By Frederick Halley
When the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup bowls off in New Zealand next month, two players with Guyanese roots will be part of the Canadian squad vying for supremacy in the prestigious tournament.
The two are 16-year-old Ashtan Deosammy and Kevin Singh. Both have been making names for themselves at the youth level -Deosammy for Qasra Cricket Academy and Singh for Mississauga Ramblers.
According to Deosammy’s coach, Sheriff Bodhoo, himself a Guyanese, Deosammy has been one of the brightest prospects in his academy which has a reputation for producing quality players over the years.
Apart from representing the academy, Deosammy also plays for Transac Sports Club in the Toronto & District Cricket Association in both the senior and junior competitions – the Under-16, Under-18, second and Elite divisions.
An all-rounder, Deosammy is credited with almost single-handedly winning the Under-13 title for his team, blasting an undefeated 142 not out against Malton Sports Club in the 2013 final. He was also the top scorer (81) against Australasia Cricket Academy in this year’s Under-18 semi-finals
Both Deosammy and Singh were also part of the Canadian Under-19 side which captured the ICC Americas Under-19 title in matches against the United States and Bermuda earlier this year. They also participated in the one-day version of Cricket West Indies Under-19 tournament in the Caribbean.
Singh is listed as the second highest scorer in the TDCA Junior category, tallying 1518 runs while he has an aggregate of 715 runs in the 2017 season, inclusive of the highest score of 154 in the junior division. He has also recorded five half-centuries.
Meanwhile, another 16-year-old, also of Guyanese parentage, has been included in the three players on the reserve list. He is Raqib Shamsudeen who many felt should have been part of the squad travelling to New Zealand based on his statistics over the past few years,
Canada will compete alongside Bangladesh, England and Namibia in Group C in the 11th edition of the tournament and the third to be held in New Zealand.
Canada squad: Arslan Khan (captain), Akash Gill (vice-captain), Ashtan Deosammy Emanuel Khokhar, Kavian Naress, Kevin Singh, Pranav Sharma, Randhir Sandhu, Krishen Samuel, Faisal Jamkhandi, Arshdeep Dhaliwal, Rishiv Joshi, Aran Pathmanathan, Pieter Pretorius and Rommel Shazad.
Reserves: Prabal Sharma, Abaan Khan, Raqib Shamsudeen.