The ICC Champions Trophy, the current Tri-Series in the West Indies, the upcoming Caribbean Professional League, changes in the ICC Elite umpiring panel and even the Ashes series have dominated the cricket content in a selection of newspapers picked up in the last three weeks. Issues about cricketing governance and spot fixing investigations also provide interest in a number of editions. But there is Canadian cricket content, much of which has been about CIMA events plus some coverage of the Scarborough (Ontario) Cricket World Cup, and at least one preview of the ICC Americas Under-19 Championship.
Dalchand Bissoon’s Sports Blogs in “The Caribbean Camera” on June 27, for example, gave pride of place to India’s defeat of England in the ICC Champions Trophy. The Scarborough World Cup gained prominence with the “ultimate winner” being the Scarborough Hospital for which the event raised $50,000 for the Cancer Care Program. The Scarborough Muslim Association sponsored team won the cricket event with an Asian Television Network sponsored-team placing second.
“Indo-Caribbean World” featured the Scarborough World Cup community event in the July 10 edition and also carried a photo and story about the naming of the 2013 RBC CIMA Mayor’s touring team. In the past, “Indo-Caribbean World” published an article that summarized the scores from one of the previous CIMA Mayor’s touring teams.
Ron Fanfair in “Share” provided a preview of the ICC Americas Under-19 Championship in which Canadian coach Ingleton Liburd had indicated Canada’s need to win that competition and reach the next ICC Cricket World Cup competition in the UAE next year. Last week’s “Share” (July 11) included news of former Canadian international Errol Barrow’s cricket playing comeback, as well as his involvement as a TV commentator in the recent CIBC National Cricket League competition.
Robin Singh while in Toronto as coach for the USA Under-19 squad in the ICC Americas U19 championship took part in a cricket promoting event in Mississauga organized by the Robin Singh Cricket Foundation and Sandeep Entertainments. The event was reported in The South Asian Observer” (July 12) and “The Weekly Voice” (July 13). Singh played for India and coached 2013 Indian Premier League Champions Mumbai Indians. During a question and answer session he stressed the “importance of attitude and the fact you have to have focus, determination and dedication to the game.”
CIMA’s annual Mayor’s Trophy/Spirit of Cricket day was featured in some of the English-language editions and pages of some ethnic media but also appeared in Hindi in the “Hindi Times” (June 27) and “Hindi Abroad” (June 28) and in Gujarati in “Gujarat Abroad” (June 28). The rain greeted the speeches phase of the day, but Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and other dignitaries smiled from under umbrellas in a photo in “Gujarat Abroad”. The “South Asian Weekender” (June 28) was one of the English language newspapers that reported on the Mayor’s Trophy.
“Can-India News” (July 12) carried the news that Ireland had become the first associate country to qualify for the 2015 ICC World Cup as a result of a win and a tie against the Netherlands in the World Cricket League. “South Asian Midweek” (July 2) carried a photo of Kenya’s Nelson Odhiambo who took three wickets for 48 in a World Cricket League game against Scotland in Aberdeen.
Those who think there is a need for the development of more cricket grounds in Canada with flat outfields rather than significant undulations, bumps and hollows may have found news of the tough time the Guyanese women field hockey players had in adjusting to playing on an artificial surface in a Canadian field hockey championship rather than on some less than stellar grass fields back home. But the team improved with experience on the artificial surface in Sandalwood, Brampton losing 2-0 to Ontario in the fourth and final match after being hammered 11-0 by the Canadian Under-23 national side in game one.
News of the Guyanese women’s field hockey tour appeared in at least “Share” (June 20), “Equality News” (June 20) and “The Caribbean Times International” (June 20). The June 20 edition of The Caribbean Times International had included the previously reported news of Guyanese batsman Ryan Ramdass scoring 200 in the Brampton-Etobicoke and District Cricket League. Meanwhile the Guyanese President visited Toronto for the Annual Guyanese Independence celebrations and was seen batting right-handed in a photo in “The Caribbean Camera” (check). The Guyanese President also displayed some dominoes playing, dancing and singing skills as part of these annual celebrations. President Donald Ramotar was “in his element – among the people”.
