Scoring a goal for cricket in Brampton

A boundary for UAE Exchange

The Third Brampton Mayor’s Cricket and Community Festival took place on Saturday (September 15th) at the Sandalwood/Dixie grounds in Brampton that switch between soccer and cricket usage on an on-going basis during the Canadian summer months. The grounds are also home to the Brampton Soccer Centre, whose indoor soccer artificial turf pitches are somewhat flatter, and might even form a better outfield, than the outdoor grounds. But there were some pretty floral and horticultural displays at the entrances to the grounds, as one might expect from Canada’s “Flower City”.

The event, organized by the Corporate Canada Cricket Club, included both cricket action and a range of supporting entertainment that culminated in the final of the six team cricket tournament, followed by sitar music and the Bollywood movie “Dile Bole Hadippa” (2009). A whole range of music and dance plus activity facilities were provided for families attending the festivities.

Youngsters from the Australasia Cricket Academy played in a 7-overs a side junior cricket match under the shadows of the giant soccer ball of the Brampton Soccer Centre. Six teams participated in the 10-overs a side festival cricket tournament: CIBC (the presenting partner for the day’s festivities), Mississauga Warriors, UAE Exchange, Asapient Thuderbolts, Bank of Montreal and Mississauga Dynamites. The teams were divided into two groups of three with the top two from each section progressing to the semi-finals later in the afternoon.

The underlying themes of this event included healthy living and bringing people from different cultures and backgrounds together. The latest “Fall & Winter Recreation Guide” for Brampton – the Flower City – highlights the opening this fall of the Gore Meadows Community Centre and Library (Castlemore Road and The Gore Road). This new centre is to host indoor “cricket skills and drills” for 8-10 year olds and 10-13 year olds starting in January 2013 that aim to teach basic cricket skills to beginners.

The new Gore Meadows facility is also where Brampton has plans for “a complementary large-scale cricket facility.” Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell spoke about planning discussions held on Friday about a new international standard cricket ground for that city during her speech of welcome to Saturday’s Cricket Festival. She also mentioned the upcoming PanAm Games in the Greater Toronto Area and how, at one point, cricket was expected to have been an exhibition sport. The PanAm Games roster is now full, according to the organizers, and will not include any cricket but Brampton is to press onwards with developing a quality cricket ground.

Mayor Fennell enthusiastically mentioned the support that local Federal MP Bal Gosal has given to the development of such a cricket ground in Brampton. Mr. Gosal is currently Minister of State for Sport in the Federal Government, and Mayor Fennell spoke of the potential for some Federal Government assistance for the development of the new cricket ground. Along the way there was mention of looking after “the tax payers” interests.

Perhaps some element of mixing private and public sector financing might be needed in order to balance the demands and wants of the community and what the community wishes to pay as “tax payers”? Anyway, perhaps a similar theme of developing an internatonal cricket ground might arise when the Mississauga Mayor’s cricket and community event, also organized by the Corporate Canada Cricket Club, takes place at the Courtneypark cricket ground on Sunday September 30th. But who knows?

There was also mention of the healthy living aspects of participating in sports, such as cricket, during the course of the speeches. There was participation in this event by local branches of the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation as well as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The Assistant Division Chief of Brampton Fire and Emergency Services spoke of the need to make sure people take care of safety in the home as part of healthy living.

It was a pity that some rather heavy clouds hung over the ground in the middle of the day. The sun made occasional appearances between the clouds to bring some warmth but conditions may have kept a few people away from this event. Some of the clouds presumably deposited rainfall somewhere, which made me decide not to venture eastwards to see how the Toronto and District Elite game between unbeaten Brampton Masters Tranzac and the Toronto Cricket Club was progressing at the Toronto Cricket Club. The TDCA Elite Regular season concludes on Sunday with a game between the Toronto club, battling for top-place in its conference, and Overseas.

So after some speeches, some of the Australasia Cricket Academy’s game and seeing the UAE Exchange in action against CIBC, looking around the food and play stalls, the temporary cricket net on the running track and having a look inside the Brampton Soccer Centre it was time for me to move on. A left-hander batting for the UAE Exchange had ventured down the pitch and thumped a boundary (with a CIBC promotional tent in the background) that also scored a goal between one set of soccer posts (with “The Mighty Cob” stall (selling sweetcorn in the background). The Sports Minister stopped for a discussion with a parent, whose shirt was about Judo, so a broader sporting and cultural mix than just soccer and cricket was evidenced, which is what broad, community events attempt to achieve.

It might have been interesting to have seen the movie, but the Internet came to my assistance on that front. The internet seemed to think “Dil Bole Hadipaa” should really be “Dil Bole Hadippa” with two p’s. As in some old fashioned advice to mind “your p’s and q’s”, which is the opposite of what happens in “Dil Bole Hadippa”.

New ground is broken as a female manages to play in a cricket match in her own village, despite the game being a male bastion in that village, and doubtless several other villages. But, in order to play cricket, Veera Kaur has to transform herself into Veer Pretap Singh by wearing a turban and adding a beard. There are a few more pieces in the film’s jigsaw puzzle.

So some breaking down of walls, or attempted breaking down of walls, that is part of building and broadening personal and community attitudes. Moving from a small goldfish bowl to a bigger one, and continuing the process. There might even be a preliminary step or two of making the existence of your small goldfish bowl known to others. There might be rejection along the way. Veera was turned away by the male cricketers when she turned up to play as a girl.

How many cricketing goldfish bowls exist in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario or even Canadian cricket? How broad a penetration do these goldfish bowls have in the overall community, or even each inner permitted “cricket circle” community?

Which is why some people promote, fund and support events such as this 3rd Brampton Mayor’s Cricket and Community Festival.

Eddie Norfolk

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