By Jasminee Sahoye
The Mayor of Toronto’s 2016 Youth Cricket team returned home last week from a one-week trip to Trinidad and Tobago after an ” eye-opening experience” in the two-island state where they played against local teams and met several national cricketers.
The Toronto team are members of the ” Cricket Across The Pond (CAP)youth scholarship program spearheaded by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Randil Mendis, CIMA’s director of branding and public relations, said members of the team returned home with ” many cherished memories.”
Describing the trip to Trinidad and Tobago as an ” eye-opening” experience for the
young players, he said that they were delighted to share “some quality time” with the
international cricket legend Brian Lara who ” hosted a barbeque in their honour” at his home in Port of Spain..
Mendis told The Caribbean Camera that for many on the tour, the highlight of the trip was “rubbing shoulders ” with Lara and meeting some other big names such as national cricketers Dinesh Ramdin and Samuel Badree.
Of the five matches slated during the tour, two were rained out, one in Tobago and the other in Trinidad.
The team’s captain, Kurt Ramdath, a University of Windsor student, told The Caribbean Camera that while most of the players on his team are senior high school students, the Trinidad and Tobago teams were “a force to be reckoned with ” which resulted in two losses and one win in the last game.
The Mayor’s Team won by 8 wickets as they beat Barrackpore Schools, which ended up with 75 all out in 19 overs . The CIMA Mayor’s Team scored 76 for 2 in 10 overs in the last game.
“The trip was unbelievable. As ambassadors for our country and as cricketers, we had the opportunity to play at some high-end facilities and against some top class cricketers and we also got to meet some really bright and well-spoken politicians. It was an amazing experience both on and off the field,” said Ramdath, one of two post-secondary
students on the team.
“It was ” a learning curve ” for team members, he added.
Ramdath, whose parents are from Trinidad and Tobago, said he starting playing cricket in 2007 after he and his relatives watched the Cricket World Cup, streaming live on television.
He represented Team Canada at the International Cricket Council (ICC) in February this year.
In June this year, Mayor John Tory announced that the 2016 Mayor’s Youth Cricket Team was travelling to Trinidad and Tobago to represent Toronto as youth cricket ambassadors. The Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Police Services Board and Tom’s Place lead a group of corporate, community and media partners brought together by CIMA in this public-private community initiative.
The tour was part of the CAP initiative launched in 2008.
The CAP program attracted significant international attention as winners of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Award in 2013.
The tour to Trinidad and Tobago was intended to create opportunities to engage the inner-city youth and develop social cohesion interaction through cricket and strengthen cultural and sporting relationships and enhance opportunities for tourism.