By Eddie Norfolk
Canada, currently leading Cricket World Cup Challenge
League A due to a better net run rate than Singapore,
hosts the July 27 – August 8 re-scheduled second round of matches starting
next week at Maple Leaf CC, King City, Ontario. Games
are due to be played from Wednesday, July 27 onwards. The third
and final round of matches in Challenge League A is due to be
played in December 2022 in Malaysia.
It is imperative that Canada retain first place in Challenge League
A as it is the only the top team in each of the two World Cup
Challenge Leagues (A and B) will advance to a World Cup Qualifier
in 2023. That World Cup Qualifier is on the schedule for 2023 in
Zimbabwe before the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
Thus, there is little, if any, room for losing a game in League A.
Singapore and Qatar are in contention with Canada for top spot,
but the likes of Denmark, Malaysia and Vanuatu could dent the
prospects of that trio and possibly rise to the top spot by the end of
the third set of matches in December 2022.
Canada recently beat Nepal in a 50-over game at Maple Leaf after
the first of two games was washed out without a toss or a ball being
bowled. Denmark won a European T20 Qualifier after placing second
behind Belgium (Won 3, Lost 0) in the group phase. Denmark beat
Spain in one semi-final while Portugal beat Belgium in the other
semi. Denmark then scored 111/1 from 13.1 overs to win the
final in response to Portugal’s 110/9 (20 ov). The tournament was
played at Waterloo, Belgium.
Singapore may have lost the services of Tim David, a Singaporean-born player
who made a mark in several games for Singapore but whose form made
him attractive to the Indian Premier League and to Australia, for whom he
is qualified. Singapore did not have David in the squad which played in July
2022’s Mens T20 World Cup Qualifier. Singapore lost to Jersey, Hong Kong,
Zimbabwe and USA. Singapore hosted Malaysia for some T20 cricket in June
2022. Malaysia won the series by 2 games to 1.
Malaysia recently hosted a Quadrangular event, winning all six games in a
double round-robin against Bhutan (Won 4, Lost 2), Maldives (W 2, L 4) and
Thailand (W 0, L 6). Malaysia then bowled out Bhutan for 82 in the Final and
quickly blazed a winning trail to reach 84/1. Qatar’s last international cricket
action seems to have been in the Asian Group A T20 World Cup Qualifier in
October 2021. Vanuatu do not appear to have played any recent international
According to CricClub’s official listings of the participating teams, Canada’s
14-member squad has been identified as follows: Navneet Dhaliwal (Capt),
Jeremy Gordon, Delon Heyliger, Armaan Kapoor, Nicholas Kirton,
Rayyankhan Pathan, Ammnar Khalid, Shreyas Movva, Salman
Nazar, Rommel Sahzad, Ravinderpaul Singh, Matthew Spoors,
Harsh Thaker and Saad Bin Zafar.
CURRENT STANDINGS – ICC WORLD
CHALLENGE LEAGUE DIVISION A
P W L Pts NRR
Canada 5 4 1 8 2.253
Singapore 5 4 1 8 0.384
Qatar 5 3 2 6 -0.574
Denmark 5 2 3 4 0.343
Malaysia 5 1 4 2 -0.836
Vanuatu 5 1 4 2 -1.020