Journeying east from Kipling subway station with an intent to go to somewhere in downtown Toronto on Sunday (June 17th) a thought came that I was feeling a bit tired. So why not test the Sunday bus services of Mississauga transit – go MiWay, or whatever the slogan is – and try to reach the Iceland cricket ground instead for a bit of relaxation. A Toronto and District Elite Division game was due to be played there and I had not been to the ground since grass wickets had been established.
Vikings players were on their way onto the field as I arrived, so the Mississauga Ramblers were to bat first. Ravain Yusuf struck a boundary and picked up some other runs on the legside in the second over but fell to the same bowler when attempting to cut at ball and was caught at slip for 8 (11 for one wicket). Ramblers captain Sandeep Jyotti had won the toss and decided his team would bat entered the arena. But after making two runs he was caught at point and departed at 15 for two wickets. Both wickets fell to the bowling of Hardik Kotak, who gained a third wicket when opening bat Harmanjot Dhindsa drove and was caught.
Kotak was bowling against a wind that seemed to increase after the first couple of overs. Kenneth Kamyuka was bowling well from the Eglinton Avenue end and should have had a wicket but a catch went begging. The next ball was neatly struck for four by Gupta Pankaj, who went on to score 29. Kamyuka eventually had success when Taresh Beri was caught after scoring 6. The Ramblers were struggling at 40 for four wickets.
Kamyuka and Kotak bowled unchanged until twenty overs had been completed, at which point both had completed the ten over maximum allowed in this fifty over match. Ramblers 42 for four wickets. Kenneth Kamyuka had taken one wicket for 16 runs. His ten overs included four maidens (a maiden is an over where no runs are scored, for any stray visitor wondering what the sport of cricket is about). Hardik Kotak had taken three wickets for 24 runs. The ball sometimes went through a bit low which can be a challenge to the batsman.
Time had also run out for me, due to an afternoon event in downtown Toronto, so I missed a batting recovery lead by Pankaj Gupta (29) and Asad Zaida who made 43 runs, including four boundaries. Tyrone Roberts picked up a couple of wickets for 24 runs in 7.3 overs and the Ramblers rally reached 131 all out in 45.3 overs.
Vikings openers took the score to 48 before Krishna Arjune was caught for 13. His partner Durand Soraine made 37 and was, like Arjune, caught off the bowling of Saad Nazar. Abdool Samad was out for just 2, but with the next four batsmen making between 10 and 22, the Vikings march to victory continued, despite Sandeep Jyoti taking three wickets, and was concluded at the end of 34 overs when the Vikings reached 132 for six wickets.
On Saturday the Ramblers had beaten Victoria Park by 43 runs at King City. Asad Zaidi made 40 and Sandeep Jyoti 30 as the Ramblers made 123 all out (34.2 overs). Vic Park opening bowler Mohammad Jawad Alam took four wickets for 23 runs in eight overs. Opening bat Mohammed Waqas Butt made 32 for Victoria Park but the team was bowled out for just 80 runs in 23.2 overs. Spinner Sami Faridi took five wickets for 23 runs and Rajesh Veetil captured four wickets for 22 runs. Victoria Park captain Kumar Erramilli made 17, which takes care of most of the runs not scored by Waqas Butt.
So far this season, the Vikings beat Caribbean Limers by 144 runs, had a game washed out against the Limers and lost by 103 runs to PCB Stallions, or Popeyes as they tend to be known (as in a day when I saw a Popeyes Chicken and Biscuit fast food setup and realized what this version of PCB meant). Abdool Samad scored 64 in the 144 run loss to the Limers, who struck 272 for five wickets.
The Ramblers season began with a two wicket win over Overseas that was followed by rained out games with Brampton Masters Tranzac and Toronto CC. Ramblers beat Yorkshire by five wickets but lost to Centurions on the weekend of June 9th and 10th. Sandeep Jyoti made 74 against Yorkshire.
I noticed the Ramblers Under-13 side had an opening stand of 179 against Brampton Masters at the Avebury ground in Mississauga on June 10th. Kevin Singh was out for 76 to end that partnership. Aarun Senathirajah scored 55 not out as the Ramblers U-13s reached 199 for one wicket in 20 overs. Brampton Masters replied with 57 for eight wickets in 20 overs.
So a short taste of cricket at Iceland and a chance to talk with a few people I had not seen in a while. The Vikings coach introduced himself to me after he had spoken with Hardik Kotak on the boundary at the ice arena end of the ground. He mentioned two or three useful players by what fielding position or headgear they were wearing. Just before I left, we had a chuckle as I mentioned that when one of the players headgear blew off, I realized he was Durand Sorraine – the Namibian tour specialist for Canada – and that I had seen Kenneth Kamyuka play in Argentina (for Uganda) and in a couple of other places.
I did not spot Abdool Samad during my brief stay on Sunday, but there was one notable instance where he was at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to provide best wishes to a departing Canadian senior international squad. A leading CCA board member told Abdool that he should be going on the tour (which brought limited response from those who heard it). When the board member realized I was not going off on this safari, well, to a backdrop of silence from the other two or three people who heard it, I was told I ought to be going. Considerations that things cost money or that there might be things to do other than play or watch cricket did not seem to be realized by the person making these suggestions.
It was certainly a twist to the situation where one player picked as a replacement tourist only saw or heard of his selection, but was not able to get the time off work, through the CCA website. Both the player and (after he told me this news) I thought something needed to be improved regarding player selection and notification. Officially it was said or written that there was nothing wrong with the selection process.
My Sunday might have ended after Evensong at St James Cathedral, a special version based on 1812 English hymns and music to commemorate the War of 1812-1813. But one final spark of life for the day took me to the closing Luminato open air concert outside Metro Hall. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra concluded with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture ,which deals with Russia’s success against Napoleon. Except there was an encore. Not a repeat of the finale of that Overture, but a north american piece -the Liberty Bell. The theme song for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.
On the subway trip from Kipling station I began to read some planning document and some other items from official Cricket Canada and provincial cricket sources printed earlier in the day. Some things made my head spin, and prompted the decision to get off after one stop and catch the bus to Mississauga from Islington subway station to see a bit of cricket reality.
Grass wickets gained at Iceland. Restored grass wickets at Ross Lord Park were back to gone when I recently visited the ground for the Toronto District schools north region playoffs. The dates have changed for the “first faultless” cricket tournament in Canada (better not say the list of players drafted for the four teams on May 24 and May 28 were not listed as of some 15 hours ago).
But there was also a strategic plan for Canadian, which has some aims way beyond high cirrus clouds that needed some divine intervention to make them tangible – unless Canadian cricket’s leaders really are the gods in whose laps all things drop and from whom everything will be created. It seemed to have a couple of errors and some other issues. But they can wait for another day. The show must go on. So must life: individually and collectively.