Canada, Kenya battle for bragging rights
The Canadian skipper has a lot more on his mind than just Kenya, who they face in the World Cup Group A on Monday. Ashish Bagai, a Delhi boy who migrated to Canada when he was 11 years old, was busy figuring out how to get hold of at least 50 tickets to get his relatives and friends into the stadium to cheer for his team.
“My grandparents and lot of relatives live here. I went to meet them yesterday. And it felt wonderful to catch up with them,” Bagai said. “I want all of them to come for the match. Hopefully, I can arrange tickets for them,” he said.
With the side having quite a few Indian-origin players, the Canadian skipper is expecting a good support from the crowd at the Ferozshah Kotla ground on Sunday.
While there’s nothing much to choose between the two sides, Canada will have a head start over Kenya as they have beaten the Africans in their last three encounters; they have also looked a shade better than their rivals so far. “We have a lot to play for in the World Cup. We will look to play better cricket and try and finish on a high,” said Bagai.
Like Canada, the Kenyans too are aware it is their best chance to break a losing streak and go home with at least one win from the quadrennial event. “It’s been tough for us in the first three games. We have not done justice to our ability. Hopefully we will do it tomorrow,” said Kenya skipper Jimmy Kamande.
While both sides may have different views on the outcome of their contest, they are unanimous why they have let down themselves this time around.
“When we made it to the semis in 2003, we had played quite a lot against the top sides before coming into the World Cup. That experience gave us a lot of exposure and confidence, which showed in our performance. Nowadays, however, we don’t get to play the top sides outside the World Cup,” said former Kenya skipper Maurice Ouma.
Bagai couldn’t agree more. “It’s really difficult to match the top sides when you play them once in four years,” he said.