Schools cricket at Ajax

19 June 2005

A recent report on cricket in England stated that a 50 million pounds sterling target had been set for the development of cricket in schools. This 'back to the grass roots' project will apparently be focused "initially on 72 schools", with the hope being that within 10 years some "7000 state schools will be involved".

Perhaps it would be appropriate to suggest to the English Cricket Board that they examine the model of two private cricket clubs in Canada.

The Ajax Cricket Club has taken another independent initiative to encourage the development of junior cricketers. Three of the local schools, just east of the Greater Toronto Area, have been invited to participate in a round robin tournament with the Ajax junior team. (The Ajax Junior team consist mostly of students from another local school; Next year it is anticipated that they will compete as a school team).

The following report of the first match in the tournament, was submitted by one of the escorting teachers, Mr..Dennis Choy.

After having lost 3 previous cricket games to Pine Ridge High School over the last year, Pickering High School again met their opponents in a 25 overs match on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 at the Ajax Cricket Club ground in Ajax.

Pickering High School team entered this match with a determination to be successful and to avenge the previous defeats. The toss was won by Pickering and captain, Nadeem Munir decided to let Pine Ridge bat first. Over the next 2 hours Pine Ridge amassed a total of 138 runs for the loss of 10 wickets. Major contributors to this total were: Lenard (53 runs), Sahil (14 runs) and Shawn (19 runs). Taking the wickets for Pickering High were: Abdul Achaiza (3 for 30 runs), Waquas Ali (2 for 29 runs), Fermullah Achaiza (2 for 33 runs) and Nadeen Munir (2 for 19 runs).

This total of 138 runs by Pine Ridge was the highest ever made by either team. However, with unshaken determination Pickering set about the task of surpassing this total. Over the next 2 hours the task was accomplished with Pickering High making 140 runs for the loss of only 4 wickets. Excellent batting performances were executed by captain, Nadeem Munir who made 49 runs, which included 8 fours, Osama Ali (29 runs not out) and Waquas Ali (22 runs).

Congratulations to Pickering High.

Such is the commitment of the Ajax C.C. to cricket development in its community, the club is host to all the home games of the Toronto Cricket Academy, another all junior cricketers team. This generosity exemplifies the spirit of our game, for the sharing of partnerships goes far beyond the field of play with the sharing of experience, and experiences.

At the first match of the season played at the Inverhaugh Cricket Club, your correspondent was privileged to see a young Mississauga Ramblers team play part of a match against a much senior team. The Ramblers batted with a degree of maturity to produce a very respectable total. Unfortunately rain halted the game, but as usual the host club was gracious to their young visitors by providing tea even though there was no hope of resuming play.

Cricket in Canada is alive and well from coast to coast at the grass roots club level. Would it were so well at other levels in Canada. (Jon Harris)