de Groot, Dhaniram in Canada's Americas Cup squad
... Rupert Gomes named coach From Frederick Halley in Toronto
Guyana Chronicle
July 5, 2004

Related Links: Articles on cricket
Letters Menu Archival Menu

FORMER Guyana opening batsman Nicholas de Groot, who reportedly had a change of heart after contemplating retirement from first class cricket, has been included in Canada's 14-man squad to compete in the Americas Cup One-day tournament, which bowls off in Bermuda tomorrow.

de Groot, who represented the North American country in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, went into self-imposed exile after that and according to reports had "called it a day". The stocky opener, however, returned to Canada shortly before the Intercontinental three-day tournament in Florida in May and was hastily summoned to join the Canadian squad despite not representing any club in the Toronto & District Association (T&DCA) Premier League.

The other Guyanese-based player in the team is all-rounder Sunil Dhairam.

The team will be led by Canada's World Cup hero, John Davison, who played a dominant all-round role against the USA in the Intercontinental Cup game.

The other teams in contention are hosts Bermuda, USA, The Bahamas, Argentina, and Caymans. Canada take on The Bahamas tomorrow, Argentina July 7, USA July 8; Bermuda July 10 and Caymans on July 11.

With Davison unavailable because of commitments to South Australia earlier in the year, Canada went winless in the Six Nations One-day tournament played in Sharjah in March, and among their losses was a six-wicket whipping by eventual winners USA.

The dismal performance even prompted Canadian Cricket Association (CCA) president, Ben Sennik, to seek the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) permission to postpone the Intercontinental game to a later date, a request that was denied by the world's governing body for cricket.

Sennik had been keen for the national trials - scheduled for early June - to take place before the match, explaining that they would then be in a better position to select their strongest team.

The ICC expressed their disappointment at the request, but agreed to look into it nonetheless. Davison's return not only enabled Canada to crush the Champions Trophy entrants by 104 runs but it also showed his great worth to the team, capturing an astonishing match haul of 17 for 137 - the best first-class match analysis since Jim Laker's 19-90 in 1956 while hitting a top score of 84 in the first innings.

The Canadians also welcome the return of fast bowlers Austin Codrington and Don Maxwell after both were omitted from the Intercontinental side because of work commitments.

The team consists of a mix of experience and youth. Middle-order batsman Hanider Dhillon had a promising career in India before emigrating. He represented India Under-19s, and Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. He will be joined by Manzoor Choudhary, another middle-order batsman.

The Canadians will however rely heavily on seasoned campaigners Davison, Ian Billcliff, hard-hitting opener Desmond Chumney, de Groot, all-rounder Dhaniram and wicketkeeper batsman Ashish Bagai.

Team - John Davison (captain), Desmond Chumney, Zubin Surkari, Ian Billcliff, Ashish Bagai, Manzoor Choudhary, Haninder Dhillon, Don Maxwell, Sunil Dhaniram, Zahid Hussain, Austin Codrington, Ashish Patel, Anthony Brown and Nicholas de Groot.

The coach is former Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) and Guyana’s middle-order batsman, Rupert Gomes, while the manager is Mike Henry and physio Dan Kiesel.

Umpire Ashook Brijcoomar, a Canadian citizen, who hails from Guyana, will also officiate at the tournament.