November 2009

Four Canadians at high Performance camp (Sports Campus) -- Posted Monday, November 30 2009
Eighteen Batsmen take part in ICC High Performance Programme
Eighteen batsmen from the six top Associate and Affiliate ODI sides made optimum use of the first of four ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) batting camps which concluded in the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, on Friday 27 November. The camp, which started on 16 November, was about assessment, basic skill development and setting up an ongoing programme for each player who will be monitored throughout 2010 by the ICC Global Cricket Academy (GCA) and the HPP member coaches in the lead-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The camp was supervised by GCA coach and former Pakistan batsman Mudassar Nazar, who was also assisted by fellow GCA coaches Rodney Marsh and Dayle Hadlee. Supporting the GCA staff in Pretoria was a team of experts including Sporting Edge mental skills consultant Michael Caulfield, Dubai Sports City High Performance Coordinator Andrew Russell, SportsMechanics match analysis and video support consultant Gurumoorthy Venkatesh and Dr Sherryle Calder of the Visual Performance Skills.

The six ICC Members involved in the HPP are Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Afghanistan and the Netherlands, all of who had also sent their national coaches to benefit from the experience.

The Netherlands batsman Tom de Grooth, reflecting on his experience of attending the camp, said: "It has been a really good few weeks here and nice to be with guys who are in a similar situation as ourselves with their playing standards. It's been a great opportunity for us to improve our standard of play ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. Also to be able to work out here for two weeks on a semi-pro basis was something we don't normally have the opportunity to do. We have had the chance to assess our performances, get the right mindset for playing in the sub-continent and take on board all the different team styles."

Canada captain Ashish Bagai said: "The batting camps are a great initiative by the ICC and helps us to learn how to post a competitive total or chase a target when it comes to playing in a World Cup against top class teams. The camp also helped us to get in the right frame of mind for playing in the sub-continent and to have an opportunity to work with coaches such as Mudassar Nazar, Dayle Hadlee and Rodney Marsh was an experience of lifetime. To be able to draw on their knowledge and experience is great as it will surely help me progress and develop as a player.

"This was the first of four camps, which I think will continue to be hugely helpful to all of us involved as we can continue to build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses."

The International Cricket Council's High Performance Manager, Richard Done, has worked closely with the coaches from the six HPP Members to create a worthwhile programme that will help the sides to go on and do well at the global stage.

Done said: "Our top priority for the next 15 months is to develop their essential skill base, ensure proper specialist support and provide them competitive experience so that these players can excel at the highest level. The HPP batting camps are designed to give these top Associate and Affiliate batsmen exposure to different conditions and quality bowlers, particularly spin and reverse swing on the sub-continent - especially important for the four teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which will lift the standard and performance of the teams at that global event.

"This in turn will help these top six sides to meet their greater goal of being more competitive on the world stage."

Scotland coach Peter Steindl, who also attended the camp alongside his two players, said: "One of the best things about these past few weeks has been to spend a solid time with my players and be able to work with the GCA coaches, the High Performance country coaches and draw on each others' experiences. It's been good for us to play on turf wickets and develop more skills and although we didn't make it to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, camps like this one are hugely helpful in our build up to both the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in February in the UAE and also the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2013."

The players, who attended the ICC High Performance Programme, were:

Canada: Ashish Bagai, Rizwan Cheema, Nitesh Kumar and Hiral Patel
Ireland: Kevin O'Brien, Alex Cusack, Gary Wilson and Paul Stirling
Kenya: Maurice Ouma, Alex Obanda, Rakep Patel and Collins Obuya
Netherlands: Tom de Grooth and Eric Szwarczynski
Afghanistan: Noorulhaq Malekzai and Shir Mohammad Shirzi
Scotland: Richie Berrington and Qasim Sheikh

Cricket Canada announce U19 World Cup squad -- Posted Saturday, November 28 2009
Cricket Canada is pleased to announce the following 20 player squad for the 2010 U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. Canada will face hosts New Zealand as well as Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in the opening round of the tournament.

Canada's final 15 will be announced December 21.

The Canadian team will depart for a training camp in Auckland on January 2nd before heading to Christchurch for the warm-up matches and the start of the tournament.

The selectors have rewarded Rustum Bhatti for leading Canada back to the U19 Cricket World Cup for the first time since 2004 by naming him captain for the squad. Wilbert Plummer (coach) and Wijay Senithirajah (manager) have been confirmed to lead the delegation in New Zealand.

