[Eddie Norfolk, Toronto, August 8, 2020]
The Toronto and District Cricket Association’s usual array of men’s senior cricket league are being replaced this year by the 2020 Maple Leaf Cricket Club T20 competitions. The MLCC T20 comprises an Elite T20 Division and a Premier T20 Division. Each T20 Division is divided into two groups followed by playoffs to determine the champions.
The MLCC T20 began on August 1, 2020 with games played on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Civic/Simcoe/et alia holiday weekend. Most of the games will be played at Maple Leaf CC. Some games may be at Toronto CSCC and at Ontario Cricket Association’s Courtneypark/Mavis ground in Mississauga.
Some Opening Weekend Elite Division Highlights
A number of current and former Canadian Junior internationals scored runs and took wickets in the three Elite Division games played on August 1, 2020 and the one Elite game played on August 3, 2020. On opening day Nitish Kumar top scored with 77 runs from 37 balls in Toronto CSCC A team’s 24 run win against Ahmadiyya A. Nitish Kumar was supported by Riyaz Khan Pathan’s 60 (53 balls) as Toronto CSCC A scored 177/6 from 20 overs. Ahmadiyya A replied with 153/4 from 20 overs (rather than the 17.2 overs currently shown in the scoring summary). Opening bat Touseef Ahmed hit 46 from 32 balls while Raza Rehman was 46* (39 balls) when the innings closed.
Akash Gill (35 runs) and Akhil Kumar (26) joined in a partnership and Gurjot Gosal clipped 31* lower down the order as Ontario Cricket Academy reached what proved a winning 150/6 (20 overs) against Toronto CSCC C. Aamer Javed bowled both Akash Gill and Akhil Kumar on his was to 3/27 from 4 overs, Farhan Khan topped the Toronto C scoring with 50 for Toronto CSCC C but he fell to the bowling of Akhil Kumar who took 4 wickets for just 7 runs from 2.1 overs to wrap up the Toronto C innings at 134 all out after 18.1 overs. The original version of the online scorecard for this game caught the eye as Toronto C had seemingly been all out for 134 from 11 balls.
Hiral Patel scored 64 and followed with 2 wickets for 20 runs in Victoria Park’s 9 run win against Toronto CSCC B on Monday August 3, 2020. Hiral Patel (64) and Hardik Patel (30) added 74 for Victoria Park’s third wicket and provided the bulk of Victoria Park’s 133/9 (20 overs). Both fell to the spin bowling of Parth Raval who took 3 wickets for 12 runs. Raeed Khan struck 31 from 22 balls for Toronto CSCC B whose innings ended on 124/9 after 20 overs.
Ireland played England in an ODI series that took place in Southampton, England around the same weekend that the Maple Leaf CC T20 began. It would be interesting – and almost certainly painful from a playing perspective – to compare how many tests, ODIs and T20Is have been played by the Ireland Under-19 and Canada Under-19 squads that participated in the 2009 ICC Under-19 Global Cricket World Cup Qualifier that was hosted by Cricket Canada. Some of the
Canadian juniors represented Canada in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup after playing in the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Hiral Patel scored a fifty against Australia.
But those were days with battles off the field in within and beyond Ontario that, in my opinion, undermined the potential of Canadian cricket to advance within the upper ranks of the ICC Associate Members High Performance Programme. The theory of making the game known and opening participation in cricket to the broader community within Canada exists to some extent in schools cricket thanks to various teachers but various doors seem to be almost bolted within the ranks of elected cricketing leaders of certain leagues and provinces.
This is a situation that seems to continue to this day in my opinion and that begs questions about whether certain Annual General Meetings to review the past year and have elections for board members who are retiring after serving a certain number of years and may be eligible, if duly nominated, for re-election as defined within applicable constitutions and/or bylaws before you ask any question about what efforts are being made to support women’s cricket in Canada or in the traditional Greater Toronto Area heartland of Ontario cricket?
This could be time for a re-think about the primary purpose of some of the leagues within the Greater Toronto Area as part of a plan to ensure that the pseudo professional ranks of players from which a competitive Canadian men’s team can re-emerge is provided with enough games to allow them to improve and perform well in the upper ranks of domestic cricket as well as internationally. This might involve introducing a mid-week T20 league aimed, in future years, at attracting spectators to such league games which was seemed to be part of the thinking of those behind the TJT National League that lasted just one season and where Hiral Patel was selected as the number 1 draft pick.
Returning to last weekend’s opening day of the Maple Leaf CC T20, Sherwin Lane scored 54 and Vinord Woolcock 51 from 28 balls as Overseas CC Raptronomatic struck posted what proved a winning 205/7 (20 overs) against Islanders. Durand Sorraine made 35 (22 balls) for Islanders and Mahadeo Moonsar chipped in with 25* after taking 3 wickets for 34 in his 4 overs. Islanders ended on 188/7 from 20 overs and lost by 17 runs.
More teams will enter the challenge of the 2020 Maple Leaf CC T20 this weekend in both the Elite and Premier Divisions.
2020 Maple Leaf CC T20 Participating Teams Elite T20 Participating Teams
Group A: Ahmadiyya CC A, Australasia CC A, Centurions CC, Islanders CC, Maplequest CC, Overseas CC Raptronomatic, Spartans CC, Toronto CSCC A and Victoria Park CC.
Group B: Ahmadiyya CC B, MS Boys CC, Ontario Cricket Academy, Toronto CSCC B, Toronto CSCC C, Tranzac CC, Victoria Park CC A, West Indian CC and Yashi Sports Elite.
Premier T20 Participating Teams
Group A: Agile Devils CC, Ahmadiyya CC C, Australasia CC B, Bloomfield CC, Cardinal Sports Academy, CSU CC, Indopak CC Legends, Mississauga Dolphins-Superasia CA, Toronto Rebels and Vaughan CC.
Group B: BNG Boys, Cricket Club of Canada, FM CC, Indo-Pak Spartans CC, Mississauga Dolphins-Thgf, Solar, Tranzac, Victoria Park Knights and Yashi Sports CC.