The extramural men’s indoor cricket tournament at the University of Toronto – Mississauga campus had an air of excitement for much of last Friday.
Teammates strategized, observed the gameplay of other teams, and loudly supported the action in the gymnasium.
It may be a recreational sport, but every player takes the game very seriously.
Humber North’s indoor cricket team was short of a spot in the tournament final but put in a solid effort at the tournament.
“Our team showed some depth after having a few key players miss the tournament,” said Jason Patraj, head coach of the Humber indoor cricket team.
Missing players meant the team had a slow start to the day, losing their first game against UTM by a 10 run margin.
“We lost trying to fill the gaps that were left from the players who couldn’t attend but we bounced back quickly,” Patraj said.
The bounce back came in their second round-robin game against Sheridan College. Humber fielded well and a thrilling six-run boundary hit by Srimantha Wijeyeratne on the last ball of the game secured their win.
An all-Humber matchup in the quarterfinals saw the North campus team easily out-batting Lakeshore to move on to the semi-finals against Sheridan College.
“It’s always fun playing against Sheridan as they are our biggest rival. This was the second time we played Sheridan twice in one tournament and the sixth time this season,” said Taqi Baig, student coach and player on Humber’s indoor cricket team.
The second matchup between the two teams proved to be more suspenseful, with Sheridan shutting down Humber’s batting and holding them to 34 runs.
“We definitely had a better time with fielding against Humber in the second match,” said Tahir Khan, the coach of Sheridan’s indoor cricket team. “We were lucky enough to get a three wickets in one over which definitely helped our momentum.”
Humber did its best while fielding, but Sheridan managed to lose fewer wickets and end Humber’s day at the tournament. Sheridan would go on to win the tournament final against Centennial College.
“Although we lost to Sheridan, we have a point of reference for the level we are at and what we need to do to win the next tournament. We beat them in the round robin stage but were not able to pressure them when it counted,” said Patraj.
Patraj expects to prepare better for the remaining tournaments this season.
“I will need to finalize my roster a little further in advance next time,” he said. “This will avoid the added nerves of making last minute decisions and we will look like a cohesive unit.
“We can’t blame a plan if we don’t have one or if we don’t even stick to it,” Patraj said.
Baig believes the lessons learned last week are already showing through in practices.