Canada - 20 player Squad

Rustum Bhatti - Captain
Maninder Aulakh
Sudeepta Aurka
Parth Desai
Darius D'Souza
Kyle Edgehill
Ruvindu Gunasekara
Hardik Kotak
Nitish Kumar
Usman Limbada
Zain Mahmood
Asif Manjra
Salman Nazar
Axay Patel
Riyazkhan Pathan
Hiral Patel
Arsalan Qadir
Jobanjot Sidhu
Harpreet Singh
Hamza Tariq

Students go to bat for new cricket facility ( -- Posted Wednesday, November 18 2009

The Thackeray Park Cricket grounds are $5,000 closer to becoming a reality thanks to North Albion Collegiate Institute and Smithfield Middle School cricketers - the winners of the recent 2009 Double Wicket Student Challenge.
Young cricketers from eight local schools - North Albion Collegiate Institute (NACI), Kipling, Thistletown, West Humber and Weston collegiate institutes in the senior play, and Smithfield, Dixon Grove and North Kipling junior middle schools in junior competition - took over the gym at Humber College's North Campus on Nov. 6 to compete for the honour of having a donation to the new grounds made in their school's name. The winning teams in each division got the opportunity to hand over a $2,500 cheque on behalf of their school.

Etobicoke North Councillor Suzan Hall, one of the main proponents behind the $450,000 project (first phase), said the city has secured the lands north of Steeles and Kipling avenues for an international standard cricket ground from the Toronto and Region Conservation Area (TRCA).

"There is a recognized need for dedicated cricket grounds in Toronto, especially in this community," she said, noting that the city has earmarked $200,000 for the project as part of funding towards youth sport development in its 13 priority neighbourhoods. The city has also committed to maintaining the grounds and permitting their use once they're completed.

Dedicated for hardball cricket, the first phase of the development will include construction of the short outfield cricket grounds, featuring natural turf and a rolled, clay-based pitches, seating for more than 300 people, safety netting, a 23-spot parking lot and possibly non-permanent toilet facilities. The second phase, which will require additional funding, will entail bringing water, sewer and hydro onto the site, the construction of a clubhouse with washrooms and change rooms, an additional practice pitch and expanded seating.

The site, which is located on a clean landfill site on the Etobicoke-Vaughan border, was chosen for its easy accessibility by foot, bike, car and transit, Hall added.

"Through our fundraising efforts, we've been able to bring in more than $70,500 - $50,000 from the Police Service Board, $10,000 from Ontario Cricket and $10,500 from the local faith and business communities," she said.

"We're working hard at the city to get the first phase in to enable us to get the field in the ground in the spring. The enthusiasm (over the project) in the community has been mind-blowing, it's so important to them - that's why I'm giving my all to this project."

Fellow proponent Fred Morgan, president of the 50-member Elmbank Cricket Club, said the new grounds, once constructed, will be a real asset to bringing up Canada's future national players.

"This will be an international-style pitch, with natural turf and clay-pressed pitches," he said, noting that the local area has only four cricket pitches, none of them at the international standard.

"This way kids, who usually play inside on mats or carpet, will get the idea because when they play internationally, they play on natural turf. Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada, so everybody is excited."

Rabi Haidari and Sivajan Yogachandran, both 13-year-old eighth graders from North Kipling JMS, said they were delighted at the opportunity to play high quality cricket at the Double Wicket Student Challenge, while at the same time helping to raise money for a new pitch.

"This is fabulous and pretty fun, too. I like that (sponsors) Scotiabank and Black Diamond are putting it on for us," Rabi said shortly before the Cougar Cubs team he co-captains were edged out 20-19 by Smithfield in the junior finals. "It's an honour that everyone is taking the time to have this opportunity for us."

For more information or to donate, go to

Former Canadian cricketers in Hall of Fame (Share News) -- Posted Thursday, November 12 2009


Though born nearly 9,000 miles apart on different continents, Tony Clarke and Ron Aldridge converged in Toronto in the early 1960s, via Guyana and India with stops in Jamaica and England, to make significant cricket contributions to Canada and Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club (TCSCC) which inducted them into its Hall of Fame last weekend.

Born in what was then British Guiana, Clarke attended St. Stanislaus College and the University of the West Indies Mona campus in Jamaica prior to coming to this city to pursue Chemical Engineering studies at the University of Toronto and enjoy a successful cricket career.

India-born Aldridge, on the other hand, was raised in England where he played cricket for several clubs, including Berkshire, before making the transition to Canada. The right-arm medium pacer and middle-order batsman captained Toronto & District Cricket Association (TDCA) club Grace Church and Canada's first field hockey team to participate in the Olympics in 1964 in Tokyo before joining TCSCC a year later.

While his performances on the field were noteworthy, it is as an organizer that Aldridge stood out. He played a pivotal role in bringing India and Pakistan - and later the West Indies - to participate in the Sahara Cup and DMC Cup limited-overs tournaments at the scenic Toronto Cricket Club in the late 1990s, and he was the organizing chair of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy tournament for Associates - the 23-team competition is the largest cricket event ever to be held in Canada - which was staged in the Greater Toronto Area in 2001.

