According to its Annual Report and the overview of its
main activities and summary of achievements that was
presented at Cricket Canada’s June 27, 2020 AGM, the
Cricket Ontario had a very successful 2019 season both on and
off the field of play with a sense of achievement and optimism.
Cricket Ontario’s representatives to the AGM, reported that
the successes achieved can be attributed to the hard work by
its executives, volunteers and coaches. Special mentions were
also made for the Youth and Women Committees as well as the
Ontario Coaching team for their contribution and commitment
in successfully delivering High Performance Skill Development
Programs and for also having produced large numbers of
players for the National U19 2020 World Cup team.
President Shah Zafar also reported that there have been several
successful cricket events hosted by Cricket Ontario and its
member organizations at the Senior, Junior & Women levels.
These include the Senior Central T20, U16 & U19 Regional
Tournaments, the Women Canada Cup, as well as Winter HP
Development Programs and educational courses for Youth and
Women. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly however,
the successful hosting of Cricket Canada 2nd Professional
Cricket League GT20 in Brampton.
According to the presented report, Cricket in Ontario is
riding an upswing of the interest in the game at all levels, with
evidently growing levels of participation among young male
and female cricketers. The enrolment of youths playing cricket
in schools and joining local cricket academies to improve their individual and team skills, while enhancing their competitive play in youth Leagues, has
also increased significantly.
Local adult Leagues have added more weekend
morning T20 & T25 Tournaments to meet ever
increasingly high demands for cricket’s shorter
versions. Seniors (over 50) and social cricket
is also on the rise as well with many Leagues and
Clubs now organizing cricket related activities
for those of such ages and interest.
During the past year Cricket Ontario has
also hosted high performance camps for both
Youth and Women, which incorporated fitness
sessions with Trained and Certified instructors.
The camps run from January-April for women
and youth age groups U16 and U18 for high
skilled players. Camp capacity is limited to 30
registered players.
Cricket Ontario also selected U19 & U23 teams
to participate in a Cricket Canada sponsored
and Cricket Ontario hosted Central T20
Tournament which also involved the Canadian
National U19 team along with the Ontario U23
team. Cricket Ontario is now streamlining
its players’ scouting and recruiting process to
identify skilled players at the Junior, Senior and
Women levels.
With regards to the promotion of cricket within
the Province, Cricket Ontario now has its own
YouTube Channel capable of broadcasting live
matches. Cricket Ontario therefore has plans
for more live streaming of matches during the
forthcoming 2020 season and beyond.
A majority of Cricket Ontario’s member
Leagues have also started community outreach
programs which have been specially designed
to promote cricket at the grass-root level, as
a means of significantly increasing the levels
of participation. The drive towards increased
participation has also resulted in more Youth
tournaments, both local and international,
being organized by Cricket Ontario’s Member
Leagues.
Included among these is the Canadian Corporate Cricket
League which has continued to play a major role in promoting
the game of cricket within the Corporate Sector, while
providing a competitive, yet friendly environment for busy
corporate individuals to have fun. Canadian College Cricket
(CCC) has also seen a rise in interest and participation. The
group has successfully introduced cricket among Canadian
Colleges and Universities.
Through the support of all its Member Leagues and Cricket
Academies, Cricket Ontario now has a very successful,
sustainable, strong and healthy Junior Cricket Development
Program which is providing the foundational support that is
essential for the future growth of senior cricket to flourish both
within the Province and throughout the rest of Canada. The
Program has been made possible through the efforts and hard
work of volunteers to establish a sustainable infrastructure
by means of a phased approach. The Program also provides
support to under-privileged and financially challenged youth
and families.
Now in its seventh year of operations, Cricket Ontario’s Skills
Development Program has continued to produce excellent
results, as evidenced by the impressively high numbers of
Ontario players that have been selected to the U19 National
Teams. The Program runs from January till April each year
for U-16, U-18 and Women’s players. Cricket Ontario is also
pursuing plans to add both an U21 Development Program as
well as Senior Team Training sessions to its skills development
initiatives.
Participants for the Skills Development Program are selected
by means of an established ‘trials’ based process, with the
addition of a given number of spots being allocated to
players who have been recommended by their respective
Academies. The Program’s Coaching Cadre includes Levels
3 and 2 certified coaches. Guest coaches are also invited on a
WICKETS
17regular basis for special sessions. The
Program also provides a high-level of
coaching through one-on-one and in
group sessions, as well as Fitness and
Conditioning training with certified
Trainers. Conducted indoors during
the winter months, the Program is
however moved outdoor from May
until the end of June. Cricket Ontario’s
Skills Development Program concludes
with a Regional Tournament which is
used as an evaluation tool to assess the
delivery effectiveness of its respective components.
2019 witnessed the resurrection of women’s cricket in
Ontario at the Provincial level. A publicly issued call
to “Get Involved’ resulted in a participatory response
from 35 girls, women and coaches from within currently
existing teams and Leagues. 25 additional individuals also
registered as volunteers to be a part of the movement to
promote, develop and grow Women’s Cricket in Ontario!
Cricket Ontario has outlined the Three Pathways/
Cornerstones of the development process that will
address all sectors that must be covered. The need for an
associated Strategic Plan for growth, development and
participation has also been identified. Cricket Ontario has
also revealed plans for ‘connecting’ the bridges between
these pathways, as a means of transition identified players
from one level to the next through structured fulfillment
of both short and long-term objectives.
Cricket Ontario’s formation of a Senior Women’s
Committee, resulted in the staging of the Canada Cup
and Summer Festivals with participation by two (2)
Ontario Women Teams (Red & Green).
The Ontario Women Development initiative was a
direct result of Cricket Canada’s submissions to ICC on
the distaff development of Cricket within Canada. All
meetings, events and games that constitute the Women’s
Cricket Development initiative can be viewed on Cricket
Ontario’s’ FaceBook Page.
Cricket Ontario’s development activities and initiatives
have also significantly increased the growth of cricket
within the Provinces Southern, Eastern And Northern
regions. Cricket is fast growing in all these areas with
numerous Cricket Ontario associated Leagues being
created.
The Southern Western Ontario Cricket League (SWOL)
is aggressively introducing cricket in within the Regions
communities through organized competitive formats.
In the east, the Ottawa Valley Cricket Association
(OVCC) is very strong with a highly competitive League.
The Northern Ontario Cricket League (NOCL) has also
been successful in organizing cricket from North Bay
to Thunder Bay and now has a very strong presence
with very competitive teams. All of these Regions and
Leagues have also participated in the Ontario Central
T20 Competition with very accountable performances.
The growth of cricket is not only evaluated by the number
of games that are played, but also by how it is managed
through the quality of its officiating. The performances
of umpires within Ontario have continued to improve
in terms of education, consistency and the development
of ICC standard match officials.
Cricket Ontario has recently established a Provincial
Umpires Committee (PUC) with the purpose to
develop, monitor and update playing conditions for all
formats of cricket; establishing pathways for the further
development and evaluation of umpires; providing preseason
education seminars; standardizing uniforms,
formulating an Umpires and Scorers Ranking Panel;
submitting recommendations to Cricket Canada for
umpires’ appointment for National and International
level assignments and also to have all functioning
umpires registered within Cricket Ontario’s Database.
The PUC’s goal is to provide leadership in developing
umpires through a structured framework which
includes development and evaluation processes for
the further advancement in their careers and which
facilitates information awareness among members of
Ontario’s umpiring fraternity.