March 2010

Cricket at Ryerson (Eyeopener) -- Posted Wednesday, March 17 2010
Written by Anthony Lopopolo -

For the last two semesters, Ryerson's cricket team has packed Kerr Hall's Upper Gym to practice regularly. But now, the only sound that's coming from their old athletic space is the bounce of basketballs. Their gym time is gone. They lost their place.

"It's sad to see (the equipment) sit there in the storage room and collect dust, but we've given them all these avenues," Randy Pipher, the intramural co-ordinator at Sports and Recreation.

"From what I hear, there's a huge outpouring of cricket interest among the campus and community, but when it comes to setting something organized, the interest falls off."

While Ryerson's campus is full of diversity, the platter of available athletic programs is not. And now with Maple Leaf Gardens slated to open in March 2011, Ryerson sports have a chance to be reborn.

But Ivan Joseph, the director of athletics, said the problem does not lie with the university.

"Who would you play? You'd need other universities to compete against and that's the problem," he said. "You have to look at how many athletic directors out there have an international background. The universities are generally traditional in what they offer and stick to what they know."

A survey authorized by the Association for Canadian Studies found 28 per cent of respondents believe soccer will overtake hockey as the No. 1 sport in Canada. The results of the survey show how the Canadian sporting mindset is shifting towards an international flavor.

After failing to organize cricket at the intramural level, Sports and Recreation purchased an indoor cricket mat, wickets and bats for recreational play. Cricket players have flocked to Kerr Hall Upper Gym the past two semesters, but practices were cancelled for the winter session. Faisal Hussain was the cricket co-ordinator for Ryerson last year as they hosted the school's first-ever tournament. But after he left the post, he watched the sport die — along with players' interest.

"We got lazy. We don't practice anymore. People couldn't meet at the practice hours which used to be on Mondays and Fridays. Cricket was squeezed out by Sports and Rec and now they've given our time to basketball," he said.

In September, the rugby club shut down after three years of dogged promotion across campus. It was the brainchild of former manager Ryan Stratton, now a Ryerson graduate. He was unable to round up players who simply won't commit.

"Everyone has to be enthusiastic and get to pub nights so people know that [the rugby club] actually exists," he said.

"That's on us. We could have gotten more numbers and have a larger commitment from the players."

He blamed Sports and Recreation for its lack of communication with potential rugby players. But according to Pipher, the department's job starts and ends at helping to manage a budget, designating gym space and other paperwork.

"We gave rugby as much of a chance as any other club," said Pipher.

"Obviously, there were a lot of issues over fields and the number of people actually showing up. For rugby, no one showed up other than the six or seven people who paid [the small membership fee]."

But there is still hope. Ontario University Athletics is looking at a new tier model which would offer one-off championship tournaments for fringe sports like cricket and could help emerging clubs.

"There are several schools in the GTA that play cricket. Instead of having a league, there could be a cricket tournament," Joseph said.

"All of a sudden you have an OUA sport. I think that will change what sports are offered."

Omni TV covers cricket for Haiti -- Posted Monday, March 15 2010
Omni TV covered the city-wide launch of the the LSM Insurance Cricket for Haiti.

Please scroll to 40 mins 21 secs to see the coverage

On a barren field at the top of Toronto, a pitch for something new (National Post) -- Posted Sunday, March 14 2010
By Natalie Alcoba, National Post

Follow Kipling Avenue to the top of the city, and just beyond, and you’ll find yourself in a barren field framed by hydro towers and hulking high rises. There’s not a whisper of the cricket fandom that will descend upon it; the ground is still frozen.

But come spring, the earth will move, the sod will roll out, and the bleachers will rise. Then it’s up to the youngsters. And the adults. And this whole cricket-loving community that has pitched in to build the top line Thackeray Park cricket pitch, only the second in the city.