"Ron is an amazing organizer and leader," said author and Financial Post columnist Peter Foster, who introduced the inductee. "A lot of people have vision, but it's being able to execute that counts and that's what Ron is just fantastic at. He loves challenges, especially when the exercise of charm is involved."

International Management Event (IMG) senior vice-president Andrew Wildblood, who conceived the idea for the Sahara and DMC Cup tournaments, worked closely with Aldridge who had to convince the TCSCC membership - the majority are not cricket enthusiasts - of the financial benefits for the club.

"What we created in the mid-1990s remains unique in the history of international cricket," said Wildblood in a congratulatory e-mail to Aldridge which was read at the induction ceremony. "The Sahara Cup was the first officially sanctioned international cricket event to be played in North America and it left a genuine legacy not only for cricket in Canada by the number of grass pitches for use in the ICC Trophy tournament, but also to Toronto Cricket Club which hosted the event.

"We recognize fully the critical role you and the club played in turning a dream into a stunningly successful reality...You could not have been more supportive or productive in securing the support of a very rightly skeptical membership."

In his acceptance speech, Aldridge admitted spending a lot of time defending the use of the club's facility for cricket.

"I challenge the incoming president and general manager to ensure that we remain one of the most famous cricket clubs in the world because this is one of the best grounds anywhere and we must maintain it," said the 76-year-old Aldridge.

Clarke, an outstanding opening batsman, off-spinner and slip fielder, led TCSCC to six first division championships in the 1970s. He also captained Canada on several occasions, including the MCC's 1967 visit and tours to Jamaica in 1973 and Barbados four years later when the opposition included Rev. Wes Hall who was with Banks at the time, Charlie Griffith who played for Empire and Carlton opener Desmond Haynes.

"Tony exemplified the highest level of leadership that this club has ever seen," said friend and race horse owner, Les Pereira. "He has a fantastic knowledge of the game which allowed him to point out the weaknesses of every player on the opposing side."

Longtime Canadian cricket administrator and Share columnist Errol Townshend said Clarke is the best Canadian captain he has seen.

"Absolutely, he's the best in terms of leadership, tactics and instilling discipline," said Townshend who attended the induction and awards ceremony.

Clarke commented on how the face of the sport in Canada has changed in the last few decades with the majority of players now being of South Asian background.

"It was mostly West Indians that played the sport in my time," he said. "I have not seen one in here tonight except for the guys I knew from 30 years ago."

He said his proudest moment in the sport was when he batted with his son Patrick in England during the MCC tour, and his most satisfying and enjoyable was playing with many talented young players at Toronto Cricket Club.

As for the most emotional moment in his life, Clarke pointed to the 1969 tour of England when he walked out at Lords to open the batting against the MCC. His stay at the crease was short-lived as he was dismissed first ball leg before wicket to Middlesex left-arm seamer, Ted Clark.

TCSCC won the 2009 TDCA second division title while its Elite Division side finished sixth in the nine-team competition.

All-rounder Shaheed Keshvani, the leading run-producer in the Elite category with 458 (av. 57.25) and three centuries, won the club's batting award while medium-pacer Arsalan Qadir, who captured 21 wickets (av. 16.67) in 17 matches, secured the bowling prize. Keshvani also took 10 wickets (av. 19.60).

Bagai undergoing second MRI on knee (Share news) -- Posted Thursday, November 12 2009

Canadian cricket captain Ashish Bagai will undergo another Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test today to determine the extent of a left knee injury that has bothered him for the past year and forced him to cut short a winter stint in Sri Lanka's premier league.

The wicketkeeper/batsman underwent an MRI last month in Sri Lanka where he was playing for Ragama Cricket Club. He said doctors are yet to definitively diagnose the injury.

"I have heard that it might be something to do with either the minisculus or tendon, but I do not know for sure," Bagai said. "Hopefully, I will get a better idea after this MRI at home and we will be able to take it from there. I will prefer not to have surgery, but again I have to wait on the diagnosis to find out what's really wrong."

Bagai said he was bothered by the injury during the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier in South Africa earlier this year and again during the Intercontinental Cup and One-Day Internationals against Kenya at home last summer.

"The pain, however, really intensified and became unbearable during my first club game in Sri Lanka," Bagai added. "Right now, I can walk straight, but I am having difficulty moving sideways and climbing stairs."

Bagai quit his full-time job with the Union Bank of Switzerland in England last July to accept a central contract with Cricket Canada and prepare for the 2011 World Cup to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, his Toronto Cricket Club teammates, Anthony Pratt and Lawrence Bill, will be busy in the next two months.

Australia First Grade Player of the Year winner Pratt and Englishman Bill, who played for Hythe Cricket Club in Kent before coming to Canada last year, are running a fall winter camp for young players at Qasra Sports Complex in Etobicoke.

Pratt, who moved to Toronto last summer to join his Canadian wife, said the eight-week camp that starts on Sunday is for players between the ages of 10 and 18.

