By Swati Sharan
ST. JOHN’S (Newfoundland): The Newfoundland and Labrador Cricket Association hosted a fundraiser for promotion of cricket at the Bella Vista in St. John’s on Friday April 4.
Former Deputy Finance Minister Laurie Skinner, Cathy Bennett (Liberal candidate for Virginia Waters) and Danny Breen (PC candidate for Virginia Waters) and City Councillor Tom Hann joined a large number of South Asians at the event..
The evening featured a musical concert by the band Raaga on the Rock, followed by a dinner and dance.
Raaga on the Rock played both old and contemporary Bollywood tunes ranging from the R.D. Burman era to Ayushmann Khurana. Dance numbers ranged from contemporary Bollywood Bhangra to American tunes.
The cricketers could be seen dancing on high adrenalin.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards meeting travel expenses of cricketers going for inter-provincial matches and introducing cricket as an after-school sport across Newfoundland. Over 300 children have already registered with the cricket association for their workshops.
Currently, there are eight seasonal cricket teams and one that is on a provincial level. Cricket here is played both indoors and outdoors according to season because the weather is too cold most of the year and the soil is very moist due to excessive due. Members of these teams are dominantly from the South Asian sub-continent including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Senthil Selvamani is the current president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Cricket Association.
During his introductory speech, Selvamani pointed out how cricket played on a serious level in the 1930s in Newfoundland. Moreover, cricket saw a rise in popularity here from the late 1800s till the 1930s due to British influence. So, on some level, perhaps the association was carrying forward this heritage. On the same token, the promotion of cricket was also necessary for the youngsters of today who were more into video games rather than athletics. Hence, the need for an afterschool program. An awards ceremony to announce various cricket team winners was also held during the evening.
The winners for the winter league and fall eague were as follows. For the winter league, the man of the tournament was Rahul Vashisht. The best batsman was Kavish Srivastava at 119. The best bowler was Rakesh Negi with 7 wickets.
The fall league’s man of the tournament as well as best bowler was Abrar Khan who took 10 wickets with an economic rate 5 runs. The best batsman was Saqeeb Jalees who massed 180 runs.
(Swati Sharan is an Indian journalist based at St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada)