With wading pools, plenty of ladders and climbing activities, catwalks, monkey bars home, Calgary’s Riley park has been a favourite with kids. But for a five-year-old Ravin Moorthy, a beautiful day outside meant playing a game of Cricket with his father and brother in the park, which took him on the path to earning a coveted position in the Calgary Cricket League.
Born in the United Kingdom, Moorthy’s first exposure to the game was through his father, who played recreational Cricket since school through Srilanka, his motherland and then in UK and Canada. “My dad has always had a keen interest in Cricket. He was an organizer of the game, starting a T20 corporate league in the 1980s when nobody had ever heard of T20!” Moorthy smiles fondly.
Cricket has always been a part of Moorthy’s life. He played in a few youth tournaments in the early 1990s
and won the award for bagging the maximum wickets at the western Canadian U17 tournament. Despite
Calgary having had a long history with Cricket, the city was not familiar with Cricket during those days. “At
that time, not so many people played in Calgary, so my brother and I spent quite a bit of time in the
backyard with a few friends playing (and breaking windows and fences!), “reminisces Moorthy. Despite
having no peer involvement and a team of their own, the Moorthy brothers did not lose interest and
carried on with the game.
In 2000 when Moorthy returned to Calgary, local l cricket was in disarray. Membership was down, and
the league was in danger of losing ground. Moorthy joined the Calgary League Executive Board.
With the support of a few like-minded members, Moorthy successfully transformed the
Calgary and District Cricket League into a viable member of the Calgary sports community.
“I think we were able to do a good job because there were only 7 teams when we
started, and by the time I moved on, there were close to 50! ”
Moorthy replicated the model in Cricket Alberta and met with outstanding results by modernizing the game,
adding teams and grounds, and raising the level of play in the province. Through these
accomplishments, Moorthy was able to bring a voice to Alberta cricket after eight
years of hard work. Moorthy saw this as an opportunity and decided to take these
learnings to Cricket Canada.
Moorthy served as the Vice President of Cricket Canada before taking over the
mantle of its President in 2012. Between 2008-2011 he ran the HP program, which
built a time-tested model for a successful run to the Men’s and U19 World Cups.
As President-elect, Moorthy started with a winning mindset from Day one. He aspired
to give Cricket Canada a professional structure. He developed a long-term vision
and winning plan that included bringing in professional staff, partnering with Deloitte
to develop a strategic roadmap and sponsorships with mainstream broadcasters and
financial institutions. The ICC noticed the changes and was “hugely impressed by the
progress” in the Canadian governing body during Moorthy’s tenure as President.
Moorthy was aware of the power of the media. Thus, he
developed a strong media engagement plan. “By 2013,
we were well recognized in the media and were starting
to draw larger crowds for our home games and domestic
events.”, shared Moorthy.
An advocate of a stronger domestic structure in Canada,
Moorthy ran the National Cricket League to build
domestic strength in Cricket and allow players from
across the country to compete against each other. Over
the seven years that he was involved with Cricket Canada.
Moorthy introduced talented players to the system.
The experiment gave delightful discoveries in the form
of Khurram Chohan, Jimmy Hansra, and Hamza Tariq,
all of whom had significant roles in the team’s success
during their playing time. Others competed and played
on the U19 and women’s teams. Women’s sport has the
potential to be a real opportunity to move the needle in
terms of interest in the game, feels Moorthy.
“Canada has a passion for women’s sports (soccer and hockey
for sure!) and I believe there is a great opportunity for
women’s cricket as well. We need to ensure those
programs continue to be supported and hopefully feed
into a women’s GT20 as well in the future!”
Totally convinced about the power of grassroots energy,
Moorthy feels a strong need to increase the number
of players in the country, which means starting at the
grassroots and schools level.
“I believe that, much like Soccer Canada, that building numbers now would lead
to unprecedented opportunity over a generation. Soccer
has made that a reality and I believe we can too”
Moorthy has a formula too, for success with school cricket.
“With a viable domestic structure also comes important
investment from local companies that will help boost schools programs
in the regions. If we do that it will fuel numbers that will be attractive to
a national sponsor.”
A satisfied man, Moorthy believes that with success through the 2000s
with the men’s team being in three successive World Cups, players
now see a pathway to international Cricket. Optimistic about Cricket
Canada’s future success, Moorthy is convinced that the building blocks
for a successful organization are already in place. However,” there
need to be specific goals set, and all of us (administrators, players, and
fans) are required to support and align ourselves to those goals. Once
we have that in place, it’s really about executing that plan.” observes
“We can always compete because of our talent, but we need to find that
edge to put us over the to. “Our top players need to spend the Canadian
winter overseas and be back for the summer to play domestically. Those
players need to be spread throughout the country to ensure that they
bring the national standard up. One of the benefits of the NCL was that
the national team players were put into all the regional teams. This really
gave a boost to regional Cricket.” observes Moorthy.
A manager with a difference, Moorthy has a voice that campaigns
for transition conversation, diversity, and Inclusion issues. Despite his
engagement as Director of Power Projects with a multinational pipeline
company and duties towards his three children, Moorthy is a regular
panellist in CBC on issues that are close to his heart.
“Cricket Canada has made great strides here and should be commended
on how well this has gone. It’s a great tournament; I would hope we
could see it move around the country and continue to build interest in
the game across the country”, opines Moorthy about the success of the
Global T20 Canada.
In 2014 Ravin Moorthy left the national cricket stage after seven years
of service to the Canadian Cricket Association and Cricket Canada,
including the last two years as President. Moorthy is the first Albertan to
assume the post of President. During his tenure, Moorthy established
an impeccable reputation for continuous success in program & portfolio
management and organizational governance. He has held multiple
executive positions within Cricket Canada, Cricket Alberta, and the
Calgary & District Cricket League during 15 years of volunteer service
to the sport in Canada.
True to the spirit of his idol, Ian Botham, Ravin Moorthy’s innings in
Cricket Canada too, kick-started a satisfying journey for the organization.
Ravin is still an avid watcher of cricket and his heart is with Canadian
cricket. “you never stop being a fan…” says Moorthy,
“Canadian Cricket is in my blood and I wish nothing but the best to the organization and all
of our teams”, concludes the man for whom there is no second place
in life, only the first.