"The main aim of the two-hour sessions each Sunday is to help players improve their technique and skills," said Pratt who played for Eastern Suburbs whose members include current Australian players Nathan Bracken, David Warner and Brad Haddin. "We will use a lot of video analysis and the participants will get certificates at the end of the program on December 20. "We will also present them with several New South Wales cricket handouts that I brought over and they may find very useful."

Pratt and Bill have Level Two coaching certification.

The participating fee for the camp is $220 and interested individuals can call (289) 377-9567 for further details.

A step closer to new Brampton cricket stadium (South Asian Focus) -- Posted Thursday, November 12 2009

Wednesday November 11 2009

Toronto's historic and successful bid for the 2015 Pan American Games has cleared the way for a proposed world-class cricket stadium in Brampton.
Until now the region has only one professional international cricket facility, Maple Leaf Cricket Club Ground, some 35km north in King City.

The innovative idea of a $2 million cricket facility was conditional upon Toronto's bid being successful and Brampton had shown its willingness to fund a portion towards the construction of cost-sharing cricket stadium.

The Pan American Sports Organization last week announced the City of Toronto as the successful bidder in Guadalajara, Mexico. Toronto bagged 33 votes while its opponents Lima and Bogota received 11 and seven votes respectively.

"It's a proud moment¦ and now as Toronto has won the bid, Brampton is willing to host a cultural cricket event that will be part of the 2015 Games," Don Eastwood, Director of Economic Development, City of Brampton, told Focus.

The city officials have identified the new developing area of Castlemore Road and McVean Drive as a potential site for the $2,073,200 cricket stadium and will soon be presenting a detailed development plan for the city council consideration.

"Until now we were waiting to see whether or not the Toronto bid was successful, but now a comprehensive plan will be presented to the council in a very short order," said Eastwood.

The recommendations will involve the details about development timelines, financial aspects and process etc.

Eastwood said the cricket facility will be designed as a large scale community campus that will also include a branch library and a beautiful park.

Cricket will not be an official sport of the 2015 Games, but a part of the bid includes development of a cricket facility in Brampton for a "cricket cultural festival" and the purpose of exhibition competitions is to show how cricket can be played and create interest among the Pan American countries.

Last April Brampton released a funding formula in the ratio of 56:44 on the 2014 estimated costs.

The formula suggested Brampton would contribute an upset limit of $912,120 as 44 per cent of its proportional contribution, whereas the provincial government will fund the remaining $1,161,080.

The Bid Corporation has estimated the development cost of the venue to be $1,420,000 in 2008 - including construction and site development costs, while excluding land acquisition.

Many games such as basketball, boxing, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, racquetball and cricket are part of the bid.

Brampton will host wrestling in Powerade Centre and soccer and racquetball at venues to be determined.

The City of Mississauga will host Judo, Tae Kwon Do, artistic roller-skating and speed roller skating competitions at the Hershey Centre (5500 Rose Cherry Place) and bowling contests at Classic Bowl (3055 Dundas Street W).

In the $1.4 million bid, the Ontario and federal governments have pledged $500 million with contributions from Toronto and other municipalities.

Canada has hosted the Pan Am Games in 1967 and 1999, both in Winnipeg. The Toronto 2015 Games will take place July 10-26 followed by the Parapan American Games Aug 7-14.

The games will bring an estimated 8,000 athletes, coaches and officials, and is likely to attract more than 250,000 tourists to the GTA, generating multiple economic benefits and raising the profile of the region.

The first International Tour (the Guardian) -- Posted Wednesday, November 11 2009
Frank Keating
One tour to start them all: how English cricketers blazed a trail 150 years ago
Amid the pioneering spirit of 1859, England's finest returned unbeaten from Canada and the US to mark the start of modern international sport

Not long before midnight 150 years ago today, 11 November 1859, the very first overseas tour by a group of sportsmen came to an end when the dozen professionals representing the cream of English cricket disembarked from the passenger wharf at Liverpool after an uncomfortable, not to say perilous – they were driven aground at the entrance to the Mersey – Atlantic crossing aboard the steamship North Briton.

They had left the same port just over two months before. After a similarly hairy journey west through the icebergs to Quebec, between 24 September at Montreal and 21 October at New York – travelling via Niagara and Philadelphia by rail, river and stage – the touring XI had played five matches against local sides of XXII and handsomely won them all amid, apparently, fevered local excitement ("Immense crowds. All eager to see us").
Full article

North Albion C.I. and Smithfield Middle School triumph at Double Wicket Student Challenge -- Posted Tuesday, November 10 2009
Voice of Toronto

Monday, November 9, 2009

Students from eight North Etobicoke schools played a fast and entertaining round robin at the Double Wicket Student Challenge sponsored by Scotiabank and Black Diamond and hosted by the City of Toronto and Humber College.

