Wicketkeeper-batsman Ashish Bagai has been signed on a national team central contract with Cricket Canada, but will only be available for a nine-month period leading up to February 2014, when he will begin work. He will return to the squad on May 15, after completing his graduation from business school. Bagai last played for Canada during the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He subsequently left the team to pursue an MBA.
His inclusion in the squad comes at a crucial time for the national team as they embark on two World Cup qualification campaigns: the 2014 World T20 Qualifier in Dubai and the 2015 World Cup Qualifier. "Canadian cricket means a lot to me and I am excited to play a role in helping Canada qualify for both of these events once again." Bagai said. "I know the recent results have not been great, but there are some promising aspects that we can build on during the upcoming summer. It's going to require a lot of commitment and character from the players and I am confident that the guys will rise to the challenge."
Cricket Canada's president Ravin Moorthy believed Bagai's inclusion will help bolster the side. "To again sign Ashish to a commitment that includes both World Cup qualifiers, clearly signals the organisations intention to make a serious run to qualify for upcoming major world tournaments." Bagai has enjoyed a successful ODI career, scoring 1961 runs and affecting 67 dismissals as wicketkeeper.