By Frederick Halley

THE uncertainty which prevailed over the staging of the
2021 Prime Minister T20 Softball Cup in Guyana during the
second week in November, resulted in no representative
teams from Canada participating.

However, one notable softball stalwart in Sunil Dhaniram not only
participated on his own but was part of the Regal Legends Over-50
team which played unbeaten throughout the three-day extravaganza
and subsequently won the final to retain championship honours.

The left-hander who wasn’t required to play a major role in the
tournament due to the strength of the side, was coming off a
fantastic season in the Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs
(OMSCC) where he created history by becoming the first player to
hit a double century.

In what was deemed as an unprecedented feat, openers Dhaniram
and Rajendra “Jesh” Parasnauth batted through the entire 20 overs
as Toronto Blizzards piled up an incredible 326 without loss against
Kitty/Campbellville in a first-round playoff fixture.

Dhaniram, a former Guyana and Canada national player, who also
represented the West Indies in the 2021 triangular series which also
involved Canada and USA, smashed the KC Stalwarts bowlers to all
parts of the field, his 200 not out decorated with 10 fours and 23
sixes off 74 balls.

Dhaniram remains one of the most underrated cricketers to have
emerged from his homeland, Guyana. Over the last few years, he
has been concentrating on campaigning at the Masters level and he
has been doing this quite effectively.

Before migrating to Canada, he represented Guyana in the prime
years of West Indies cricket, playing in 12 First Class matches from
1993-95, and making his highest score — a gritty 57
against Leeward Islands in 1994. A year later, he called
it quits as far as Guyana cricket was concerned, with low
scores in his final game versus Barbados.

Dhaniram immediately rose to prominence in Canada,
and in 2003 he was selected as an all-rounder in the
national side. The left-arm spinner made an immediate
impact with figures of three for 15 in an impressive
10-over spell against the Windward Islands in a List ‘A’
match.

In what he still considers a dream come true, Dhaniram
was part of the Canada team which participated in the
2007 ICC Cricket World Cup staged in the Caribbean in
2007, albeit with moderate success. Canada failed to record a victory in any of the matches,
but Dhaniram turned in several useful performances,
including an unbeaten knock of 34 versus Kenya, in which
he also bowled an economical nine overs for 34 runs
while claiming one wicket.

Dhaniram went even better against England in the second
game, grabbing three for 41 in an excellent 10-over spell.
His victims included world-renowned batsman Kevin
Pietersen, and according to Dhaniram, the memory still
lingers. He completed an excellent game by scoring 30.
Injury forced him to retire in the final game against New
Zealand, when he was batting well on 17; but he didn’t
fare that well in the bowling department, his eight overs
costing 72 runs.