Teams from Kipling, Thistletown (TCI), North Albion (NACI), West Humber and Weston CI played a variation of Double Wicket (four-Overs) cricket matches leading to a final match between TCI and NACI in which NACI triumphed 12 to 10, winning by two runs at the end of the day.

Students from Dixon Grove and North Kipling Junior Middle Schools and Smithfield Middle School played a preliminary round and a semi-final round, before the teams from Smithfield (Team 2) and North Kipling competed in the final round where Smithfield (Team 2) reigned victorious 20 to 19, winning by one run.

A donation will be made in the names of NACI and Smithfield (Team 2) to help build the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground.

The Double Wicket Student Challenge was organized to provide students from North Etobicoke with the opportunity to play cricket at a premier venue, and compete for the opportunity to make a donation in the name of their school to the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground, which is planned for Kipling and Steeles.

“Parmalat Canada and its employees are proud to support and contribute to our communities. With our head office in Etobicoke, we were thrilled to be able to lend a hand to build the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground,” said Scott Goodman, Vice President, Human Resources at Parmalat Canada, makers of Black Diamond Cheese.

“The enthusiasm of these students reaffirms my belief that building a cricket ground in Thackeray Park is the right thing to do. It will provide a permanent venue for everyone who played here today and for up and coming cricket players. Equally important, it will give members of the community a place to connect over their common passion for cricket,” said Councillor Suzan Hall (Ward 1 Etobicoke North).

About a third of the Thackeray Park community considers cricket to be part of their cultural heritage. Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.

“Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad,” said Rania Llewellyn, Vice President, Multicultural Banking, Scotiabank. “We look forward to continuing our support of cricket in communities and schools across Canada. Internationally, Scotiabank has been the Official Bank of the West Indies Cricket Board for more than 10 years, and is the exclusive sponsor of Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket in the West Indies.”

The new Thackeray Park Cricket Ground will be dedicated for playing cricket, with priority access for children and youth, and will feature ICC regulation in-field and turf pitches, as well as on-site parking and seating for 300. Developed in consultation with community leaders and other stakeholders, the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground will transform an existing clean landfill site into a green and vibrant community space.

“Humber is deeply committed to supporting local organizations and initiatives. We’re proud to host today’s event in celebration of our community’s diversity, culture and achievement. We congratulate these students on their efforts to bring a cricket ground to the Etobicoke community and hope the new ground is a strong base for local events and activities,” said John Davies, President, Humber College.

City of Toronto hosts Double Wicket Student Challenge this Friday -- Posted Thursday, November 5 2009
November 4, 2009

City of Toronto hosts Double Wicket Student Challenge cricket matches at Humber College to promote awareness for the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground

Sponsored by Scotiabank and Black Diamond and hosted by the City of Toronto and Humber College, the Double Wicket Student Challenge will provide students from eight North Etobicoke schools, with the
opportunity to play a round robin of fast and entertaining cricket for the honour of having a donation to the Thackeray Park Cricket Ground made in their school’s name.

Date: Friday, November 6, 2009
Semi Finals and Finals: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Humber College Gymnasium
205 Humber College Blvd.
(west off Hwy 27, south of Finch Ave. West), Parking lot 9, Toronto
Cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in the City of Toronto. With the help of the Partnership Opportunity Legacy fund, donations from individuals and corporations, and events like the Double Wicket Student Challenge, the City of Toronto will build a brand new space dedicated for cricket at Thackeray Park in North Etobicoke.
For information about the Thackeray Cricket Grounds visit:

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is
dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Private BC Cricket Academy starts up -- Posted Tuesday, November 3 2009
Champ Cricket Academy

It's with great pleasure that we announce the opening of a new cricket
academy located in British Columbia. Located at Unit 105, 12940 80th Ave,
Surrey, BC (within the Newton Sports Centre) the 'Champ Cricket Academy'
will hold weekly training sessions targeted at various age groups. Sessions
will be run by ECB Level III Coach, Shaun Miller.

Upcoming programs to include High Performance, Ladies Sessions, Beginners,
One on One, Club Sessions, etc. Video analysis will be available at the

Schools are also invited to involve cricket within their PE curriculum and
coaches can either visit the schools or students can experience hard ball
cricket at the academy. In the New Year we are hoping to offer Coach
Education courses and INDOOR cricket matches.

Cricket equipment will be on sale. The academy shop will carry all the major
cricket brands, with lots of kids equipment and help available.

