Srinath Wijeyeratne writes exclusively for Canada Cricket Online
The Toronto & District Cricket Association is regarded as the topmost ‘League’ conducting tournaments in North America and ‘Elite’ division takes the forefront. In summer each year the tournament gets underway in May, goes on till mid September and 12 teams contest for the top plum.
This year 2014 saw the defending Champions “Centurions C.C.” being dethroned by their arch rivals Brampton Masters to become the new Champions in the ‘Elite’ division.
There are many Sri-Lankan born cricketers performing well in the ‘Elite’ section notably Centurions. Ruwindu Gunasekera, current Canadian national player and Sheehan Kamaleen who played first class cricket in Colombo, both turn out for Brampton Masters.
Ruwindu a former Peterite (St. Peter’s College), played U-15 for his college and migrated to Canada. He has come from the U-19 system and is now elevated to the national team as an opening batsman. He has a carrier best score of 150 against Netherlands. Kamaleen, in his second year has performed well as an all-rounder doing well with the bat and ball.
Centurions boast of the maximum number of Lankan cricketers and the leading personality is none other than evergreen and former Thomian/Centralite and also the Canadian Captain, Sanjayan Thuraisingham who guides the team with his champion approach to the game. He is a tower of strength to the team and performs his duties as Coach cum Player. This year’s captain, Ajanthan Vijayakumar is another player who executes his duties as a wicket taking medium pacer, comes out well with the bat and often puts a couple of hits out of the park. The solid opening pair, Ex-Peterite, Srimantha Wijeyeratne, a former Sri-Lanka U-19 player and Trevin Bastiampilai (current national player & former St. Joseph’s College) have been performing extremely well in the last couple of seasons for the club with a number of century stands as openers. They both exceeded the 500 run mark and have an excellent understanding when batting in the middle. Srimantha is also the ‘stumper’ of the side and has more than 25 scalps in the season. Experienced Arvind Kandappa, another former national player has been in and out of the ‘Elite’ team due to strong commitments with his job as has Ravishankar Puvanendran, another former Canadian player who is very much out of action due to his work commitments. Joseph brothers Hashan & Stefan too turned up for the club in Elite as freshers.
The record holder in T-20 cricket, Dhanuka Pathirana who scored 277 in England in domestic cricket is the biggest asset of the club with his experience playing in Colombo, Sri-Lanka, put to practice whenever he is in the middle. Dhanuka, a former U-19 player has represented many clubs in Colombo in the ‘Premier League’, excelled as a top all-rounder in the club scene and had been in same team (Colts C.C.) with players such as Chaminda Vaas, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera.
Another player who turns out for Toronto C.C., Mohammed Zameer is also from Sri-Lanka and did represent the Canadian National team in the past. Gayan Malinga, Kesh Juvarajan, Kamal, Dilshan Sudesh and Lakshan Liyanage are the other players who are playing in and out in the ‘Elite’ for other clubs in the T&D.
Wishing them all success in the field of cricket in the future.