This survey is far from a complete round-up of what has appeared in various ethnic newspapers in and often beyond the Greater Toronto Area in the last three weeks, but there would seem to have been a shortage of coverage about the CIBC National Cricket League (NCL) and the subsequent Canada Selects against CIBC NCL All-Star series.
But, the South Asian Observer’s Nita Balani tells us “Robin Singh tirelessly works and devotes his time to getting Canada and the USA back into cricket as a serious sport for the youth and we are just beginning to see great positive results on the field.”
It would certainly be interesting if the RBC CIMA Mayor’s Touring team could film significant parts of the games on the 2013 UK tour so that various Mayors, councillors and members of Federal and Provincial parliaments could see the difference between the grounds in England and those in the Greater Toronto Area. It might even be useful to include some photos of soccer pitches that might show how soccer pitches are normally fairly flat.
But it’s the exception that proves the rule and there remains a need, some day, to have my basement sorted out so the drains are not higher than the surrounding floor. There was no problem with my home during any of the recent heavy rains, but the hot water tank has now developed some kind of problem which needs fixing. Damodar Daesrath had mentioned the bad weather that had caused two of four scheduled matches for Brampton Masters to be washed out without a ball bowled in “Caribbean Times International” (June 20). Since that time the Greater Toronto Area has seen some marked differences in weather for cricket between flooding and high temperatures with the added impact of humidity. So the avid spectator might find it more comfortable to watch Canadian cricket on TV, when available, rather than go to the grounds. Which is a bit sad, as it would be good for Canadian national teams and regional teams in the National Cricket League to become used to playing in front of a crowd. Still there was one spectator from Colombia at the first of the Canadian Under-19’s games in the recent ICC Americas U-19 Championship, but like most of the supporters for the young Canadians it was a case of relatives and friends turning up at the ground.
Sources reviewed beyond those mentioned above include issues of “Update” (South Asian Weekly), “Jang”, the “Urdu Times”, the “Pakistan Post”, “Toronto Caribbean”, the “Weekly Times of India”, “Asian Connection”, “South Asian Focus” and “South Asian Generation Next”. Some issues of these newspapers may have included news of either the CIMA Mayor’s Trophy or the naming of the RBC Cricket Across the Pond squad. But there are many more newspapers that cover the South Asian, African and Caribbean scenes at a broad level and some Latin American ones in Spanish just waiting for stories of someone flying from Colombia to Toronto to watch cricket.
Certainly an example of “Cricket without boundaries”. “One must forget about any politics or ego issues that invariably creep in” said Robin Singh to his Mississauga audience.
Politics? Ego issues? Surely there are no such issues in Canadian cricket notwithstanding the missing special section of the Maple Leaf Stadium with provision for 500 VIPs and media that was on the drawing board at least a couple of times between 2005 and 2007, if not later.
Somewhere along the line, someone can tell me I did not attend any of the day’s in the Markham Mayor’s Youth Cricket tournament, which clashed with the ICC Americas Under-19 tournament. It will be marked as a failure by some, particularly if I disclose I was aware of the dates and that games seemingly went on until late, according to the June issue of “The Sri Lanka Reporter”. But I did see some of the Old Boys cricket between former pupils of leading Sri Lankan schools on Canada Day at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club.
This year’s matches included the 25th anniversary game of the Toronto series between Royal College Old Boys and St Thomas’ Old Boys: the “Battle of the Blues”. [The Battle of the Maroons was scheduled for Ajax Cricket Club on the first Saturday of July in the series of Sri Lankan Old Boys cricket matches.] The Royal Thomian (Thomian = St Thomas’] Battle of the Blues game was flanked by two other Old Boys matches on Canada Day. Scores and reports will presumably appear in due course in the Sri Lankan Reporter, the Sri Lankan Anchorman and other Sri Lankan orientated newspapers in the Greater Toronto Area. Some reports may already have appeared.
Interestingly, none of the stories I have read about the announcement of the 2013 RBC CIMA Mayor’s Touring team make mention of the UK Consul General “seeing some future Canadian test cricketers” in the ranks of those attending the event.
Some of the publications I have mentioned are available in other Canadian cities, and some publish in major cities on either side of the Canada-USA border.