournament and the 2011 World Cup. Ian Billcliff was unavailable for business reasons."

Canada Sunil Dhaniram (capt), Qaiser Ali (vice-capt), Trevin Bastiampillai, Umar Bhatti, Zain Ahmed, Chaudrey Jabbar, Ashif Mulla, Mohsin Mulla, Henry Osinde, Krunal Patel, Jason Patraj, Aftab Shamshudeen, Durand Soraine.