For further details and times please contact Shaun Miller on 778 997 3324 or
email @

Alternatively please call the academy on 604 507 0669

All introduction sessions on November 10th will be FREE OF CHARGE. Numbers are limited.
Under 12's Boys and Girls - Tuesday 3.15 - 4.15pm

Under 15's Boy's and Girl's -Tuesday 4.30 - 5.30pm

Open Age Batting Sessions - Tuesday 7 - 8pm

Contact 778 997 3324 or

Cricket Canada statement on Scotiabank relationship -- Posted Tuesday, November 3 2009
Cricket Canada Media Release
3 November 2009
Cricket Canada wishes to clarify the current relationship between Cricket Canada and Scotiabank. On October 30, 2009 Scotiabank informed Cricket Canada that they would not renew the current agreement between the two parties. Cricket Canada would like to thank Scotiabank for their support over the past 2 years and looks forward to developing a further relationship in the near future.

Over the past 2 years Cricket Canada had reached unprecedented success qualifying both for the 2011 Cricket World Cup as well as the 2010 Under 19 Cricket World Cup. Additionally both the women's and u15 teams have won the ICC America's championships and the women's team is now looking forward to the World Cup Qualification cycle that begins in 2010.

Canada has successfully hosted a global world cup qualification event (the second largest event in the history of Canadian Cricket) in 2009 and is in discussions to host further events in the coming years. Schools cricket is reaching over 150 schools through the Cricket Canada schools program and several new schools have already signed up for 2010.

Installation of turf wickets are being planned nationwide, as are several infrastructure and development programs in all 9-member provinces. This includes progress on permanent training facilities for the national team and discussions on a stadium ground for the country.

Internationally Cricket Canada is in discussions with both full member boards and international corporations regarding partnerships and sponsorships. Both the men's and Under 19 teams are well into preparations for an exciting 2010 calendar year. More details regarding the 2010 calendar year will be released shortly.

As 2010 begins, the new Cricket Canada website will launch promising a renewed web presence as well as a digital age fan experience for Canadian home series. The new website will include a new CC web store allowing our supporters to purchase CC branded merchandise and an inside look at the senior team as they prepare for 2011.

All programs under the auspices of Cricket Canada remain unaffected and will continue through to the end of 2009 and beyond. Cricket Canada continues to meet its challenges with a renewed sense of hope and strength.

Sticky wicket for Cricket Canada (Toronto Star) -- Posted Tuesday, November 3 2009
Sticky wicket for Cricket Canada as sponsorship deal falls apart

Scotiabank to pull out of agreement at year's end

By Faraz Sarwat

Canadian cricket has taken a big hit in the wallet with the news that Scotiabank, the chief national sponsor of Cricket Canada, will be ceasing its association with the organization at the end of the year.

It was only in 2008 that Scotiabank signed a three-year sponsorship agreement worth $650,000 with Cricket Canada, an organization that historically has struggled to secure major sponsorships. Scotiabank's commitment represented between 25 per cent and 35 per cent of Cricket Canada's funding.

Scotiabank has not commented publicly on the issue and interim Cricket Canada president Ranjit Saini said he was told that the sponsor had no intention of making any statement.

"As far as we are concerned, we are still under sponsorship and there is nothing to prevent us from signing a new agreement with Scotiabank for next year," said Saini.

Cricket Canada is also set to receive the full $135,000 that Scotiabank had earmarked for the current year. The International Cricket Council also continues to fund Cricket Canada operations.

Early signs in the partnership with Scotiabank were promising, with a national Twenty20 championship in May 2008, held at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club grounds in King City. That summer, Canada played host to the West Indies and Bermuda in a three-nation ODI tournament, and a great year for Canadian cricket was capped off by a four-nation Twenty20 tournament on Thanksgiving weekend, in which Canada played alongside full-member ICC teams Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

In early January, however, the man responsible for securing the sponsorship, Atul Ahuja, was fired as CEO over differences with the Cricket Canada board. Matters were not helped when president Ben Sennik resigned in May.

Ahuja's replacement, Chandra Gocool, only came aboard this past September and Saini has found himself in the unenviable position of having to defend the lack of cricket in Canada over the summer – no national championship and no tournaments involving a major team, in contrast to the year before.

"Cricket Canada accepts that Scotiabank had legitimate concerns with the departures from our organization of key people and that our progress was stalled by political issues," said Saini, "but in the end our view is that our product, Canadian cricket, is good and that the level of concern that Scotiabank had was abnormal," said Saini.

Saini is optimistic that Cricket Canada will sort out its sponsorship issues in due course.

"It would be a privilege for any organization to be associated with us. We operate on a shoestring budget, we're staffed by volunteers and yet we're able to put our national teams in World Cups. ... With the 2011 World Cup around the corner, we're already being approached by international companies looking to be associated with us."

