Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford congratulated Sri Lanka on their first world cricket title in 18 years and said he always backs the underdog to win. The mayor made his remarks to Lanka Reporter during the official launch of the fourth annual CIBC Trophy – Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament presented by CIMA Canada on Thursday.
“I always cheer for the underdog; I think it’s great and want to congratulate Sri Lanka on their victory,” Mayor Rob Ford told Lanka Reporter on Thursday.
“No one expected this, but obviously the Sri Lankans did right? Never count anyone out, congratulations,” added Ford who is an avid sports fan.
Speaking of cricket, congratulations to Sri Lankan Canadians celebrating the ICC World T20. Proud champions!
— Mayor Rob Ford (@TOMayorFord) April 10, 2014
SPECIAL CHANCE FOR TORONTO SCHOOL CRICKETERS
Going into Sunday’s ICC World T20 final, media coverage, and pundits firmly placed India as favourites despite Sri Lanka’s number one ranking in T20 internationals.
Meanwhile at the Mayor’s School Cricket announcement Thursday speakers had more quips about the ICC World T20.
Martin Saxton, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) told the audience he was an avid English cricket fan, but conceded Sri Lanka was the best team in the world at the moment.
CBC broadcaster Dwight Drummond who hosted the event said, “There must be many happy Sri Lankans.”
UK Consul General Jonathan Dart had tougher words for the disappointing England cricket team. Dart told the audience England sunk to new lows this season after their defeat to the Netherlands. He left kinder words for the English women’s team, who were runners-up of the World T20.
Yet Toronto school cricketers were the stars of the day. Dart hoped to see Canada attain Test status in the future, and dreamed of seeing Canadian cricketers on the honours board at Lord’s. His words came just hours after the ICC Board approved the ICC Test Challenge, giving Canada and other associate nations a chance to play Test cricket by 2018.
RANIL MENDIS’ BRAINCHILD
Young Canadian players already enjoy the extraordinary chance to play cricket in the UK thanks to a program by CIMA, spearheaded by Lankan-Canadian Ranil Mendis. CIMA has received the 2013 ICC Development Awards for the ICC Americas Region for its iniative.
“It’s a richly-deserved recognition for an organization that annually selects 12 youngsters from Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods to travel to the U.K. to play against leading school teams. The annual ‘Cricket Across the Pond’ tour is the brainchild of Ranil Mendis, the man behind the popular Mayor’s Cup in Toronto,” Toronto Sun’s Norman Da Costa said his piece on the World T20 final on Sunday.