TORONTO, Canada – A confident 13-member Ontario Cricket Association (OCA) team wings out here on Friday, embarking on a one-week goodwill tour of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.During the two-nation visit, the OCA players are scheduled to play a total of six matches, comprising two 40-over games and four T-20s.
According to manager Bisham Singh, while the aim is to win all the matches, the tour is being used as a means of giving the players much needed experience in overseas conditions.
Singh pointed out that the players are all coming off the recently-concluded OCA cricket season and are eager to perform in what should be hotter climatic conditions. They are also hoping for favourable weather during their sojourn.
Singh is also hoping that the knowledge gained while in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago will serve his players well and they will also be able to impart same to others on their return.
The 13-member squad will be bolstered by the inclusion of former national fast bowler, Trevon Garraway, all-rounder, Royston Crandon, who still harbours ambitions of donning national colours again, and Gavin Singh.
The players are set to be engaged in their first practice session at the LBI ground, East Coast Demerara on Saturday and open their tour with a 40-over contest against Enmore at the host’s venue the following day, starting at 11.00 hrs.
On Monday, they tackle Everest at their Camp Road venue in a 20-over encounter that gets underway at 13.00 hrs while on Tuesday, the action switches to Bourda for another T-20 game versus the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), commencing at a similar time.
The Albion Community Centre ground, Berbice is the venue for next Wednesday’s T-20 encounter versus the powerful Berbice side, which will see the culmination of the Guyana leg of the tour.
The OCA squad, which is being coached by Rabin Budhoo, departs Guyana on Thursday for Trinidad and Tobago for the remaining two matches, a 40-over game against a T&T Select XI next Friday and a T-20 match versus Central Trinidad on Saturday, November 23. They depart for Canada the following day.
The 13-member squad comprises: Adnan Suleman, Rajiv Bhatia, Aiyub Ahmadzai, Dheeraj Kumar, Nabiullah Nawabi, Muhammad Akber Hussain, Mustafa Popalzai, Sarabjot Singh, Azhad Amidon, Ajmal Chughai, Allan DeSouza, Neeraj Bharadwaj and Priyam Thaker.
(By Frederick Halley)