Shaheed Keshvani blogs for Cricket Canada -- Posted Tuesday, November 3 2009
Island Slang – Making the Cut

After completing a whirlwind year where he excelled in the T&DCA's elite division and made his debut for Canada, Shaheed Keshvani headed to Sri Lanka to start training ahead of Canada's busy 2011 Calendar year. Shaheed blogs from Colombo where he and other national team members are playing in Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket season and training with some of the countries best coaches. Shaheed is on the cusp of making Tamil Union’s 15 man top squad as they compete in the domestic 3 day and 1 day competitions. His blog can be read weekly on

October 30, 2009 – Toronto/Dubai/Colombo

So it starts……..the experience of a lifetime. As I boarded the emirates airbus, I looked around to find my teammate Henry but he was nowhere to be found. I started staring at the front of the aircraft and watched as people starting flowing in to this hotel with wings. The airbus in case you didn’t know has two floors and is absolutely enormous. I knew that Henry had the seat beside me so as I started to think about what sort of prank I could play on him….bang! I started to laugh as I saw Henry rubbing the top of his head. He smacked it off the top of the entrance to the aircraft but it didn’t seem to stop his grin, it was ear to ear and I knew then that he was just as excited as me to be leaving.

We had a 13 hour flight ahead of us not to mention the 9 hour wait in Dubai airport and eventually the 4 hour flight to our destination……Colombo. We shared stories and really got to know one another over the 2 days we spent travelling. I am not sure if I remember too much because our cokes were apparently spiked with rum. Nevertheless, I felt like I got to understand my teammate a lot more and we became even better friends, which is what cricket is all about. I asked a lot of questions because Henry had been in Colombo with the Canadian team in February. He informed me that boot camp style training awaited us in the form of a gentleman named Chandrashan, who in fact played a huge role in getting our boys, fit enough to qualify for the world cup in 2011. I was really keen to get going at that point because I know how much it helped our boys get to the next level. I looked outside and noticed that the sun was coming out and we were just 2 hours away from the airport in Colombo. As we walked off the plane towards immigration, I asked Henry if he knew who was supposed to be picking us up. He said, “hakuna matata” which means no worries in Swahili so I said, “no further questions”.

As we picked up our bags and walked outside we stopped at the exchange bureau and picked up some “loose change”. I felt the heat hit me like a beamer in the box, it was all in my throat and we were sweating bullets. We looked left and looked right and as the porters tried desperately to grab our bags I noticed a guy with a sign that said Mr. H and Mr. Zaheem. I knew right away that was our man, it was just a hunch because I am used to having my name pronounced wrong….ahhhh Zahid, Shareed, Rasheed whatever. My nickname in the cricket scene nowadays is “Shady”, and for those that know me, know it has nothing to do with my character……haha. Anyways, we stepped in to the car and our man took us on the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime. I was in the back clinging to dear life as trucks, bikes, cars and pedestrians were centimetres away from actually being in our car. It was the scariest ride of my life. The island looked beautiful and thought about how lucky I was to become a part of a new culture. We drove through stop checks and eventually entered the gates of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

As soon as we stepped out of the car we were greeted with a fresh juice and as many genuine smiles that one could imagine. We went straight to our room with our bags behind us and as I entered the room I saw the pool and beautiful pond full of fish. I was in a dream land until I heard the voice of another teammate of mine, Harvir Baidwan. For those that know Harvir, know he has the highest pitch laugh of all time. Anyways, I was particularly happy to greet him and congratulate him on his success in the first class circuit with Colts Cricket Club. I always enjoy the success of my teammates; he plays for the Toronto Cricket Club as well as the national team with me.

So it is now Thursday and I just got back from a morning session at my new club, Tamil Union. Yesterday was my first day of training and it just so happened to be during the game between Tamil Union Cricket Club and Nondescripts Cricket Club. So as Henry and I walked in to the oval it was about 11am and we immediately ran in to the assistant coach of Tamil Union, Trishan Nonis. He introduced us to the trainer; unfortunately his name is too long for me to write so let’s just call him “mali” which of course means friend or brother. Mali said “you change fast and we do fitness session”. I was really keen so I put my shoes on and ran out there with a point to prove. Ten minutes later I was drenched in sweat and chugging my bottle of Gatorade. I knew then that these guys meant business so off I went sprints, jumps, ladder drills, abs, and stretches. After that the trainer said, “Feeling warm?” I looked at Henry who looked liked an NBA player; you know how they are always dripping with sweat. Anyways his body language gave me no encouragement so I kept going and just when I felt like puking… I saw in the dressing room a legend, I mean the legend of all legends, and it was Murali! He was playing for Tamil Union who was batting at the time, I nodded as if I wasn’t too impressed but inside I was like oh my god he just acknowledged me. That gave me another boost of energy and I finished off the fitness session well. After that we went to the pool and cooled down with some stretches as we watched the game.

