ICC World Cup: How can the Canadian national team fare?

The 2024 ICC World Cup is just around the corner as cricket fans gear up for one of the busiest periods in the ninth edition of the T20 tournament. This year’s edition of the ICC is unique in that it will feature a record number of teams, with 20 different nations vying for the title won by Australia last time out as they stunned England to win.

Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

While India come in as the favourites this year, with games split across two countries as the tournament is co-hosted by the USA and West Indies, there are a number of other nations looking to go the distance as underdogs, whilst Canada take to the international stage at the 50-over World Cup for the first time since 2011 and take pride in their return to the game.

Indeed, they are massive outsiders for the tournament, but for a nation where hockey and soccer are the dominant sports, it is great to see some representation from the Maple Leaf State as they embark on an ambitious run as a team.

It’s a strange time for Canadian cricket though, as manager Pubudu Dassanayake, a former Bhairahawa Gladiators coach, was relieved of his duties just before the tournament started.

“A letter expressing dissatisfaction with Dassanayeke had been circulated amongst the players, and though several of the squad declined to put their names to it, Cricket Canada has seemingly held there to be sufficient grounds for dismissal.” a report said around the ground.

“While a board meeting is expected to be held this evening where the question will likely be raised, there is little expectation of a reversal.”

New coach Franco was later announced and has very little time in terms of preparation.

With this new information, how far can these plucky underdogs go? Having beat Scotland and the UAE before losing to America in their previous games, Canada are certainly a side that lack consistency, but let’s assess their squad and run in at the 2024 ICC World Cup and see how far they can go.

The locker room

With such an experienced coach as Dassanayake, Canada will have their best available roster heading to their opening matches. The Canadians had failed to qualify for the eight previous editions of the T20 World Cup but this is their best side in years, and with the USA their first game on foreign soil, they will need every man to play their part.

It’s certainly an older side, with an average age in the mid 30’s, but there is plenty of talent amongst the likes of captain Saad Bin Zafar, Rayyan Pathan, bowler Jeremy Gordon, and Navneet Dhaliwal, who approaches his 100th cap.

What’s been said?

“Most of the Canadian team members were born here, and have learned the sport here and not from outside, as cricket continues to grow in Canada,” said Franco.

Five of the players on Team Canada are from B.C.: “My job as team manager is to make sure everybody on our national team has everything they need. I am glad to represent B.C., Victoria and Vancouver Island on our national team.”

“T-20 is short and sweet and is the fastest-growing version of the sport. The Indian Premier League (which is to pro cricket what the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL are to pro hockey, basketball, baseball and football) has really brought T-20 to the fore. It is the version going into the Olympics. It is sheer entertainment.”

The group games

After losing to the USA by 14 runs last time out, a win against their local rivals will be on the top of the agenda for Canada at the World Cup. While even the most popular Canadian online sportsbooks have the side as underdogs against the Americans, both sides still have odds of over 1000/1 to win the tournament outright, and this game is simply about bragging rights.

Next up is Ireland, who have far more experience at tournaments than both Canada and the USA. It’s difficult to judge their pre-tournament form so far as the decision to call off their warm up match against Scotland was made without a ball being bowled. However, they did manage to beat the Netherlands before that in the Dutch tri-series opener, games that count towards qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup.

After that are the big two as they taken on Pakistan and India – two of the most inform and coveted cricket teams on the planet. Expect damage limitations across those two games, with the latter possessing some of the best players in the world including Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and captain Rohit Sharma.


Much like when the USMNT went to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the ICC World Cup could be a great chance for the Canadians to learn about the white ball game and take some pride in their T20 cricket team. It is a sport that often goes under the radar and while the Canadians still don’t quite possess enough quality to get out of their group, attention will certainly turn to their opening game against the USA, where a win could indeed give them a run of momentum to try and win more of their remaining games.