Cricket in Toronto? Some call it the fastest growing sport in the city. Like soccer before it, the dynamic waves of immigrants settling here continue to transform the playing field, challenging anew the notion that this is a hockey town. To be sure, the recent debate over ice allocation at city arenas underscores how hockey remains supreme in some quarters, but in Scarborough, enrollment is plummeting. And in Councillor Suzan Hall’s North Etobicoke ward, teens are lining up to try out for high school cricket. “As the population changes, the strong interest in any particular sport changes,” Ms. Hall said yesterday.

North Etobicoke’s large South Asian and Caribbean population provides fertile ground for cricket to expand, and local heroes to shine. Take Akash Shah, a 17-year-old cricket phenom at North Albion Collegiate Institute, who traveled to England as part of the Mayor’s 2008 “Cricket Across the Pond” team. The program took 14 youth to practice and play against U.K. teams. Akash and his family moved from India, the land of countless cricket pitches, four years ago, and he did not even consider the sport an option in Canada.

Now he regularly suits up with his pals and anxiously awaits the opening of Thackeray Park’s cricket pitch, which generated lively debate at city council this week, on 3.7 acres donated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

“The pitch itself is a great idea, and having it here too, because there are so many people moving in every day,” said Akash. “Young guys like us are being exposed to the sport we love back home.”

North Albion coach Ammer Askary has witnessed a surge of enthusiasm for a sport that dominated his Pakistani household, even if his heart always belonged to basketball. North Albion has seven or eight teams a year, indoor and outdoor, and he’s been called on to explain the basics to schools like Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, in the Kingsway area. “Cricket is where it’s at in [North Etobicoke]” he said. Akash’s trip overseas is “when kids started noticing that cricket can take you places.”

It was about two years ago when Fred Morgan, president of the Elmbank Sports Club, turned to Ms. Hall and asked her about a pitch. So, when the city earmarked $200,000 to build a sports ground for the Jamestown-Rexdale community, a ‘‘priority’’ neighbourhood that grapples with crime, poverty and unemployment, the choice of sports was easy.

“There were questions about whether there would be interest in the community and I said that wasn’t going to be a problem,” chuckled Ms. Hall. Her pride is clear when she talks about the $76,000 community-raised funds - $50,000 from police, $10,000 from the Ontario Cricket Association, $5,000 from a huge gospel concert organized by a local church, another $5,000 from a tournament. Hundreds more have come from barbecues. “You have to realize, I do not live in a wealthy community,” said Ms. Hall.

The city is contributing $600,000 for the first phase, which is slated to start construction this spring, and could be open for play by the end of the summer. (Another $350,000 will be spent to connect sewers for water fountains and toilets in the second phase, a plan that received vocal opposition from some councillors this week, who said the money should come out of the priority neighbourhood pot, not a water budget surplus).

“It will uplift the community,” said Mr. Morgan, who played cricket as a boy in his native Jamaica.

Mike Kendall, president of the Ontario Cricket Association, says Toronto’s changing demographics contribute to the resurgence of a sport that was once at the national fore. In the GTA, league enrollment has nearly tripled in five years (although at 5,000 players, cricket doesn’t hold a candle to more than 35,000 hockey players across the GTA), and that does not count the 1,000 Ontario schools that have introduced the sport. A shorter game that wraps up in three hours (instead of five days) has contributed to increasing popularity.

“We just don’t have enough grounds to cover all the teams that have come up,” said Mr. Kendall, who is talking with the city about converting lonely baseball diamonds into cricket grounds.

There is not enough land available to make Thackeray Park meet international pitch size, but it will be natural turf, critical for a game that relies on a delicate field.

“That the city of Toronto actually cared to put so much money into building it” says a lot, says Akash Shah. “It’s more so for the people, helping them out to love the community that they live in.”

Read more:

Need for cricket pitch in Malvern area grows with sport's popularity (Inside Toronto) -- Posted Sunday, March 14 2010

While most baseball diamonds across the city continue to remain dormant during the last days of winter, one prematurely de-thawed on Sunday, March 7, morning when a group of cricket players took to the field.
About two-dozen young men shrugged off the fact that the mucky field behind the Malvern Community Centre remained littered with clumps of snow and ice.