Tamils scored 259 which was a decent score but Nondescripts had a star of their own, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakarra. I headed to the nets to get my first hit out of the way but it was really hard to concentrate because the 2nd innings started with the fall of three early wickets and it seemed as thought the game was in the bag, obviously because Murali was still to bowl. The problem was the Sri Lankan captain was still at the crease. I batted for about an hour, I hit the machine first and then I batted as Henry and the Tamil Union bowlers charged in at me with good pace and bounce. When I was done Sangakarra and his partner had put on about 110 runs, they were cruising along well so it was game on. Sangakarra smashed Murali to all parts, he read him like a book. Murali had gone for about seven runs an over and the feeling in the ground was now miserable. So with seven overs left, five runs per over required and five wickets in hand, the Tamil captain had to bring Murali back. The left hander Sangakarra was set on 102 and instead of giving him the single, the skipper decided to bring in the sweeper cover. I was sitting with the boys in the camp and I thought to myself why not give him one and let Murali bowl to the other guy. First ball of the over Sangakarra tried an extremely unnecessary reverse sweep and took a top edge…..out! With the momentum now the Tamils went to their main pace bowler, Lakmal. He bowled quickly, the ball was reversing and he took two wickets in one over. The clouds became dark and the lightning struck, Mr. Duckworth and Mr. Lewis decided to take the game in their hands and Tamil Union won.

The happiest person in the ground was little Murali, I mean Murali’s son. He is five years old and as soon as the game was done Murali walked straight to him and grabbed the mini stumps and bat. Little Murali was fully padded up already with his helmet on and bat in hand. He shouted, “Apa, APa, bowl to me!” Murali with that bright smile of his couldn’t be bothered with media, fans, even his teammates, respectfully. I thought it was the cutest thing I have ever seen and I really wish I had my camera. So as he hit the ball, little Murali was convinced he was Indian captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni. I guess he can pick Murali as well because he smashed that tennis ball to all parts with his elbows up, it was just magical. It reminded me of the days when my Father used to bowl at me as a kid only I wasn’t dealing with doosra”s. Well this pretty much sums up week 1 and if this is just the beginning…………….

Scotiabank pulls out backing for Cricket Canada (South Asian focus) -- Posted Sunday, November 1 2009
Scotiabank pulls out backing for Cricket Canada, apex body faces fresh turmoil
By NOUMAN KHALIL, Staff Writer
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Cricket Canada is facing fresh turmoil as its sole major sponsor Scotiabank has prematurely pulled out of its three-year contract.

Cricket Canada’s unsatisfactory performance is said to be the main reason behind the termination of the $650,000 three-year agreement, due to have expired December 2011.

The bank was the first major corporate sponsor for Cricket Canada. It has now pulled out after a mere 10 months.

In an official letter dated Oct 29, 2009, Scotiabank’s Administrative Associate Brian Cooper notified the newly-appointed Cricket Canada CEO Chandra Gocool that the bank has decided not to renew its sponsorship.

“After careful review and analysis of the cost/benefit, the various program deliverables, Cricket Canada’s internal/public challenges, and its future direction, Scotiabank has, as per its rights in the agreement, decided not to renew its sponsorship with Cricket Canada, going forward,” Cooper said in the letter.

“We will in the spirit of the agreement (without prejudice) forward to your organization the remaining balance ($65,000) of the total 2009 sponsorship fee ($130,000),” the letter added.

“Scotiabank wishes Cricket Canada the best in all its future endeavors,” it concluded.

But ‘future endeavors’ may now prove a challenge with no funding on the horizon, critics pointed out.

As per the three-year $650,000 agreement, the bank had committed to provide $130,000 for the first year (2009), and the remaining $520,000 over the next two years by December 2011.

Scotiabank had become the official sponsor of Cricket Canada at the time its affairs were being managed by former Chief Executive Officer Atul Ahuja.

Ahuja was unceremoniously fired early this year.

Ahuja’s removal, former first vice president Mike Kendall’s resignation, and then a pressure group’s actions that forced former president Ben Sennik to ‘retire’ were some of the upheavals Canada’s premier cricket organization faced this year, inviting widespread censure from various quarters.

Even four months after Sennik vacated the top post, critics have pointed out Cricket Canada has failed to elect its new president, with Ranjit Saini acting only as interim president. A fresh CEO has also been appointed only now, a full seven months after the previous CEO was shown the door.

Critics have also pointed out there has been hardly any cricket played this year, either domestic or international.

Asked about the after-affects of the pullout, Mike Kendall, who is still a member of the board, told Focus: “It (termination of the contract) will badly, badly affect the cricket in Canada.

“Its major funding is now out of the system and a lot of programs like domestic tournaments, international tours, team’s improving programs — all will be put on hold,” said Kendall.

A Cricket Canada source also told Focus, on condition of anonymity: “We were expecting it, keeping in view our poor performance at Cricket Canada.

“See… there wasn’t enough cricket in or outside Canada, our performance was not good. They (sponsors) want to see results, which Cricket Canada couldn’t show,” the source added.

An official comment from Scotiabank was awaited at the time of going to press.