World Cricket League February 6, 2007

Bagai named player of the tournament

Cricinfo staff



Ashish Bagai has been a leading light for Canada in the tournament © Eddie Norfolk

Canada's wicketkeeper-batsman Ashish Bagai has won the inaugural World Cricket League player of the tournament award after dominating with the bat for his country in Kenya.

Bagai, 25, has been hugely impressive during the tournament, scoring two centuries and one fifty at an average of 86.25, including a top score of 137 not out in his side's thrilling seven-run defeat to finalists Scotland.

Bagai compiled eight player of the tournament points in five matches, as decided by the two on-field umpires in each game, putting him two clear points ahead of his next rival, Ireland's opening batsman William Porterfield.

At the end of each game, the on-field umpires elected their top three players in order. Three points went to the player of the match, two to the second best player and one to the third. The player of the tournament was decided by adding together all the points.

Bagai picked up his award at the closing ceremony in Nairobi on Monday night. It was presented to him by tournament referee Roshan Mahanama.

"It is a great thrill for me to win this award," said Bagai. "I am really psyched and it is great for my confidence ahead of the World Cup. I had no idea I had won the man of the tournament. David [Obuya of Kenya] and Porterfield did very well. I knew I was close but those guys had great tournaments too."

With attentions now turning towards the World Cup, Bagai said he could not be happier with his preparations. "It has been perfect. I was at the winter training camp in Pretoria [late last year]. That was perfect for me - I really felt I improved. And then we had a hard-fought ODI series in Mombasa and then the World Cricket League. It has been ideal preparation."

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