Canadian plumber hopes to tap into big time

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town: Dreadlocked apprentice plumber Austin Codrington, whose five-wicket burst sparked his country's sensational World Cup win over Bangladesh, hopes a repeat performance will land him a professional contract. The 27-year-old seamer has been inundated with congratulations since his match- winning figures of 5 for 27 handed Bangladesh its 27th consecutive One-day defeat at Durban on Tuesday. But, so far, no offer of a full-time contract has accompanied the good wishes. "I would love to play cricket full time.

It has always been my dream to see if I can make it. It hasn't happened so far but you never know - if I can play well again against Kenya, then hopefully it might lead to something," he said. "I will be trying to take five wickets again and I will be going out 100 per cent." Codrington indulged in celebratory jumps of joy every time he took a wicket at Kingsmead, which was not surprising - having played cricket ever since he was a child, he had never taken five wickets before. "I don't think it was a question of luck. I have worked really hard on my bowling and I thought I deserved it. Before the World Cup, we all trained six days a week to make sure we were ready.

"I also spent a month in Trinidad to get used to playing outdoors, on good wickets," added Codrington who moved to Toronto from his native Jamaica seven years ago. He plays Saturdays and Sundays for his local club, Overseas CC, but the fixture list features just 16 games every season which runs from May to September. However, the wickets are only suitable from mid-June which means early season match- ups have to be played on matting while, in the winter, everyone moves to the virtual hibernation of indoor nets as the rest of the nation exercises its passion for ice hockey.

Saturday's match, like its first, will be a day-nighter under the lights of Newlands as Canada, who qualified by finishing in third spot in the ICC Trophy in 2001, look to continue its dream run in what is only its second appearance at a World Cup. After that, the serious business will begin when it faces Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand as well as the West Indies which will be an intriguing clash with so many of the team hailing from the Caribbean.

To add a little more spice to that February 23 match is the fact that Canada are coached by ex-West Indies Test batsman Gus Logie. Meanwhile, Kenya, who was crushed in its opener by South Africa by ten wickets, desperately need a win to revive its flagging morale as well as any outside chance it has of making it to the next stage.

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