Canada's selectors have named a 13-man squad for the Intercontinental Cup matches against Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. The players for the two ODI matches with Netherlands will be selected from this same group.
John Davison is not part of this squad. No comment on his situation has been made by the Canadian Cricket Association, although Ian Billcliff is flagged as not being available for these matches.
Sunil Dhaniram returns to the squad after injury that forced him to miss the recent Intercontinental Cup final against Ireland. Pace bowlers Ashish Patel (Gujarat CC, Quebec) and Steve Welsh (Meraloma, British Columbia) return to the national side. Patel took three wickets for Quebec in their Atholstan Cup win over Ontario at the weekend.
The selection likely to set people talking is the naming of Shehzad Afzul. He opened the batting for Canada A against the MCC in 2005 in a three-day game and later showed skill as a medium-pace bowler. He plays for play-off champions Salem Akbar in the British Columbia Mainland Cricket League.
The opening home game with the Dutch is the Intercontinental Cup tie at Maple Leaf CC, King City, from June 28 to July 1 (Canada Day). The ODIs then take place at Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club on July 3 and 4. The Intercontinental Cup match with the UAE is at Maple Leaf CC from July 6 to 9.
The good news, potentially, is the Dutch have named a squad that is without Ryan ten Doeschate (who is contracted to Essex) and some other veterans, some of whom have retired from international cricket. Young prospect Alexei Kervezee is available from Worcestershire. Wicketkeeper Jeroen Smits will captain the team.
The UAE will also play two one-day matches against a Canadian XI at Maple Leaf CC on July 3 and 4, and face Ontario, also at King City, on July 11.
The John Ross Robertson (Eastern) final is set for Montreal on Canada Day, thus clashing with the last day of the match with the Dutch. Montreal hosts the Adastrians (Quebec) v Canterbury (Ottawa Valley) semi-final on Saturday, June 30.
Canada squad Ashish Bagai, Sunil Dhaniram, Umar Bhatti, Ashif Mulla, Trevin Bastiampillai, Henry Osinde, Abdool Samad (all Ontario) Geoffery Barnett, Kevin Sandher, Steve Welsh, Shehzad Afzul (all British Columbia) Qaiser Ali, Ashish Patel (both Quebec).