By The Grace Of God: Alphonso Franco’s Return To Canadian Cricket!

Nothing could be truer, says Alphonso Franco, the recently
appointed Manager of the Canadian Men’s National Cricket
Team to the World Cup Qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur.

“It feels pretty awesome to come back after a few years gap. I am
humbled to be able to help the team achieve its goal “, says Alphonso
Franco, who is also the CEO of Trenton, a financial services company
in Victoria, British Columbia, co-creator and founder of the World
Critical Illness Insurance, author, President Emeritus of the Canadian
Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, owner of Victoria Patriots
and President of the Victoria District and Cricket League.

Hailing from a Catholic family in Bangalore, India, Franco has been
a track & field and martial art champion. Franco’s school is famous
for producing star cricketers like Roger Binny, a member of the
1983 World Cup-winning Indian team and presently the Chief of
the Board of Cricket Control, India .” Cricket became a passion
watching my school seniors excel in the game,” reminisces Franco.
Little wonder young Franco would start idolizing his heroes and
aspire to become a star batsman like G R Viswanath and an invincible
leg spinner like B S Chandrasekhar.

“I idolized both these players and became a spinner who could bat,”
laughs Franco.
“School coaching really helped.” Remembering his school days,
Franco cannot stop talking about coach Mr. Keki Tarapore.” He
was an amazing coach. Through him, I learned how to work hard.

I learned the value of sacrifice. I learned to exercise discipline and
dedication at my workplace” shares a grateful Franco.

Like it or not, life evolves, priorities change, and so does man.
Practicing 800 and 1500 meters on the track twice daily, followed
by a stint in Asia’s largest Sports Institute, NIS Patiala, demanded
Franco put his priorities before his passion. With his hard work
and dedication, Franco won national awards in both Judo and
Taekwondo. Though he did not pursue competitive Cricket, Franco
played Cricket at the school, interschool and state levels with
reasonable success.

In 1978, Franco said goodbye to his country to start a new life in
Canada. Like a bird in a cage, life was a struggle, but Franco was
determined to accomplish his dream.

Franco first started as a bouncer in a nightclub. “As a bouncer in
the club, I had to witness a minimum of six fights every night. It was
not a pleasant experience, but it helped sharpen my survival skills.

With hard work, Franco, from a bouncer, became a nightclub
owner. But his soul was restless. A devout Christian, Franco’s
occupation as a Minder created a moral dilemma, and he
kept his profession a secret from his Mother for the longest
time. Ultimately, Franco had to reconcile with the reality that
he wanted to live a life that supported his belief system. “So
I moved to financial services, excelled in it, and thank God, I
never had to be a bouncer again,” smiles Franco.

Franco’s association with Canadian Cricket started four decades
back in Victoria. “In Victoria, Cricket started officially in 1849,
Victoria District Cricket Association was formed in 1872. It
also had two women’s teams in 1891”. For four separate terms,
Franco was the President of the association, and after a gap of
six years, he joined back to head the association.

For seven years, Franco was also the Vice President of Cricket BC.He organized
National Junior School Tournament, National Under17, and Canada Cup
Tournament and served as the Chairman-Nominations for Cricket Canada.

“I feel privileged to be a part of Canadian Cricket. From eleven to thirty-six
teams, we have grown tremendously. Even before Vancouver, Victoria was the
hub of Cricket. The Incogs CC ,which Franco heads was found in 1912 .The
Club hosted Don Bradman and the Australian National team in 1932. We play
First and Second Division matches”, shares Franco.

Though Franco is the CEO of his financial services company, he is a hands-on
Manager. For the last decade years, Franco managed the Colts Cricket Club to
a high level of success, including winning two VISAS Championships and the
Provincial High School Cricket Championship with the Blue Jags.
As the national team’s Manager, Franco has set high expectations for himself.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. I have bent
myself backwards to become a manager from a CEO,’ I push my limits to make
sure people shine and excel.”

A cricket veteran for four decades, Franco foresees a great future for Cricket
in Canada, despite many deterrents. “Cricket is the second fastest sport in
Canada, but it lacks resources. Unlike other cricket-playing countries, we do
not have enough support from the government and private companies. The
weather is nasty most of the year, which is a clear disadvantage. But we are
motivated. We shall certainly find a way to play Cricket in Canada.” affirms

As a CEO-Manager, Franco embraces the role of a Servant leader.” My Mother
exposed me to the joy of giving. I think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.
“Outside Cricket, Franco is hailed as the “Doctor of Critical Insurance.” He is
the creator and founder of the World Critical Illness Insurance Conference.

Along with the legendary Dr. Marius Barnard, Franco travelled to 100 countries
introducing Critical Care Insurance that enabled people to maintain the same
quality of life after critical illness. Franco is also the author of the World’s first
manual on critical illness insurance,” The Critical Vision System,.” and the bestselling
book “99 Critical Ideas for Insurance Professionals”.

A highly successful CEO, Franco was awarded FinNext Top 10 CEOs in Finance
award in 2018. He was inducted into the Canadian Million Dollar Round
Table Charitable Foundation’s Hall of Fame and, in June 2019 became the
President Emeritus of the Canadian Million Dollar Round Table Foundation.
In 2020 Franco was awarded Worldwide Finance Award for best Critical
Illness Insurance Specialist for North America. He was also the first non-white
Chairman on the Top of the Table MDRT in 2006.

“Faith, family and then the rest,” asserts Franco. He groomed his two sons
to be cricketers who have captained and played for the U 15, U 17 and U 19
For Franco giving is quintessential to living. He believes he must mentor young
cricketers. “Mentoring is a true gift that you can give to young people of
promise hope, guiding them in achieving their goal.”” Work hard, work smart,
stay focused and stay away from negativity. It is hard to fly like an eagle if you
hang around with turkeys,” advises Franco.

The Canadian Men’s National Cricket team ended
the World Cup Challenge as League winners. With
the induction of Coach Pubudu Dassanayake,
Cricket is looking bigger and brighter than the
past,” states an optimistic Franco.

A person who came from a faraway land and
headed to the Top of the Table shows the
possibility of an immigrant reaching the pinnacle.”
Nothing is impossible. Success is within us. The life
you have is a gift. Cherish it. Enjoy it now, to the
fullest. Do what matters, now.”

“When we put God first, all other things fall into
their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our
love of the Lord will govern the claims for our
affection, the demands on our time, the interests
we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”
As Alphonso Franco rests his sweet faith, the faith
rests in his.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *