ICC Trophy 2001 3rd Place Play Off

Deadly day of reckoning-Canada Joy, Scots Gloom
The third place play-off between Scotland and Canada was not just any match, it was the pathway to a future of roses or back breaking manure.

The third place play-off is in any case an oddity since this tournament had no semi-finals and had in effect through its league set up produced three leaders Netherlands 12pts, Namibia and Scotland 10 pts. Next in the league were Canada and UAE with 6pts some way behind. Scotland had already beaten Canada in the league. Indeed with some two overs to go they needed 10 to beat Namibia with three wickets left. They lost all three for on runs at all. Very Scots!

To have a final is a nice finale to any competition but why another match to produce a third when there is already one seems to be a match too far. To hold it after the final is also bizarre but that is how this ICC Trophy works and so was played. Several weeks results were put on hold and form on the day was to be the sole criteria for the richest prize in cricket yet outside of the Test countries.

The winners not only go forward to the next ICC World Cup in South Africa 2003 they receive a huge development package from ICC, part of a largesse of $1 million for Kenya, Holland, Namibia and the third place winners. If Scotland had won there was the added prize of ongoing UK Lottery Money.

To have won the third place play-off today was thus to ensure a serious international cricket future while to lose would result in four more years of skimp and scrape and dependency on the enthusiasm of the voluntary sector.

With this sort of heaven and hell scenario hanging over the heads of the players the pressure was enormous. Whether the Scots ethnic origin community in Canada realised this match's importance and gave the team some support is unlikely. However the Canadian cricket community was there supporting their team and they are now ecstatic.

In theory the Scots should have won comfortably if past form was anything to go by but a one day game may be anyone's nightmare and the Scots of all people have a propensity to shoot themselves in the foot at the crucial point in international competition whether soccer, cricket or anything else. In the event they did just that!

Presumably mindful of the absence of their leading bowler Asif Butt and the mauling Namibia gave the Scots bowling a few days before, George Salmond on winning the toss, elected to bat. The game had been delayed through rain and whatever the quality of covers there was going to be assistance for the Canadian seamers. The Scots top order historically is notoriously brittle and had been sustained by a wonderful run of form by wicket keeper Smith. Well George will no doubt rue his decision for the rest of his life for quickly Scotland were three wickets down and Smith had gone.

Parsons and Salmond rebuilt the innings but carefully and when they went only White contributed significantly. The tail did not wag and Turaisingham finished with a match winning five wicket haul.

A total of 170 was not enough unless Scotland bowled very well. There was hope when an early wicket fell but Ishwar Maraj hit a fine fifty to set the innings on course. Indeed the Canadians won with ten overs to spare, some turn round from their result against Scotland.

Thuraisingham takes five to wreck Scots innings

ICC Trophy, 2001, World Cup Qualifying Final, Canada v Scotland, Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, 17 July 2001 (50-over match)

Toss: Scotland
Umpires: DB Hair (Aus) and RE Koertzen (SA), TV Umpire: EA Nicholls (WI), Match Referee: JL Hendriks (WI).

SCOTLAND innings (50 overs maximum)
DR Lockhart   c Davison   b Thuraisingham   8
JG Williamson c Diwan     b Thuraisingham   5
+CJO Smith    c Degroot   b Thuraisingham   6
RA Parsons    lbw         b Harris         48
*G Salmond    c Billcliff b Davison        43
CM Wright     bowled        Thuraisingham  25
GI Maiden     bowled        Harris          0
JAR Blain     bowled        Thuraisingham  14
JE Brinkley   run out (Bagai/Thuraisingham) 0
KLP Sheridan  not out                       0
Extras        (b 2, lb 17, w 7, nb 1)      27
TOTAL     (9 wickets, 50 overs, 193 mins) 176
DNB: DJ Cox.

FoW: 1-7 (Williamson, 3.4 ov), 2-24 (Lockhart, 11.1 ov), 3-24 (Smith, 11.3 ov), 4-125 (Parsons, 37.1 ov), 5-129 (Salmond, 38.5 ov), 6-133 (Maiden, 39.3 ov), 7-173 (Wright, 49.1 ov), 8-174 (Brinkley, 49.3 ov), 9-176 (Blain, 49.6 ov).

Bowling-Joseph 8 1 24 0 (1nb, 3w), Thuraisingham 8 2 25 5 (3w), Davison 10 0 34 1, Degroot 6 0 24 0, Seebaran 10 1 22 0, Harris 8 0 28 2 (1w).

