Damian Mills Memorial Match

September 8, 2004

On Sunday, September 26th 2004 the inaugural cricket match honoring the memory and life of the late Damian Mills will be played at Assiniboine Cricket Grounds in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The inaugural memorial match aims to capture the spirit of the game as Damian lived it, to promote healthy competition with superior sportsmanship, to build camaraderie and to honor one of Manitobašs brightest stars.

Damian Mills, a short, well lived life. Son, brother, uncle, friend, cricketer. Born July 15, 1979 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and died there on November 17th, 2003. As if he knew that his time would be short, Damian didnšt waste any of it. Damian was a self-driven, intelligent, ambitious, life loving person. He was a humble multitalented young man who gave of himself whenever an opportunity arose. Damian enjoyed life and the sport of cricket was his passion. Damian had a rough start at cricket. For him the official version of the game started just before his 13th birthday in 1992. It was during that year Damian showed what he was made off. On the first day of his first tournament Damian was struck very hard in the head by a ball and spent the rest of the day in the emergency room of a Toronto hospital. The next day, although he was scared and his confidence shattered he refused to sit out. He went on the play very hard throughout the tournament.

The game did not come naturally to him - he worked very hard at it. At a young age he learned that dedication, discipline and hard work is the best way to get what you want. He developed and maintained a strict training regiment, would often try to recruit young cricketers for practice sessions and when no one was available he would train and practice by himself. He became the lifeline of the Winnipeg Juniors Cricket Club, leading practices, planning social and fundraising activities.

Damian eventually became a force to be reckoned with. He was a leader on and off the field. He became the captain of his home club, The WJCC, in 2001. He was an integral member of the Manitoba Provincial team since 1996 and has been Captain of the Manitoba Under-25 Team from 2001 to 2003. Damian represented Canada in international competition at the junior level from 1996-1998. Damianšs crowning achievement was in 1999 when he was selected to play for the Canadian Senior Team playing against the likes of Brian Lara and other prominent West Indies players in the Red Stripe Bowl. Ironically, 1999 was Damianšs least productive season in the local league. In 1999, at home, he hit a bad slump, in response Damian went back to the basics that always worked for him ­ Dedication, Discipline and Hard Work. Damian soon reaped the benefits of his hard work, he regained the top spot in Manitobašs batting in 2000 and stayed there. He scored the most runs in the league in 1997, 1998 and 2000 - 2003. Also in 2000, he again represented Canada in the Red Stripe bowl in Jamaica. He remained on the list of Canadian elite cricketers until is death.

Damian loved children, seeing his free-spirited interaction with children you would not have guessed he was an elite athlete, he seemed a little child simply enjoying the simple pleasures of life. He found a way to mix his love for cricket and children - He was a coach at junior camps, schools and tournaments, always encouraging to those who loved the game.

On September 26th 2004 at Assiniboine Cricket Grounds on the Center Pitch two teams will be playing against each other to honor Damian. The MCA League XI will comprise of players from each of the MCA Senior League, Division I Teams. The WJCC Honorary XI will comprise of both current and past members of the team that meant so much to Damian. The will take to field and play a special cricket match in friendship, goodwill and honor.

We invite all of those, whose lives have been touched by Damian, to come out and support this SPECIAL CRICKET EVENT. Manitoba cricketers are encouraged to bring their families and friends to the cricket grounds - To be a part of the legacy of a Great Cricketer, and a Great Person.

Ray Ramrattan
ray@cricket.mb.ca

Cricket Manitoba have established a trust fund in Damian's memory [more information]