The sport’s legend Shahid Afridi starts up new cricket club in Mississauga

By:  Monica Kucharski

Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi launched a new cricket club in Mississauga earlier this May, aptly named the Shahid Afridi Cricket Club.  The club is based out of Mississauga, but will play its games all across the GTA and King City this summer.

Over 100 teams will be competing for championship in different categories and conferences. The GTA has an estimated 20,000 registered cricketers competing in various leagues.

Afridi is the former captain of the Pakistan national team, now retired and involved with philanthropic causes.  He visited Canada last year and talked with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne about the development of the sport in Canada.

“During my meetings with Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne on my last visit to Canada, they discussed the need to support the development of cricket in Canada and I promised I would do something. It’s important to promote sports amongst youth. I am very happy to announce that we have launched Shahid Afridi Cricket Club to compete in TDCA and signed former Canadian Cricket team captain Rizwan Cheema as captain and mentor, and Ameem Haq as the General Manager,” said Shahid Afridi.

Afridi, known to cricket fans as “Boom Boom” for his aggressive batting style, began playing cricket professionally at 16, becoming the youngest player to accomplish a One Day International (ODI) century.  He has 396 International matches under his belt, and has won the most Man of the Match awards for Pakistan, with his 8,000 runs and over 350 wickets.

Cricket has a very long tradition – the sport that has been tracked back to the early 16th century, and has been a popular ever since. The most important competition for the sport is the Cricket World Cup. Other major competitive events include the T20 World Cup, Test Series and One Day series.

It may not be widely known that cricket was once declared as Canada’s national sport by Sir John A. Macdonald—the country’s first Prime Minister and a dominant figure of Canadian Confederation.  More recently though, GTA politicians have recognized an increase in interest in the sport across the region, and are supporting efforts to popularize it.

Want to keep abreast of the Shahid Afridi Cricket Club’s activities?  Check out their Facebook here.