Given the important role played by spinners in the event, CricInfo's ICC Trophy Team of the Tournament is arguably a little light on for slow bowlers. But then the trend throughout this competition was very clearly toward flexibility, versatility and adaptability. All-rounders and pace bowlers were probably just as central to the fortunes of the best-performing sides and a number of influential batting stars also emerged.
So, in that sense, we think this is the best side that could have been chosen on a composite basis from the 22 teams that graced the fields of play in Toronto. The six leading run-scorers in the competition feature for starters. Colin Smith was among this half-dozen and also stood out for his brilliant wicket-keeping skills, thereby presenting a powerful case for selection as the man to assume the duties behind the stumps in our ultimate ICCT 2001 team.
Arguably the two best all-rounders of the tournament - interestingly enough, they came from the same side - have also won places. And, from the ranks of the players who probably ultimately dominated the tournament (namely, the bowlers), it contains each of the five leading wicket takers.
Namibia's Lennie Louw and Riaan Walters, Canada's John Davison and Barry Seebaran, Ireland's Dominick Joyce, Uganda's Junior Kwebiha, the United States of America's Naseer Islam and the Netherlands' Tim de Leede are among a range of players who can consider themselves unlucky to have been excluded.
But the process of choosing a cricket side is all about finding the right balance, about choosing a team that contains high-performing players who complement one another's abilities well. We think that this particular side has those qualities in abundance.
In batting order the CricInfo ICC Trophy 2001 XI is:
Daniel Keulder (Namibia, vice-captain)
The sheen from Namibian captain Daniel Keulder's tournament was removed to an extent by his team's heartbreaking last-ball loss to the Netherlands in the Final, but few batsmen were more impressive during the three weeks of competition. A strongly built right hander, he is now a veteran of three ICC Trophy tournaments but this was easily his most impressive. A hard-hitting half century against Germany opened his campaign and was followed by scores of 82, 84 and a magnificent 104 in the all-important Super League fixture against Scotland that guaranteed the Namibians a 2003 World Cup place. Keulder also wins a role in our team as vice-captain in acknowledgment of the impressive leadership abilities that played such an important part in Namibia's golden run in the competition.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St9366 @ 45.75104v Sco--5/-
Jason Molins (Ireland)
One of the quiet achievers of the competition, Jason Molins was a consistently reliable contributor at the top of Ireland's order. Although the Irish endured a generally disappointing campaign in Toronto, few fingers could be pointed at the upper order batting and Molins' innings of 81 against Hong Kong and 93 against the Netherlands were typically loaded with character and output. He plays well off both the front and back foot - his off driving a standout - and, at 26, he looks to have a promising future ahead of him.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St8299 @ 42.7193v NL--6/-
Colin Smith (Scotland)
Arguably the best gloveman in the competition as it began, Colin Smith only enhanced his reputation as a wicket-keeper during ICCT 2001. That he added scores of 68*, 64*, 45 and 88 through the Super League phase to end with a tournament average of 46.57 with the bat simply capped his status as one of the outstanding players of the three weeks. Made a disappointing exit as he heaved across the line in the final Super League match against Namibia and then fell for only 6 in the World Cup Qualifying Final against Canada. Otherwise, it's hard to remember a blot on a tournament copybook that also included 13 catches and 6 stumpings.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St10326 @ 46.5788v Nam--13/6
Ed Joyce (Ireland)
Clearly the outstanding left handed batsman of the competition, Ed Joyce melded consistency with a classical technique. Made a slower than expected start in the warmup games but, like Molins, rapidly became one of Ireland's most dependable contributors once the tournament began. Barely was a weakness detectable in a game that blends resolute defensive skill with lovely driving and horizontal bat shots to both sides of the wicket. It says much about the difficulty of the task of conquering him in this tournament that he was only once dismissed for a score of less than 33.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St9359 @ 71.8087v UAE--4/-
Joe Harris (Canada)
A case might well have been made for Joe Harris' inclusion in this team simply for his effort in leading host nation Canada to the sacred ground of a World Cup berth for the first time in 24 years. But, in reality, his place was sealed by a series of excellent contributions with the bat and a spell of 2-28 that helped to turn the World Cup Qualifying Final against Scotland decisively in his team's favour. An exciting right handed batsman, his skills always seemed to come to the fore when his country most needed them.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St10329 @ 41.1279v USA2 @ 23.002-28 v Sco1/-
Ahmed Nadeem (United Arab Emirates)
