Cricket

Inconsistency hurts us: Bagai

Ashish Bagai. Photo: Vivek Bendre   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Canada has to punch above its weight to make a mark in World Cup 2011. Captained by Ashish Bagai, the closest game for this ICC Associate team so far was against Pakistan at the Premadasa.

The red shirts gave the former World champion a scare before Shahid Afridi brought his side back on track with a five-wicket burst.

The spunk displayed by Ireland and the Netherlands is lacking among other participating Associate nations. “Inconsistent performances hurt us. Most of the Associate teams have two games to go and should be putting up a better show,” noted the Canada captain, speaking at a function organised by Base Batteries to announce a sponsorship contract with Cricket Canada.

Bagai talked about using the World Cup to popularise the sport rather than restrict cricket development by curbing entry as ICC has planned.

“The World Cup needs some colour, it is similar to the Olympic Games, it is about reaching your dreams, achieving your potential and creating upsets,” he pointed out, referring to Ireland's stirring displays.

No pushovers

The Netherlands also proved that minnows are no pushovers.

“If the World Cup is restricted to 10 teams, it will be like any other series going on in the world. The decision will hinder the growth of cricket,” Bagai reasoned.

Asked about how the gap in quality between Associate and regular teams can be bridged, he said, “the four-year plan leading up to the World Cup is crucial. World Cup is the end product, the four-year plan should involve competitions against bigger nations. It will be easier coming into the World Cup for Associate teams.”

Cricket Canada's success in finding a sponsor will have a long-term effect on the game in that region. “Base Batteries investment will not only support our team on the field, but will allow us to invest in key areas in organisation as well,” observed Cricket Canada president Ranjit Saini.

Base Batteries MD Girish Arora said: “We are proud to be associated with the Canadian cricket team.

“This is a new beginning towards associating with sports and our long-term plans for developing and nurturing budding cricketing talent in India.”

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 5:43:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Inconsistency-hurts-us-Bagai/article14941856.ece

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