Senjay Joshi Guarding and Nurturing Young Talents

Not all those who wander are lost. It has been a long, fruitful journey for Sanjay Joshi, realtor, educator, owner of Australasia Cricket Academy, and Junior Coordinator for the Toronto District Cricket Association.
It was in 2004 that Joshi landed in Canada. Joshi found himself playing cricket in less than twenty-four hours, a love he carried from his homeland India, at the King City Ground for Yorkshire. A young Joshi continued playing for the Yorkshire Overseas Club till 2007. However, in 2010, the entrepreneurial instinct in Joshi led him to start his own cricket academy, the Australasia Cricket Academy, with David Weed and Sandeep Prabhakar. In 2013, Joshi took over as the Junior Coordinator in the Toronto District Cricket Association.
Joshi is a vital resource for the Toronto District Cricket Association (TDCA), the largest cricket league in North America. The organization was initially formed as the Toronto and District Cricket Council on November 30, 1920. In 1977 it was renamed the Toronto and District Cricket Association.
Operating in Toronto and its surrounding cities, TDCA boasts of a large pool of cricket clubs and academies as its members. Many Canadian national team players, too, are members of clubs in the TDCA, informs Joshi. As of 2021, TDCA has over 5000 active players. In the 50 over category, there are more than 24 teams (three divisions ) in T20 and over 40 teams (five divisions )In the Junior Section with four age groups. However, due to Covid, the regular teams were off the field, and they hope to resume play in 2022.
TDCA supports the growth and expansion of cricket by sharing its grounds and other resources with Cricket Canada, Ontario Cricket Council, Global T20, Women’s Cricket, and all the ICC tournaments for matches and other events like fundraising, Corporate Cricket, Junior Cricket and the like.
Besides, TDCA, in collaboration with Cricket Canada & Cricket Council of Ontario, runs various programs in schools, colleges, and universities to spread the love of cricket.
Joshi has been supporting TDCA to run its Junior Program since 2013. As TDCA’s Junior Coordinator, Joshi’s responsibilities are far more than just delivering his duties as an administrator. It is about vision and leadership, not power. Joshi’s first and very important role is to ensure that the Club/Academy operates within the rules and requirements of TDCA. Joshi collaborates with the Club Coach and ensures that the matches are conducted in a safe and friendly environment. In addition, Joshi coordinates with all the academies starting from league application, collating data for various age groups, scheduling games, and Umpires, ensuring online states/standings are up-to-date, playing games on time, and arranging data for delivery of junior awards.
Joshi’s passion syncs well with the mission of T&DCA, which focuses on nurturing talent at the grassroots level and creating a talent pool available for the selection of the national team. As the Junior Coordinator, Joshi ensures that juniors get good playtime to be nurtured and represent Canada well at the international level.
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Joshi’s plate is never empty. He makes sure that academies get more playtime by having maximum matches, and they play at better grounds, besides having flexible time for matches, quality umpiring, and best cricket gears. Joshi’s role extends further as an administrator to provide the players with a safe playing environment.” Have fun and friendliness but still be competitive,” smiles Joshi.
U 12 is the entry point for a junior player in competitive cricket .” Mostly this is an age group, where you see seriousness, fun and future of cricket,” observes Joshi. U-16 Championship has the most teams in the Juniors category, shares Joshi. This is the age group where kids between the ages of 13 to 16 participate, and it is very competitive in nature. There are over 12 teams in the U 16 category. Joshi and his team are extra vigilant about this age group because “You can clearly make out, who are the emerging players who are going to make to the U19 Canadian World Cup Squad and will play cricket for a long time and serve Canada”, observes Joshi.
Though there are several categories in the Juniors, each acts as a bridge and a training ground to progress to the next level. Some of the noteworthy Junior players are Nitish Kumar, Ravi Sandhu, Nikhil Dutta and Harsh Thaker, who started at the age group 10 years onwards and later went on to represent the U19 Canadian Team.
Women, too, are allowed to play in Juniors which will be one age group below their age. For example, U18 can play U16, and U16 can play U14 age group with boys to give them more exposure.
The Juniors find a place in the most sought-after TDCA awards, shares the proud Junior TDCA Coordinator. Besides the Regular Season Championship, Playoff championship, Best Batsman, Bowler, MVP, 100 runs scored, 6+ Wickets hauls in each category, there are awards for Senior Player of Year, Junior Player of the Year, and Best Junior Coach of the Year Awards too.
Joshi has been passionately supporting the activities of TDCA through his own venture, Australasia Cricket Academy. The Academy complements TDCA’S goals perfectly well. Starting in 2010 and the Australasia Academy produced its first U19 players who represented Canada in the 2014 U19 World Cup. After that, in every world cup (2016,2018,2020), there has been a minimum of 2 to 3 players from the Academy representing Canada at the highest level in juniors. In 2019, Australasia Cricket Academy won U14, U16, and U18 championships (3 out of 4 in one year), all in a single day.
Australasia Cricket Academy Coaches received Best Junior coaches awards 5 times in the last 10 years. The coaches are dedicated, experienced, and qualified with rich and diverse backgrounds from Australia, South Africa, and India. The Student-Coaches ratio is low, akin to 1:1 in contrast with large group coaching. The Academy also has its own cricket ground where it runs its indoor and outdoor training programs in Brampton, spanning almost 46 weeks of the year. The setup works well for most cricket enthusiasts and aspiring cricketers with flexible coaching times and high technology support.
Outside TDCA, Joshi is a full-service Real Estate Broker and Mortgage agent, servicing Sellers, Buyers, and Investors. He also runs STEAM Works Studio, the World’s largest STEM education provider, offering over 100 online and in-class courses for the age group of 5 to 15 years. These courses prepare students for 21st-century skills in STEAM education. Through practical learning; the course prepares young minds to be the next generation creators, inventors, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Besides finding dream houses for his clients, Joshi has a dream of his own for TDCA. It is to cement Canadian Junior cricket’s progress to a phenomenal level so that TDCA will have over 100 junior teams participating under its banner by 2030.
And it does not look like a tall order for Sanjay Joshi. The amazing team of volunteers at TDCA Board under the able leadership of Mohammed Sheikh is making sure and strong steps to pave the way to create and serve the cricket community in North America.

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