They also weren't hindered by playing on the gravel diamond, which they easily jerry-rigged into a cricket pitch.

And with the temperature just barely hovering above zero, perhaps it wasn't the most ideal day to play an outdoor game of cricket. But that's OK, because these players were kept warm by their passion for the game.

Team captain Ahmad Saleem, 18, shares that passion.

The university student says he often has to travel out of town just to play the game he loves, sometimes as far north as King City. Obviously he would prefer to play closer to home, and would like to see a proper outdoor cricket pitch built in the Malvern community.

"The sport is definitely growing here," he said. "Every year I see more and more kids playing."

This mind-set is shared with hundreds of other community members, especially those of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent living in the Malvern area, said Thiva Paramsothy, who is the project co-ordinator with Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC).

Launched in 2005 by the United Way, ANC was initially a two-year project that assessed how neighbourhoods could be revitalized and improved through local solutions, using local resources.

Malvern, along with a dozen other Toronto neighbourhoods were selected for this mission, and even though the project officially ended in 2007, neighbourhoods are continuing to explore ways to better their communities.

Paramsothy says one of the things the Malvern community identified was the growing passion its members had for cricket, so an initiative was formed to help create an outdoor cricket pitch.

"We asked ourselves how we could really reflect this community," he said, adding that cricket is the national sport in the country of origin for several community members.

Over the past four weeks, a cricket tournament has been held at the Malvern Rec Centre, and Paramsothy says the great turnout only proves how passionate the people of Malvern are about bringing a pitch to the neighbourhood.

"The short-term goal of this initiative is the recreational component," he said. "But ultimately we want to engage newcomers, families and kids with this program. It's a relatively inexpensive sport, and it's easy to learn how to play."

Paramsothy said he has also noticed a significant amount of females showing interest in the sport, like 27-year-old Jaqruti Joshi, who feels a void in her life since moving to Canada from India back in September.

"When I came here, I couldn't find anywhere to play," she said, adding that she would love to have more opportunities to play cricket in her neighbourhood.

Scarborough-Rouge River Councillor Raymond Cho says he would like to see a cricket pitch brought to the Malvern community.

"There's no doubt the need is high," he said, adding that the proper steps must be taken to do so.

He said he's hesitant to convert an existing green space or baseball diamond into a pitch.

"There needs to be an accurate assessment," he said, adding that money will be an issue and that he doesn't want to take away space used by other recreational groups.

Cho recently voted against the creation of a pitch in a hydro field in Northern Etobicoke, reasoning that "the cost wasn't manageable."

For that project, the city will spend $600,000 for the first phase of construction, with another $350,000 earmarked to connect water fountains and toilets to the sewer system.

Paramsothy says the cost of building the pitch is important, but added very little would have to be done to convert an existing space, and that any money spent on the project would be a worthwhile investment.

"Having a cricket pitch could really serve as a catalyst for more positive attention," he said. "This is a chance for more young people to be involved in the community."

Saleem couldn't agree more.

"It's not the price we should focus on, but the passion."

Maple Leaf Cricket Club faces financial crisis (South Asian focus) -- Posted Thursday, March 11 2010

Wednesday March 10 2010

A mysterious shortage of funds has put the Maple Leaf Cricket Club at Kings City - the home of cricket in North America - in severe financial crisis.
Experts fear that if not tackled immediately, it will be difficult for officials to host any tournament this year, and elite and national players will greatly compromise their ability to perform in the international arena.

The crisis details surfaced when Pandit Basdeo Maharaj, President of MLCC, asked the Ontario Cricket Association to sponsor soiling for the pitches before the season begins.

The details revealed Maharaj has taken personal loans for the club and has already spent about $30,000 from his own pocket for staff salaries, maintenance, bills and other expenses.

