TORONTO, Canada – After last night’s delightful and colourful meet and greet at the Tropical Nights Restaurant and Bar here, it’s down to serious business as the 2017 Ontario Masters Cricket Clubs Toronto Cup II swings into gear here today with 12 teams, four in the Open category and eight in the Masters, starting their quest for top honours at several venues across Scarborough.
Picking a winner in either division seems an arduous task in the three-day tournament which climaxes on Sunday with the two finals, set for the University of Toronto ground.
Preliminary matches will be played at Ashtonbee, Littles and St Bede’s.
With both defending champions, New York Enforcers and Toronto’s Our Own opting out of this year’s tournament, two new champions will be crowned at the end of what is expected to be two enthralling finals come Sunday at the picturesque venue. Of note, however, is the fact that several of the players from both New York Enforcers and Our Own will be donning colours for other teams.
Notable absentees in the Open category are the Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL), reigning champions, and current Conference A leaders Dant who were runners-up to New York Enforcers in 2015.
While Dant’s absence is a huge blow to the local supporters, Sunshine and Rems-Tech All Stars are more than capable of holding their own against the New York contenders in NYSCL All-Stars and SVC/Mafia Cricket Club.
Victorious Our Own skipper Mahedranauth ‘Bobby’ Parasnauth, who is now at the helm of Sunshine, has exuded an air of confidence in his charges and according to him, he’s confident his team will be holding the winners’ trophy aloft come Sunday.
Apart from the ever-green Parasnauth, Sunshine’s batting will hinge on the elegant Richard Latiff, whose exploits with Guyana’s Regal are well known around softball circles, including a match-winning masterful display in the 2016 New York Legends Cup final.
The team also includes the likes of Loaknauth Ramsuchit, who led Dant in the last final, Asif Ally, Anil Mahadeo, Riaz Kadir, Trevon Garraway, Zaheer Haniff, Krishna Deosarran, Anil Ramoutar and Avinash Sookdeo. Zanil Jumarali is manager while Paris Tulsi is the coordinator.
Led by former Guyana Under-19 batsman Eyaaz Mohamed, Rems-Tech All Stars are not to be taken lightly and according to Mohamed, they are a supremely buoyant bunch whose aim is to cart off the championship.
Fresh off a brilliant century in the Elite League of the Scarborough Cricket Association, Abdool Samad is also a fine batsman at the softball level and will team up with the likes of Dilon Heyliger, Surujpaul Deosarran, Sheik and Zakir Khan. Ian ‘Russian’ Baldeo is player/coach.
Reports indicated that several of Regal and Wolf Warriors players are part of the SVC/Mafia Cricket Club from New York and they are expected to also provide stiff opposition. Among the notable names are Martin ‘Beast’ Dutchin, Navin Singh, Anil Beharry, Azad Azeez, Rocky Randy and Anand Nezamuddin.
Much is not known of the NYSCA All Stars but with the influx of several seasoned former Guyanese players among their contingent they cannot be underrated.
The Masters category also promises lots of action with the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA), led by Rickey Deonarine, fancying their chances of coming out on top this time around after losing to Our Own in the 2015 final.
GFSCA Masters are coming off a resounding victory over Regal Masters at the Roy Wilkins Park, Queen’s New York where Ravi Lutchman blasted a match-winning undefeated 112.
The formidable GFSCA, who are threatening to come with all guns blazing, will do battle with NYSCL Legends, NY Hustlers, Tri-State Muslims, Ontario Masters Legends (OMSCC/Host, League Team), Ontario Masters Softball International (OMSI – Ontario Masters Touring Team), Amazon Warriors (New Jersey) and Better Hope Legacy.
The winners in both categories are assured of cash prizes. In addition, the victorious teams and runners-up in both categories, the most valuable players, and the men-of-the-match in the finals are assured of trophies plus medals compliments of the Trophy Stall of Guyana. Proprietor Ramesh Sunich will be on hand to assist with the presentation of trophies. The white balls to be used are the Trophy Stall branded white balls.
Among the other sponsors are Tropical Nights Restaurant and Lounge, Nirad Lall. Bhowan Persaud, Dr Rudy Singh, (Vitality Physical Medicine), Jenny Tajpaul (ReMax), Robert Lall (GL Carpentry), Demand Maintenance, All Trade Rentals, AJ Hardyal (Dent Wizard), Paul Jaman (Reliance Lions), Danny Suknandan (PGI Ltd), Raymond (First-Class Printing) and Naz Shaw (Saf Fire Restaurant and Bar).
Source: Guyana Chronicle