Cricket World Cup 2011

Bagai: Give us more games

2011-03-17 09:23
Canada skipper Ashish Bagai. (AFP)

Bangalore - Canada captain Ashish Bagai wants his side to be given more major fixtures after they ended their World Cup campaign with a battling display in defeat against champions Australia.

The non-Test nation rattled their celebrated opponents by racing to the fastest team fifty of the tournament off just 29 balls.

Teenage opener Hiral Patel struck a dashing half-century of his own by facing down pace trio Shaun Tait, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson.

However, a middle-order collapse saw Canada dismissed for 211, and Australia, thanks mainly to openers Shane Watson (94) and Brad Haddin (88), won by seven wickets with more than 15 overs to spare.

This may have been Canada's last World Cup, with the 2015 edition set to be reduced from 14 teams to 10 - the same number as there are Test nations.

"It's pretty disappointing for us as players, for us as a nation that's trying to grow, for us as a nation that's put in a lot of hard work over the last four to six years," Bagai said.

"Whether it be the World Cup or not, what we are looking for is better competition consistently."

Canada have improved consistently throughout this edition.

"As you can see, teams are starting to come into their own, people are starting to get out of their shells," said the skipper.

"But it takes more than six games to do that, so hopefully we can get a good schedule in the next four years," added Bagai, whose team beat fellow non-Test nation Kenya by five wickets for their only win of this tournament.

"There's a big jump from playing club cricket to playing Australia, and that gap needs to be bridged somehow, whether it be playing more in the off-season, and having more international fixtures and games against 'A' sides."

Bagai, reflecting on the tournament, said: "The experience has definitely been a good one for us.

"Our bowlers have done a fantastic job, they've bowled at world-class level, and another positive was a couple of young guys getting scores.

"Hopefully, we can use this experience to make Canada a lot stronger in the next three to five years."


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