Reliable sources informed Focus that as many as 40 bank cheques along with counterfoils are also missing and there is no record of those cheques in the account books.

Talking to Focus, Maharaj confirmed that some bank cheques and counterfoils are missing and an auditor, currently investigating, will soon release his report.

He said the club is accountable to the public and, if people demand, the club can open books for those years.

The funds shortage remains a mystery for cricketing officials across Canada as to how the club - which has recently hosted big money-spinning tournaments like Al-Barakah Twenty20 World Cup and Scotiabank Tri-series in 2008 - is in crisis.

"I'm shocked to know this because my various initiatives in 2008 yielded approximately $600,000 to $700,000 for Canadian cricket in direct revenues. Of this more than $125,000 were generated for MLCC... how come it is in debt?" asked Atul Ahuja, former CEO of Cricket Canada.

In the year 2008, MLCC hosted Scotiabank National Championship, the Intercontinental Cup and One-Day Series with Scotland and Bermuda, Scotiabank Tri-series between Canada, Bemuda and West Indies, and the Al-Barakah Twenty20 Quadrangular between Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Canada.

During those international tournaments a large amount of cash was also collected by the club as gate money and car parking, in addition to retail sales of food and beverages etc.

'Not enough to start the year'

Maharaj said: "When I took over in April 2009, there weren't enough funds in the club to start off the year.

"From my own pocket I have spent approximately $30,000. I have taken some $25,000 personal loans and spent around $5,000 for purchases throughout the year, " said Maharaj.

According to Mike Kendal, president of OCA, the governing body of cricket in Ontario has also spent $270,000 in 2007-08 towards improvement of the facility, maintenance of grounds and the club house, etc.

When asked, Ranjit Saini, the then president of MLCC (2007-08) and current interim president of Cricket Canada, said: "When I left, MLCC was over $20,000 surplus in its books.

"As of today Cricket Canada has not received any request that MLCC has a cash shortage so there should be no crisis at Maple Leaf."

About the OCA's $270,000 spending, Saini said: "OCA itself spent $270,000 in 2006, and for tournaments like T20 and Tri-series, they (OCA) actually declined funding.

"Maple Leaf spent some $97,000 for infrastructure expansions and improvements by borrowing money from board directors and Toronto District Cricket Association, and then paid off that amount after the tournaments."

However, Maharaj said he is committed to upholding the accountability and integrity of the club, and will give his best efforts to uphold the image of Maple Leaf Cricket Club.

"I guarantee that once I am there, cricket will be played in any circumstances," said Maharaj.

Cricket Canada AGM in Calgary, March 19-21 -- Posted Tuesday, March 9 2010
Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Cricket Canada (AGM) will be held on March 20th and 21st, 2010 at the Acclaim Hotel in Calgary, Alberta.

Prior to the AGM on March 19th, 2010, a special annual general meeting (SAGM) will be convened to deal with the revised constitution and the selection policy.

Cricket Alberta has kindly offered to host these two events and Cricket Canada is appreciative of their cooperation and support.

Other key agenda items for discussion and approval the AGM is the sponsorship strategy, the Under 19 Cricket World Cup hosting and the development of a quadrennial strategic plan.

The cricket community is encouraged to provide their best ideas and advice through their respective provincial directors on the revised constitution, selection policy, sponsorship strategy and strategic planning. Draft versions of these documents will be sent to each provincial director.

The complete agenda for the SAGM/AGM will be posted on our website in the coming days.

Ian Pont on coaching in Canada -- Posted Tuesday, March 9 2010
1. Can you please tell us about yourself? Playing career, Coaching career etc.

