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The Gretzky of Cricket

The Gretzky of Cricket

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 19, 2014

Canada’s young cricket hopefuls missed out on qualifying for the Super Six round at the U19 World Cup hosted in United Arab Emirates. Of their three qualifying round games Canada walked away with three losses against powerhouse teams South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Team Canada just weren’t able to produce their best as a collective during the tournament. But unlike the senior team who were comprehensively beaten in their World Cup qualifiers last month, the juniors were competitive in every match and a few individuals gave Cricket Canada and its selectors a reason to draw a smile when thinking about the future of Canadian cricket.

Here are five future Canadian cricket stars to watch.

NITISH KUMAR

Age: 19

Bat: Right hand

Bowl: Right hand off breaks

Captain of Canada’s U19 team and captain of Rexton Cricket Academy — a boarding school in England, the all-rounder from Scarborough has leadership credibility already. He was the youngest player to debut for Canada against Kenya in 2009 and the second-youngest to play international cricket at 15-years old. Cricket Canada president Ravin Moorthy said Nitish is a world-class talent and a prodigy, and some coaches have dubbed him “the Gretzky of cricket.”

In all forms of cricket spanning 69 matches he’s averaged 20.0 with the bat but his last five U19 Canada matches produced three half centuries at 47.8 runs. He was ranked ninth for most runs scored at the U19 World Cup with a total of 139 (53 was his best knock) from three games; with the ball he took 1/108 off 21 overs bowled for the tournament. Watch this space: he’ll be a 15-year player for Canada and will most likely captain his country in the next few years.

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