CANADA Innings (target: 177 runs from 50 overs)
JM Davison   c Smith      b Blain     0
I Maraj      c Salmond    b Blain    50
D Chumney    c Salmond    b Sheridan 36
IS Billcliff run out (Salmond/Smith) 23
*JV Harris   bowled         Cox      35
NA Degroot   not out                 19
M Diwan      not out                  1
Extras      (b2, lb1, w5, nb5)       13
TOTAL (5 wickets,39.5 overs,165 mns)177
DNB: +A Bagai, S Thuraisingham, D Joseph, BB Seebaran.

FoW: 1-1 (Davison, 0.5 ov), 2-57 (Chumney, 13.6 ov), 3-111 (Billcliff, 25.2 ov), 4-122 (Maraj, 29.1 ov), 5-175 (Harris, 38.6 ov).

Bowling-Blain 8 0 34 2 (4nb, 2w),Cox 8 0 40 1 (1nb, 2w),Brinkley 8.5 1 27 0,Sheridan 7 0 38 1, Maiden 6 0 24 0 (1w),Parsons 2 0 11 0.
* Match delayed by early morning rain by 45 minutes to a 11:30am start

The consequences of this match's result are enormous. Canada will now be part of a special ICC development investment with Kenya, Holland and Namibia up to the next world cup in South Africa in 2003. The purpose being to bring these teams to as high a standard as possible so that they can compete with the Test countries.

The package is worth some $1million and is over an above the $5million development package that will be invested globally over the next few years anyway.

For Canada this will be a real opportunity to establish cricket beyond the immigrant ethnic communities-mostly Asian and Caribbean- and renew the fight with American Baseball and Softball that has been so dominant for nearly 100 years.

Canada has a limited number of old established wonderful cricket clubs around Toronto and Vancouver and elsewhere but a lot of cricket is played on matts over turf in multi-use public parks and schools sport is dominated in summer by Baseball and Softball.

There is a long history of cricket in Canada almost 200 years or more and the earliest ever international cricket match was played between Canada and USA in 1844. MCC toured as early as 1859 and Canada have played a First class match in the past. They have been the one anomaly among the major Commonwealth nations for not being a Test cricket country the result of its proximity to USA and all conquering Baseball.

This will now be their second appearance in a World Cup but they will be very much better prepared than last time.

For Scotland this defeat spells disaster for not only do they not receive the $250,000 from ICC they also lose their Sports Council Lottery funding. It puts on ice the development of the game for four years and will require a lot of character from the voluntary sector to recharge their enthusiasm and soldier on as before.
Scotland has by far the greater infrastructure of the the four countries going into the world cup with more clubs, grounds and schools playing the game than the other four put together. Furthermore, of course, they play in this ICC Trophy denied their best cricketers*, Hamilton and Brown to say nothing of Such all tainted with the ECB England brush. Not to build upon such a strong recreational base on the basis of one match seems daft in terms of ICC's Global development plans.

How can this winner takes all policy be matched against the long term development of the game? Hopefully this will be something Malcolm Speed, ICC's new supremo, will be looking at!
MEB July 2001

Post Script

It has always seemed perverse to this writer that when a leading Associate makes it to a World Cup let alone the then qualifying competitions that they should be denied their most successful cricketers. This started with the first world cup when Sri Lanka played without Stan Jayasingh and Clive Inman of Leicestershire and East Africa were denied Basharat Hassan of Notts.

Subsequently Ireland were deprived of Joyce and Netherlands of giant quickie Troost and in this competition Scotland were minus Hamilton and Brown.

These situations arose because of inflexibility over overseas county qualifications at the time and then the propensity of England to flirt with Scotland and Ireland players who once having played for England then had to wait four years before playing again for their original countries. Troost never played for England but Micky Stewart persuaded him to apply for qualification and so he missed several crucial years for Netherlands.

Surely given the need for Associates to perform well in World Cup Competitions it would have been sensible to let their best cricketers return to the country that nurtured them without infringing upon their status with a Test playing country that had adopted them. Even more so to waive or shorten their reapplication period so as to revert to the Associate country.

Also surely an Associate team in World Cup Competitions and qualifying competitions should be allowed to reflect their full cricket strength

In Canada Scotland played without Brown and Hamilton. Brown had played his last ODI for England in 1998. Hamilton played his one and only Test match for England in 1999. So both of them sat out the Canada Competition and resumed their Scotland career a few years later.

ICC Trophy Canada 2001