Meet The Future


Ummar Babbary


Cricket in Canada is like the experience of new immigrants, who are finding it hard to adjust in their new environment. Beyond facing lots of problems, there is having to cope with the perpetual phrase ‘Has no Canadian Experience’. Cricket, and cricketers, in Canada have essentially only ‘Canadian Experience’. The point is that this “Experience” is not enough to help Canada in the World Cup 2003, and/or the future growth of cricket in Canada.

What is required is an initiative to concentrate on solving the problems, starting with the very basics. These problems range from the administrative, to playing conditions. Practically, players have three to four months to play cricket in Canada, and in this period they have to play, work, and practice (most of the players do not practice because of their jobs, and some even works nights in order to play). Like new optimistic immigrants, cricketers and the governing body feel cricket has a bright future in Canada.

Scattered in my experiences of cricket in Canada are a few glimpses of hope. I happened to observe one of these, when I saw a fourteen year old slim youngster practicing cricket alone in a school ground. He was focused and did not seem to bother whether he was practicing correctly or not. Subsequently, I saw this young lad playing in a match. He was impressive. I decided to interview this promising player.

Gagan was born in Canada and is a grade 9 student. In response to rapid questioning he replied calmly, intelligently, and in a straightforward manner, all the while smiling. His excitement of being interviewed was expressed throughout the conversation by his glittering eyes, and love for family members was obvious. Ganga told me that he played his first match in 1998 in an under 15 team. He considers himself to be an all rounder, batting right handed and bowls right arm off spin.

Q: Does any body coach you?
A: Yes, my coach is Mr. Brian Hale.
Q: Do you play for any Club?
A: Yes, I play for Toronto Cricket Academy.
Q: Well, Gagan why did you chose to play cricket?
A: My father was a good cricketer of his time and cricket is the most commonly
discussed topic between us. And it was natural for me to pick cricket.
Q: What you like most about cricket? (At first, he could not pick up the questions
depth, but he took his time and then came with an intelligent reply)
A: I want to be professional cricketer. I wouldn't mind being famous, but above
all, it keeps me busy and away from bad stuff.
Q: Who is your ideal cricketer and why?
A: I would like to be like Sachin Tendulkar because he is courageous and plays
with a straight bat.
Q: Every batsman has a favorite short, which is yours?
A: My favorite shot is a pull shot.
Q: Your favorite fielding position?
A: Well, I am a good fielder but I like to field in the covers and mid-on.
Q: Tell us your achievements in cricket so far?
A: My biggest achievement was playing in the Americas Cup tournament. Besides
that I am playing in the T&D and also the Scarborough League.
Q: What are highest score and best bowling analyses?
A: I recently made 55 runs and took 4 wickets for 4 runs in the Americas cup.
Q: You recently played in the Americas Cup, how was your experience?
A: Fantastic, I performed well and enjoyed traveling, hoteling and made new friends.
Q: What are your expectations from Canada Cricket team in world cup?
A: Well, I think Canada should beat at least Bangladesh and must defeat non-test status teams.
However, wining is not important for me at this point, what as a young player I am looking for is
…. a good fight and so our team could earn some respect in the cricket world.
Q: Who is your favorite player in Canada Squad?
A: Joe Harris is my choice.
Q: Gagan, what is your future planning besides being a professional cricketer.
A: I want to be a mechanical engineer along with my cricket.

That was the last question I asked him and after a cup of tea, I left his house.

Ummar Babary is a new Canadian, having been here for less than a year. He has experience playing and coaching first class cricket in Pakistan. During the current season he has played with some success in both the Scarborough League and the Toronto & District League, and taken the initial umpires training with the Toronto Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association. Ummar holds an M.A. (Psychology) and has ambitions and dreams of qualifying as a sports psychologist, specializing in cricket. With this first venture into writing about cricket I am delighted to welcome him to our editorial team and he has already accepted another assignment. has been advised not to publish the full names on minors, nor to publish photographs of young cricketers. Jon Harris.


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