Canada aim World Cup quarter finals

Dhaka, February 11, 2011

Canada captain Ashish Bagai said Thursday his team is aiming for an upset win to boost their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals.

“We discussed our expectations and goals as a team,” the India-born Bagai told reporters in the Bangladeshi capital.

“We talked about getting into the second round. Wins against Zimbabwe and Kenya and an upset against any of the other four teams is our goal. We’re prepared. We have just come from a training camp in Dubai and we’re looking forward to two warm-up games before meeting Sri Lanka in our first match,” Bagai said.

Canada will open their campaign at Hambantota in Sri Lanka on February 20. The other teams in group A are Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Kenya, with the top four advancing to the quarter-finals.

Bagai said the first game against Sri Lanka was crucial. “It’s a new venue, even they (Sri Lanka) won’t know what to expect, so it’s going to be tough. If we can get through a couple of their bowlers we have a good chance,” he said.

The Canadian captain said his side had a decent bowling attack with Henry Osinde and Khurram Chohan leading the pack.

The North American cricket minnows first played at the World Cup in 1979 and their only win in the showpiece event has been against Bangladesh in 2003.

“I think that was a little older Bangladesh team. Now Bangladesh have a very young side and they can be very solid in home conditions,” said Bagai.

The Canadian team play two warm up matches, against Bangladesh on Saturday and England on February 16, before heading to Sri Lanka for the main tournament.