I played 47 professional matches for 3 first-class teams - county teams Notts, Essex & Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa. I signed pro terms as a batsman initially and then developed into a fast bowler. I have the second longest cricket ball throw of all time (138 yards) and during the 1980's I had tryouts as a pitcher with 6 MLB teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays! I have been coaching for more than 15 years and have written two books: The Fast Bowler's Bible, and Coaching Youth Cricket. I have been fortunate to work with an 'unknown' Dale Steyn, Darren Gough, Shoaib Akhtar plus many other internationals during spells as a coach with Worcestershire, Essex and Northants. I was assistant head coach for the Netherlands at the 2007 World Cup. Players come to me privately for coaching and I run workshops and academies in various countries. I currently hold the ECB Level 3 Head Coach badge. My own coaching business, MCI (Mavericks Cricket Institute) is designed to help develop talented players across all disciplines.

2. Will this be your first time conducting a camp in Canada?

I have never been to Canada to coach before so it will be great to see the talent you guys have.

3. What are your expectations/goals for this camp?

I don't usually have any pre-conceived ideas of what to expect as I do not know who is coming to the camps. So I tend to work within player's abilities and try to crank things up as necessary. I would hope that everyone who comes will learn a great deal because giving information may suit some people and not others so a good coach needs to keep bringing fresh ideas for all involved.

4. You have worked with cricketers all over the world. What do you think it takes mentally, physically, emotionally to be a successful player?

Well the most IMPORTANT thing is to have a great technique. It is vital that a player has the skill levels needed to be a success. Other things are important to support this such as belief, passion, what's in your heart, being fit etc etc., but you cannot escape the fact that players need a great understanding of what they are doing (technique) before they can be a long-term success. How you apply that skill is also relevant. Desire takes you a long way, too. However, it's hard to be great if you haven't got the skill to be great. The good news is you can learn skill!

5. What should the players who attend this camp expect to learn? What do you hope they take out of this experience?

I would hope that any cricketer seeking more knowledge will come along and try new things. Often a player hears the same old information delivered in the same old way. That doesn't mean that information is wrong, but learning requires an interesting environment where a player can enjoy what they are doing. I treat all players as wanna be professionals so they get the 'good stuff' from the get go.

6. What are you expecting of and from the players attending this camp?

All I ever hope is that player comes with an open mind. Small keys open big locks so sometimes just one thing can help completely change a player for the good. If a player is prepared to meet me half way on new ideas, I am prepared to help them all the way. Any elite development coach will tell you that a player who wants to learn is a joy to work with. I would hope the attendees have this great mindset.

Selection stalls Canada's progress (CricInfo) -- Posted Saturday, March 6 2010

They're among the most talented and promising of the Associate teams, but the lack of a coherent selection policy is hurting them plenty
Faraz Sarwat
March 6, 2010

In late January a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Canadian team embarked for Sri Lanka to play some warm-up matches ahead of the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE, which were to be followed by two ODIs and a four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan. One month, 13 matches, 11 losses and 22 players later, Canadian cricket finds itself stuck in the mud yet again, directionless and unsure of itself.

As the man in charge of the High Performance Program at Cricket Canada, the team's poor display has hit Ravin Moorthy particularly hard. "There's no doubt that this has set us back. We need to now have a review and an honest assessment of what went wrong. The scope of the failure, the way we lost to Kenya and UAE was unacceptable. And after scoring 566 in the first innings against Afghanistan, there's no excuse for losing the Intercontinental Cup match. There will need to be changes and everything is on the table".

This is as forthright an appraisal as has ever come out of Cricket Canada, an organisation that typically appears gleefully oblivious of what is really happening in its midst. With the World Cup a year away it is unlikely that the coach or captain will be changed, but team selection will undoubtedly come under the microscope.

In 2008 the ICC expressed concern to Cricket Canada over the fact that 30-odd players had represented Canada that year. Cricket Canada went on to take steps to address the issue, by identifying a core group of players, offering them central contracts and appointing as captain the wicketkeeper and frontline batsman Ashish Bagai. But those positive steps now seem for nought, with 22 players having taken the field for Canada in the 13 matches played between January 23 and February 23 of this year. The unsettled batting order from match to match screamed of chaotic, off-the-cuff decision-making. Hiral Patel went from opening the batting to coming in at No. 11 in a matter of days. Other top-order batsmen like Ramesh David and Usman Limbada also found themselves pencilled in at Nos. 10 and 11.

