Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan Cricket Associations have named squads for this weekend's Scotiabank National T20 Cricket Championship.
Ontario has two teams in this event. Both Ontario squads have a core from the Toronto and District Cricket Association but include players from the other four leagues and associations affiliated to the Ontario Cricket Association. British Columbia now includes at least one player from the three leagues in that Province. Quebec and Nova Scotia are also competing.
The Scotiabank T20 National Cricket Championship 2008 is being played at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, Ontario. Play begins on Saturday May 17th at 9 am. The Final is set for Sunday afternoon. The ground is at the north-east corner of the intersection of Dufferin Street and 15th Sideroad.
The eight teams are divided into two groups of four, after which there are quarter-finals, semi-finals and the Championship Final. Group A comprises Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario B and Nova Scotia. Group A has Manitoba, Ontario A, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Alberta will be captained by Manzoor Chaudhary. He played for Canada Under-19s in a tournament in Bermuda in 1997 and for Canada A in the 2005 three-day match against the MCC in Toronto. Wicketkeeper Kendon Ottley is another in the Alberta squad who has tasted the international scene. He played twice for Canada in the 2006 ICC Americas Regional Division 1 championship and appeared in both Canadian Invitational XI matches with the UAE in 2007.
The British Columbia squad includes Canadian CWC 2007 players Kevin Sandher and Geoff Barnett. Steve Welsh and Haninder Dhillon have also played for Canada. Welsh came good in the Intercontinental Cup match with the UAE in 2007, taking 12 wickets for 93 runs in the match. Dhillon scored an unbeaten century in the 2004 Intercontinental Cup against Bermuda. A match where Sandher took 6 wickets for 68 runs in the Bermudian second innings. Dhillon and Manoj David each made scores in the 70's on the opening day of the season in Vancouver.
Suresh Jayaram will captain the Manitoba Cricket Association squad. He played in a Canada A side against the MCC in 2005 and has represented his province at Under-25 level. Joe Lovelace is vice-captain and Ron Dipchand, who has played for Canada in the ICC Trophy, is Manager/Coach.
Ontario A is lead by Abdool Samad whose batting progressed well in the lead up to Cricket World Cup 2007 and whose medium-pace bowling can be useful. Other players from Canada's CWC squad are wicketkeeper/batsman Asif Mulla, left-handed all-rounder Sunil Dhaniram, opening bowlers Umar Bhatti and Henry Osinde, both of whom can score runs. Four other Canadian internationals who toured Kenya and Namibia last fall are also in the Ontario A squad: Trevin Bastiampillai, Jason Patraj, Durand Sorraine and Aftab Shamshuddeen.
Ontario B is lead by Canadian international batsman Zubin Surkari. Some Under-19 international players from the 2007 Americas Championship provide an injection of youth. Ruvindu Gunaskera spearheaded Canada's batting in that tournament. Wicketkeeper/batsman Rustam Bhatti, Chris Manohar and Arsalan Qadir are other 2007 Under-19 internationals in this Ontario B squad. Sanjay Thuraisingham provides veteran experience for this side. Mohsin Mulla played for Canada and Ottawa Valley's Varun Harish was in last year's Ontario side against the UAE.
Saskatchewan played in a warm-up 20/20 tournament in Alberta and also played in the Manitoba Invitational event last summer. There are only three teams in the Province at present, but the side under left-handed batsman and captain Imran Maqsood will be hoping to give a good showing. It could be tough, but there is always hope in cricket. All it takes is ten balls to dismiss the opposition!
Alberta: Manzoor Chaudhary (captain), Sumit Thapliyal (Vice-captain), Nadeem Sheikh, Khurram Chohan, Grant Broadhurst, Dev Sharma, Shjid Darain, Anuraj Gupta, Zulfihar Hussan, Parvaeen Saroye, Tyson Gordon, Shahzad Bashir, Ahsum Ali and Kendon Otley. Manager: Steve Dutchin. Coach: Rathan Moorthy.
British Columbia: Kevin Sandher (captain), Geoff Barnett, Jawal Dawood, Manoj David, Alex Earl, Bilal Khan, Haninder Dhillon, Jason Sandher, Merrick Singh, Steve Welsh, Tanzil Rehman and Karl Watham (Player/coach). Geoff Ryan is the manager.
Manitoba: Suresh Jayaram (captain), Joe Lovelace (vice-captain), Hitesh Modha, Naeem Umer, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Pushpinder Khubbar, Ihsan Khan, Kamta Singh, Qamar-us-Zaman, Samrath Wijerwardina, Manjit Sra, Harinder Warring, Inderjit Sodha, Tommy Jilani and Manager/coach Ron Dipchand.
Ontario A: Abdool Samad (captain), Ritchie Kapoor, Trevin Bastiampillai, Asif Mulla, Sunil Dhaniram, Umar Bhatti, Henry Osinde, Harvir Baidwan, Durand Soraine, Jason Patraj, Aftab Shamshuddeen (all Toronto & District Cricket Association), Bilal Khijjar and Ilyas Karim (Hamilton & District), Rochak Mehta (Ottawa Valley Cricket Council), Neeraj Bhardwaj (Southern Ontario Cricket Association) and Riyaz Pralad (Etobicoke & District Cricket League)
Ontario B: Zubin Surkari (captain), Chris Manohar, Ruvindu Gunasekara, Sohem Anjaria, Balaji Rao, Sanjay Thuraisingham, Eion Katchy, Rustum Bhatti, Mohsin Mulla, Rizwan Cheema, Arsalan Qadir, Sami Afridi, Shakir Mohammad (Toronto & District CA), Majed Khan (Southern Ontario CA) and Denson Andrew (Etobicoke & District CL).
Saskatchewan: Imran Maqsood (captain), Nippon Raval (vice-captain), Iftekhar Kalyar, Arjun Patel, Alfred Trotman, Fahim Hashmat, Iftekar Anwar, Pran Z Cheruwalath, S Uzair Ahmed, Prakhar Srivastava, Rafat Alim, Viadhav Rai, Bilal Syed, Shiv Adapa, Jivjot Briach. Reserve: Mohammad Ilyas. Manager: Dr. Zia Rehman.