A 24-year old all-rounder with consummate skills, Ahmed Nadeem was a major force behind the United Arab Emirates' fifth-placed finish in the tournament. A powerful right handed batsman, he scored 318 runs at 45.42 and collected 14 wickets with his right arm medium pace at 19.28. More importantly, his performance peaked in his team's most important matches of the tournament - its do-or-die group match against Fiji; the playoff game against Uganda; and the opening contests of the Super League phase.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St10318 @ 45.4267v Uga14 @ 19.283-22 v Nam2/-
Khuram Khan (United Arab Emirates)
If Nadeem's all-round contribution was impressive, then teammate Khuram Khan's tournament was possibly even better still. There was simply not a match in this tournament in which he did not contribute strongly to his team's fortunes: 243 runs coming at an average of 60.75 and 19 wickets at a cost of 13.52 with his left arm orthodox spin. Significantly, he also produced excellent performances against the best teams in the competition - a haul of 4-18 against the Netherlands; 26 as his team collapsed around him against Namibia; and doubles of 47 and 1-36 against Canada and 29 and 1-23 against Scotland typical of the high standards he generated throughout the event.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St10243 @ 60.7557* v Sin19 @ 13.524-18 v NL5/-
Soren Vestergaard (Denmark)
The tournament's leading wicket taker, fast bowler Soren Vestergaard, was an excellent performer for Denmark throughout the event. There was not a single match among the eight he played in which he failed to take any less than two wickets and (at 11.55) his bowling average was also among the best of the competition. Vestergaard's crowning performance came in the group match against the USA, when a late afternoon hat-trick sealed a vital win for his side. In itself, the manner in which his hat-trick arrived (by means of a bowled and two lbw decisions) was a tribute to his tournament calling card: bowling from wicket to wicket and only rarely deviating from an off and middle stump line.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St8151 @ 18.8747v HKG20 @ 11.553-11 v USA-/-
Roland Lefebvre (Netherlands, captain)
What more to say about Netherlands captain Roland Lefebvre? The 38-year-old had entered this event as one of the most experienced-ever ICC Trophy players; he left as one of the most decorated. The official Player of the Tournament, Lefebvre joined Vestergaard as the equal leading wicket taker when an excellent individual display in the Final netted him two wickets as well as a run out and a catch. Lefebvre failed to impress with the bat in Toronto but it was the only facet of his game that remotely let him down. There were few better efforts from any bowler in the tournament than those which allowed him to claim 5-16 against the UAE and 3-14 against Denmark. His leadership was also outstanding.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St957 @9.5019v Nam20 @ 11.055-16 v UAE6/-
Sanjay Thuraisingam (Canada)
Particularly to local audiences, pace bowler Sanjay Thuraisingam will always be best remembered for his effort in one match - the winner-take-all World Cup Qualifying Final against Scotland - in the tournament. In truth, though, his decisive five-wicket haul in that contest came on the heels of a series of consistent performances that had much to do with Canada's progress toward World Cup participation. Before being rested in the team's closing Super League game, the new ball bowler had snared 14 wickets at low cost with a blend of accuracy, impeccable length and subtle variations of pace. His man of the match winning role in Canada's most important fixture in 22 years only served to confirm his impact.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St925 @4.168v UAE19 @ 15.005-25 v Sco3/-
Burton van Rooi (Namibia)
Burton van Rooi hit the headlines when he laid waste to Scotland's middle and lower order for Namibia with tournament-best figures of 6-43 in the crucial Super League match between the teams. But not even that performance could mask a consistent overall effort from the lightly built right arm pace bowler. Figures of 2-32, 2-37, 3-24, 4-18, 6-43 and 1-38 from the start of the Super League through to the Final were a measure of his centrality to Namibia's campaign. Albeit that they do not in themselves paint the complete picture of his disciplined adherence to a metronomic line and his ability to consistently pitch the ball into the blockhole in the dying stages of matches.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St88 @2.005v NL19 @ 11.316-43 v Sco5/-
Kenneth Kamyuka (Uganda, 12th man)
Not necessarily the choice as twelfth man in particular deference to his fielding skills so much as recognition of his excitement value during Uganda's entertaining 2001 ICCT campaign. Kenneth Kamyuka was one of the quickest bowlers at the tournament, one of its cleanest hitters, and arguably produced the crowning individual performance of the event when he slammed an astonishing unbeaten 100 batting at No 10 in the crucial group match against Malaysia at Eglinton Flats. There is already speculation that Kamyuka may be offered a contract to play in South Africa next season; whatever the case, we only hope that his talent is properly nurtured because there is plenty of it waiting to be tapped.
MatchesRuns (Ave)Best BattingWkts (Ave)Best BowlingCt/St5146 @ 48.66100* v Mal7 @ 19.852-25 v UAE1/-