Besides the sheer number of players turning out for the side, a further sign of regression is the resurfacing of the old debate of whether players not based in Canada, specifically John Davison, Ian Billcliff and Geoff Barnett, should be drafted into the side for higher-profile tournaments without having to be part of the team on a day-to-day basis. There is no doubt that on paper Canada is a better team when the trio are present, but their collective failure in the Twenty20 Qualifiers is enough for many critics to forget how essential their efforts were in allowing Canada to qualify for the 2011 World Cup. Moving forward, Cricket Canada must finally settle the issue of whether it wants to put its best available 11 players on the field regardless of where they come from, with any consequent issues of prickly team chemistry being the responsibility of the captain and coach to sort out. For Moorthy there is a grey area. "We have to see the value of what we get out of our [overseas] players," he says, meaning in effect that if Barnett for all his professional experience is only performing marginally better than someone like Hiral Patel, then the latter will get the nod.

Moving forward, Cricket Canada must finally settle the issue of whether it wants to put its best available 11 players on the field regardless of where they come from, with any consequent issues of prickly team chemistry being the responsibility of the captain and coach to sort out

The question remains of how such a policy will be framed or enacted. Given there is an interim president at the helm, and a CEO who has been reduced to being a paper pusher, Cricket Canada lacks anyone with the moral authority to set forth a vision or a renewed selection policy - essential for an organisation that appears unsure how to evaluate its player pool or have transparency in its operations.

The selection of 15-year-old Nitish Kumar is a case in point. As a precocious talent with a compelling personal story of hardship, he has been on the radar of cricket watchers in Canada for a number of years. But the manner in which Kumar has been thrown into international cricket is both unseemly and imprudent. It is not inconceivable, given his tender age and abundant talent, that Kumar will be part of the Canadian team for the next 25 years. But at present his selection ahead of more deserving players is troubling. Kumar's stats compare unfavourably even with his Under-19 colleagues, Hiral Patel, Usman Limbada and Darius D'Souza, all of whom have scored more runs with better averages and higher strike rates in both the Under-19 World Cup qualifiers, held in Canada last year, and at the Under-19 World Cup itself. Kumar's first-innings 74 against Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup is proof of his talent, but cannot justify his selection in light of his Under-19 record and his only other first-class match.

Though Canadian cricket is in the doldrums, Moorthy still considers the side one of the top Associate teams. "On current form Afghanistan are probably the best Associate team and you could make a case for Ireland, but we have something that other countries don't have and that's a steady stream of young talent." Forging a genuine team out of that talent, however, remains a work in progress.

Canada's first winter cricket league becomes an Indian carnival (Times of India) -- Posted Friday, March 5 2010

TORONTO: After getting official recognition as national sport from the Canadian government in 2008, cricket in Canada has now got its first winter league.

Launched here by the Cricket Champions League, the league has drawn a huge response from the South Asian community.

It features 14 teams, including three women's teams, and will run till April 24. Called 'Cricket for Haiti,' it will donate all its money to the victims of the January earthquake in Haiti.

Interestingly, it is the first league in the world where cricket is being played indoors, and women pitting against boys.

League promoters have turned the event into a South Asian carnival by using emails, going on radio and TV, dropping fliers at grocery stores, temples and gurdwaras, and convassing in the community to enrol boys and girls for the event.

The promoters, headed by Indian-born Atul Ahuja, former CEO of Cricket Canada , say their aim is to use the winter months to take the sport to new cities of the country.

"We have got a huge response. Now that we have got the status of national sport from the government, leagues are the way to develop cricket in Canada ,'' Ahuja told IANS.

"Since we have a growing South Asian and Caribbean community in Canada who follow cricket, not NHL (National Hockey League), cricket has a bright future in this country.

