Vol. 1 No. 1                                      "India is the cradle of the human race... " - Mark Twain
August 2006 
       "Canada is one of the oldest federations the planet still has up and running." - Roy MacGregor

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Mayor’s Cup Cricket Tournament & Festival in Toronto

(L to R) Mayor David Miller, son Simon,  Nick Javor Vice President Tim Hortons

Toronto Mayor’s Cup Cricket Tournament, a two-day Cricket Festival, hosted exclusively by the Toronto City Hall Cricket Club was held on July 15 -16 at Sunnybrook Park.  The Festival has been organised since 1987 by Toronto City Hall Cricket Club (TCHCC). 


The Mayor’s Cup is actually a spin off of an annual match-up between the Toronto City Hall Cricket Club (TCHCC) and the St. George’s Society.  


Mr. John Woods, the then Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Rashmi Nathwani, Commissioner of City Properties, Mr. Wazir Khullar, Mr. Sheik Kadir of City’s Finance Department and Mr. Dennis Perlin, City Solicitor founded the Toronto City Hall Cricket Club in 1985.


In 1987, a report of the Annual match between TCHCC and St. George’s Society was first adopted by the City Council when Mr. John Woods gave a tongue in cheek explanation to the Council of the terminology used in cricket such as “fine leg, short leg, long leg, square leg, maiden over, slips, covers, silly mid on, googly, etc.” in his report of an annual match between TCHCC and St. George’s Society.


Mayor David Miller being welcomed by
Suresh Jaura President (North America) Globalom Media 

(L to R)  Leena Chabra (South Asian Web TV), Suresh Jaura 
(Globalom Media), Mayor David Miller, Wazir Khullar VP TCHCC


Since then members of the TCHCC have been involved in organizing cricket events, playing and promoting cricket in the GTA behind the scenes.


In 2005, in response to Mayor Miller’s mandate to promote cricket in the GTA, the TCHCC approached Mayor Miller and requested to be designated as his ambassadors to promote the game of cricket in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 


The TCHCC then co-ordinated with CIMA and the Mayor’s Cup was born. 


This year’s event followed the 20/20 format, a format that is internationally being accepted as the format most likely to catch on in the attempts to modernise cricket and to compete with the other competitive sports.


The participating Teams were: Girls’ Team from Secondary Schools, Mississauga Ramblers Cricket Club, St. George’s Society Cricket Club, Toronto City Hall Cricket Club, Police Services Cricket Club, Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Cricket Club, Under 12 Boys Team, Masters Cricket Club, Feds Cricket Club.


The players, from the GTA, comprised a wide range of multi-cultural residents from the various cricketing countries, namely:  Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and West Indies.



Deputy Fire Chief Jim Shelton addressing the audience with 
Leena Chabra and John Bishop St George's Society looking on

Deputy Police Chief, Keith Forde, presenting award 
to Best Bowler under 12 with Leena Chabra looking on


The competition was for Mayor’s Cup, St. George’s Society Cup, Mayor and Police Chief Trophy.


Mayor David Miller, Deputy Police Chief, Keith Forde and Deputy Fire Chief Mr. Jim Shelton of Toronto led the teams for Mayor and Police trophy games. They were impressed with the event and also presented the trophies to Kid/Girls team. Mr. Ben Sennick of Canada Cricket Association was also one of the guests.


The net result of the match was The Toronto City Hall cricket Club won the "St. George's Society Cup". The game was held on July 15 and Mr. John Bishop presented the cup to Mr. Sheik Kadir, the captain of the game.  Six teams played the games (two games each) and two teams - Mississauga Ramblers and Master Cricket Club - with best average run rate played the Final on July 16 for "Mayor Cup". 


Toronto City Hall Cricket Club and Police Association Cricket Club played the Final game for "Mayor and Police Chief Trophy". Police team won the trophy and Mr. Wazir Khullar presented it to the captain, Mr. Richard Moore.


Future plans involve expansion of the tournament in coming years for longer periods over a two-week period and to involve more leagues and teams throughout Ontario.  There is also plan to formulate a united body to promote this game and establish cricket centres so as to re-establish cricket in Canada to its former glory and to realize Mayor Miller’s dreams to promote, spread and make cricket available to everyone.


To quote Mayor Miller: “Once Canada’s national sport, Cricket continues to grow in popularity among students in Toronto’s schools and communities around the world.  It is a game that connects our diverse communities and improves our cross-cultural interaction.  Players are offered the opportunity to participate in recreational sports that helps bridge cultural, ethnic and social divides, fosters friendships and enriches the quality of people’s lives”. 


Mayor David Miller with part of Woods family

Mayor David Miller with Carson Woods and extended family


Police Chief Blair, represented by Deputy Chief Ford, said in a message: “The game of cricket provides a wonderful opportunity for players from Toronto’s diverse communities to interact and compete with others in a fun-filled and exciting sport”.


The Festival was sponsored by amongst others, Tim Hortons, Asian Television Network (ATN), GlobalomMedia, publishers of South Asian Outlook e-Monthly and South Asian Web TV, Woods family. Re/Max Unique Inc. Dr Dilkush Panjwani provided photographic coverage on the final day of the Festival. Toronto-based S.R. International was the Media Consultant for the festival.


Cricket in Canada


It may not be known to many Canadians, even those born in countries, where Cricket is a popular game that Cricket has deep roots in Canada.  First played by the British soldiers in the 1800’s, it became such a major sport that at the time of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald, and the Prime Minister of Canada proclaimed it to be Canada’s national sport.


The first international competition was a cricket match in 1844 between Canada and the USA.


Even during the lst part of the 19th century, Cricket in Canada and the Eastern USA was very popular, with many top English teams and great players of the day touring North America during that period.


Gambling enhanced the popularity of cricket, which reached such an uncontrollable limit that Congress passed legislation curtailing it in the USA.  Fortunately the popularity continued unabated in Canada.  There was a strong resurgence in popularity prior to World War II and we are now once again experiencing another resurgence initiated by the vast growth of immigrants from countries that consider cricket as their heritage.


There are approximately 6 million Canadians who are avid followers of the game. There are 27 cricket leagues in Canada, which are based in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Quebec.  There are 290 clubs and 400 teams that participate in games and 20,000 players and members of these leagues and clubs. Over 120 private and public schools have cricket programs.


[Photos by: Dr Dilkush Panjwani]





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