Canadian U-17 cricketers for practice matches

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - The Ontario Cricket Academy & Club (OCA&C) Under-17 squad will arrive at Piarco International Airport tomorrow to begin an 11-day tour of Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to further develop their Canadian talent in the rapidly growing sport.

Based in Mississauga, Canada, the youthful OCA&C outfit will be solely focussed on elevating their competitive image by playing seven practice matches against some of TT’s prolific youth teams. 

Their friendly tour bowls off on Monday when they meet PowerGen’s Under-17 team at Vijay Sports Grounds, Avocat, from 5 pm, for a Twenty20 matchup. During their stay, the visiting team will lock horns against the likes of both South West and South East Under-17 squads along with several other top local club sides. 

The OCA&C is recognised as the leading cricket academy in North America boasting several national team products over the last 11 years of their existence.

The group of touring Under 17’s will have a few top Canadian youth prospects in the team. 

This trip marks the academy’s 5th international tour to date, having previously visited the twin-island republic in 2009, 2010 and 2013. 

In 2011, OCA&C created history by being the first North American youth club to tour Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket, the governing body of the sport in the country, gave their support for the initiative by scheduling key matches at the Dambulla International Cricket Stadium. 

The tours to Trinidad have helped to develop local Canadian talent, according to founder and head coach Derek Perera. He stated, “The depth of high level opposition and amazing infrastructure for the sport in Trinidad has made it an automatic choice for us when it comes to touring and player development.” 

Many of the players who have visited TT on the tours have graduated to Canadian national teams at all levels. OCA&C’s Tour coordinator, Trinidad-born Surren Ramsingh, who migrated to Canada many years ago, has utilised his contacts in the island to ensure the Canadian youngsters face top level competition. 

One of the highlights of the tour is a three-day Twenty20 tournament featuring the visitors, top club PowerGen and a South West Regional team. 

The tournament will see teams competing for the Ramsingh Cup and numerous sponsored prizes, all of which will be played under floodlights. 

OCA&C captain, Abraash Khan, who is currently at the ICC U-19 World Cup in Dubai, is keen to return to the country in which he scored his first century outside of Canada. Khan revealed, “We are really excited about the tour and are looking to give it our all, play hard and try and come out on top.” 

OCA&C continues to break ground for cricket development in Canada, and tour organisers are certain that the matches will be competitive. There will surely be a lot of international attention taking into consideration the OCA&C’s vast international following on social media, spanning worldwide from North America to South Asia. 

OCA&C Itinerary 

Sun 9 - Arrive and settle in at St Joseph’s Village, San Fernando. Warm-up/practice Game vs Screwtech at Carrot hill

Mon 10 - OCAC Canada vs Powergen U-17 at Vijay Sports, Avaocat - 5 pm T/20 

Tue 11 - OCAC Canada vs South-West U-17 at Vijay Sports, Avocat -5 pm T/20 

Wed 12 - OCAC Canada vs South-East U-17 at Vijay Sports, Avocat - 5 pm T/20 

Thu 13 - OCAC Canada vs Clarke Road U-17 at Clarke Road, Penal -11 am 40 over game 

Fri 14 - Visit to TT Cricket Centre 11 am - Balmain, Couva & OCAC Canada vs Comets U17 at Felicity - 6 pm T/20 

Sat 15 - OCAC Canada vs SSCL Under-16 team - 10am (Venue to be confirmed) 50 over game 

Mon 17 - OCAC Canada vs Moosai U17 - T/20 - Honeymoon - 3 pm 

Tue 18 - Depart.

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 00:16