Cricketer gets look at national team

Rohan Devraj is following his passion.

At 14 years of age the young Burnaby cricketer recently got his first taste of representing his country in Winnipeg, helping Canada to second place in a four-game series against Bermuda and eventual cup winner United States.

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"It was a good experience. I met a lot of players at my level and I realized it was not easy to get to the Canada team," said Devraj, who was one of just two players from the West Coast selected to the national team.

Devraj played in Canada's opening day loss to the U.S.

"The game was not a very good game for us. The U.S. batted first and when we came up to bat, we just collapsed," Devraj said.

In the ensuing matches, Canada rallied to defeat Bermuda by 100 runs. The team also scored 181 runs for nine wickets to defeat the Americans.

"I think after the first game we had to play our best to have a shot at the cup. We batted first and scored 200-plus points, and that's a good score." Devraj added.

Devraj and fellow national teammate Cooper Hart of Vancouver both play with the Meraloma cricket club.

That is where a sixyear-old Devraj first met Jack Kyle, who coaches the Saturday morning junior cricket league at Connaught Park in Vancouver.

"(Cricket) is my favourite sport. It came from my father and older brother. They taught me how to play the game," said Devraj.

While Devraj still attends the weekend sessions, he finished his first full season in the senior B.C. Mainland Cricket League with the 'Lomas in Division 5.

There, Devraj plays against veteran players as much as 30-plus years his senior.

Despite the wide disparity in age, Devraj took 20 wickets in 11 matches played with his mediumspeed left-arm bowling. He also scored a personalbest 23 runs at bat over the course of the season.

"(Playing against older players) teaches me patience at the wicket," he said. "They teach me to play the shot, hit the loose ball and find the gap."

As an opening innings bowler, Devraj is trying to consistently find the goodlength spot - the placement of a bowler's toss between the batsmen's near and far leg that is difficult to adjust to.

Devraj wants to one day play nationally at the under-19 level and of course make the national senior team.

But those days are four or five years in the future, he said.

"I want to become taller and bigger. I will stay in the junior league until I'm 16 and after that continue in the BCML league," Devraj said.

At the three-country International Cricket Council tournament in Winnipeg, Canada's Abrash Khan led all batters with 142 runs, including a best 77 in the win over Bermuda.

Off-spin bowler Gayan Ferdinands of Canada took a tournament-best 12 wickets - five more than the next closest bowler.

Vice-captain Manula Adihetly also found a spot on the northern division all-tournament team for Canada, taking seven wickets with his leg-spin delivery - tying him for second overall at the tourney.

Canadian wicketkeeper Sarbjot Singh of Winnipeg led all glovemen with 11 dismissals.

tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

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