"As the winter here is very long here, the league will provide continuity in skill development for our boys and women,'' said Ahuja.

"Hopefully, we will soon take cricket to every corner of Canada by replicating the Toronto experiment everywhere,'' he said.

Rita Jethi, promoter and former member of the Indian women's cricket team in the 1970s, said, "Cricket will be number one sport here soon. There is a tremendous fascination with the sport, but till now people had no platform to show their potential.''

Nineteen-year-old Tarun Pothugunta, who immigrated with his family from Hyderabad to Canada in 2007, said the winter league couldn't have come at better time for him.

"I played little cricket in India . But winter months have enabled me become part of this cricketing event. Lots of south Asian youngsters like me are now taking cricket seriously,'' said the Hyderabad-born player.

Since its official recognition in 2008, cricket has made big progress in Canada.

The country, which is an associate member of the ICC, staged its first T20 national league in May 2008 and the Scotiabank-sponsored triangular series featuring the West Indies, Bermuda and the hosts in August.

Later, it staged the world's first Twenty20 Canada Cup quadrangular series featuring Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the hosts.

Ontario Cricket Academy U-17 team tour to Trinidad and Tobago in March 2010 -- Posted Wednesday, March 3 2010

The Ontario Cricket Academy will embark on its second tour to Trinidad and Tobago on March 12-22, 2010. The group which is mainly comprised of Under 17 players will face top level competition on the tour, most notably a match against the Trinidad and Tobago Under 16 XI. Other fixtures include top league opposition such as FCB Clark Road, Alescon Comets and Central Cricket League XI.

The Ontario Cricket Academy team will be hoping to improve on last year’s record of three wins and two losses, including a win over the South Trinidad U-16 XI. Coach Derek Perera believes that the OCA youngsters have the potential to beat the T&T opposition, “our team has 8 players who have represented Canada and Ontario at the youth level, and they have been working extremely hard over the last few months in preparation for this trip. If we play to our potential, we can win”.

Another highlight of the tour will be a day of coaching at the Queens Park Oval, led by former WICB Development Officer, Kumar Rampat. On the last trip, Rampat, who leads the coaching at QPCC’s Brian Lara Foundation, was so impressed with the Ontario youngsters that he officially stated at the closing ceremony, “As the former WICB Territorial Development Officer for Trinidad and Tobago (2003 - 2007), having seen all the youth teams visiting TT during this period, I can easily say that this is the best prepared youth team coming out of North America that I have witnessed. There are also several youngsters who have displayed skill levels beyond their chronological age”.

The Ontario Cricket Academy wishes to thank all sponsors and organizers who have made the trip possible, with a special mention to Caribbean Airlines for their continued support of the academy’s youth cricket program.

Abhi Vaishnav (Captain)
Nikhil Dutta
Jasjeet Kalsi
Pratik Marathe
Jonathan Alexander
Amir Towheed
Trevor Manoosingh
Swapnil Abrol
Darren Ramsammy
Jaisal Patel
Rishi Kanjani
Faizan Ansari
Azeem Ali
Coaches/Managers: Derek Perera, Sunil Khandor, Trinidad Liaison: Rishi Bal

Ian Pont to run high performance camp in Mississauga -- Posted Tuesday, March 2 2010
It is confirmed now that Ian Pont will be conducting a High Performance Cricket Camp at Ontario Cricket Academy in Mississauga from July 19th - 25th.

This will be an intensive 7 day camp (3 days batting, 3 days bowling - Pace and Spin, and 1 day fielding and fitness).

Groups: Under 13, Under 17 and Adult.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with one of the finest coaches in the world (current prospect for England Bowling Coach), with vast experience and proven methods.

Has worked with the following big profile cricketers to name a few: Dale Steyn (when he was unknown), Darren Gough, Shoaib Akhtar, Andre Nel, Andy Bichel, Kabir Ali, Alex Tudor.

Also is Author of the "Fast Bowler's Bible" and "Coaching Youth Cricket".

For more details see