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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 16:58 GMT

Harris looks to future
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport, Benoni

Joe Harris
Joe Harris and his new fans
It's been quite a tournament for the unsung teams at the World Cup.

Canada can scarcely have expected that by the end of their month in the South African sun, ranks of new admirers - schoolchildren and older cricketing fans alike - would be clamouring for their autographs.

Dozens of parasols were set up on the grassy banks of Willowmoore Park, in the sleepy Johannesburg suburb of Benoni, as the north Americans gave plenty of entertainment in the final match of their campaign.

Admittedly, they were thrashed by New Zealand in the end, but John Davison certainly enjoyed himself and thrilled the crowd again.

One of the four sixes he hammered in his 62-ball innings of 75 flew clean over the main stand - a feat only managed once before in provincial cricket at Willowmoore Park, according to local scribes.

In the first place, we've got to qualify for the next World Cup - I would like to see a strong development programme in place
Joe Harris

In many cases Canada are something of a one-man team.

But who could forget Austin Codrington's five wickets against Bangladesh and the enthusiasm of Sanjay Thuraisingam, whose heart was as big as his waistline.

"We've had quite a tournament, I guess," said captain Joe Harris, reflecting on Canada's overall efforts.

"JD [Davison] hit the fastest century in World Cups, we got the slowest team 50 against South Africa I believe and the lowest score against Sri Lanka.

"I'm pretty sure weżve entertained the crowds and the Guinness Book of Records too.

"I hate to use this as an excuse but it's very hard for us to come out of our winter and perform here with just a handful of warm-up matches.

We get no money from our Sports Ministry whatsoever and look at our shirts - there's no team sponsor
Joe Harris

"That said, people expected us to be bowled out for less than a hundred every time but I think we had our moments in the field.

"We posted some good scores and we are quite happy to have given the country the exposure it needs."

So what are Canada's goals for the next World Cup?

After all, having beaten Bangladesh, having given Kenya a big scare and the Kiwis a smaller one when they had them 32 for three, there are likely be some serious targets in 2007.

Here, Harris takes a serious line.

"In the first place, we've got to qualify for the next World Cup. I would like to see a strong development programme in place.

"If we do qualify I want to see better planning. The aim is to secure some more financial support.

"We have to give up 50% of our match fees and what we get from the ICC is not sufficient.

"We were happy to host a tri-series tournament but we get no money from our Sports Ministry whatsoever and look at our shirts - there's no team sponsor."

So while he happily signs the baseball caps, t-shirts and bats that are thrust his way by admirers, Harris may appear to be the epitome of the successful sports star.

But deep down he knows that within global cricket he and his Canadian cricketers are very small fry indeed.



Links to more Canada stories


 

SEE ALSO
Harris happy with progress
03 Mar 03 |  Canada
Black Caps speed to victory
03 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Have Your Say on Canada
19 Feb 03 |  Have Your Say


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