Stallions Cricket Centre’s Passionate Cricketers Academy launched Feb. 9, a first-of-its-kind indoor program in the lower mainland. (Photos: Ryan-Alexander McLeod)

Surrey cricket centre launches youth academy

Passionate Cricketers Academy run out of indoor facility at Surrey strip mall

Ryan-Alexander McLeod

Special For Black Press

Inside an unsuspecting strip mall in Surrey, there’s something special taking place. The Canadian National cricket players of tomorrow might just be training.

At least that’s the hope of Khurram Dilshad, owner of the Stallions Cricket Centre (304, 12886 Anvil Way #305, Surrey, BC), who recently announced the start of the centre’s Passionate Cricketers Academy.

Passionate Cricketers Academy and Youth Team officially launched its jersey on Feb. 9, 2020 and is a first-of-its-kind indoor program in the lower mainland for youth’s age five, all the way up to u19.

homelessphoto

Khurram Dilshad at the Stallion Cricket Club in Surrey British Columbia, on February 22, 2020. (Photo: Ryan-Alexander McLeod)

“Ninety-five percent of the U19 Canadian Cricket team comes from Ontario and we have a dream of one day soon making sure B.C. is well represented on the National Team,” said Dilshad.

In a world crazy about sports, reading this you might be surprised that cricket ranks second among major sports for its popularity. There’s a fanbase of over 2.5 billion, so some of you may not be so surprised.

In Surrey, one of the largest Canadian cricket crazed markets, you would be hard-pressed to find field time, let alone a program to help develop the bowlers of tomorrow. That’s an issue many have sought to fix, including Inamul Desai, vice-president of the BC Mainland Cricket League (BCMCL), who presented in front of City of Surrey Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee.

While two-thirds of all cricketers from British Columbia come from Surrey, there is an inadequate number of fields to meet the demand of the sport being played by competitive teams, let along giving enough field time to properly help develop the youth of tomorrow.

READ ALSO: Skilled Young cricket players from Surrey have national ambitions, March 5, 2018

Echoing these sentiments, Dilshad adding that while the most popular version of cricket can take up to six or seven hours to play. That doesn’t leave much field time and puts kids at a disadvantage for learning even the basics, he said.

“When the kids are having to play at 8 a.m. and rush their games to finish before noon (when most competitive games start), the kids end up playing in long grass and it’s very wet out then, not ideal for teaching fundamentals,” Dilshad said.

That’s where the Stallions’ facility comes into play.

Dilshad said the Stallions Cricket Centre not only features pitching machines and some of the best professional coaches to develop players, they’ve even got the ability to bring down the netting and play indoor games. Thus, giving children and young adults the chance to play games indoors and train day or night with the Passionate Cricketers Academy.

That way always the goal of Surrey’s Stallions Cricket Centre. It was dreamed up by Dilshad as a way to bring top-tier training and a year-round facility to the community he joined as a new immigrant in 2012.

“When I first moved here, I went two to three years without playing the sport I grew up with,” said Dilshad.

Much like generations of kids grow up imagining throwing a football like Payton Manning or handling a hockey stick like Gretzky, Dilshad grew up on grassy fields playing cricket from early in the morning until the darkness of night took over.

That’s the passion many parents in Surrey have seen rub off on their children, said Dilshad.

“Cricket is everything for all the kids in South Asia, and now here too, it is very popular and the passion comes from something you see growing up,” he said.

“In our childhood, we used to play day and night and the cricket was everything for us even still it is today,” Dilshad smiled. “So not playing for three years, that was very frustrating and then finally, 2016 I found cricket again.”

Cricket is a sport of patience, the ultimate in sportsmanship and it’s one of the world’s largest sports.

“Most of Canada’s U19 national cricket team comes from Ontario, and yet we have one of the largest cricket communities in Canada here in Surrey and so I hope Passionate Cricketers Academy can give representation and pride to British Columbia and western Canada,” said Dilshad.

Representing Canada is the ultimate goal of any Canadian athlete in any sport. Holding the flag and sharing their pride of sport and country in a test of skill against the best the world has to offer.

Cricket is also a sport of passion and well-timed bowlers playing for pride and honour, but much like hockey’s passion isn’t born in the rink but the ponds and backyards or basements, so too is cricket.

“We’ve built pitches on our backyards, empty fields,” Dilshad laughed, “really anywhere we could, but in the end, we wanted a place to help our children with the game they love too.”

“The facility isn’t a business for us, this is our passion and that’s why we called it the Passionate Cricketers Academy,” he said. “So, it’s from our passion for the Passionates, that’s why the idea is fantastic, and we are working our heart on this just to develop it.”

On any given weekend you’ll find 60-70 kids taking their turns learning to bat and bowl with coaches, including former India U19 star Sarbjeet Singh, who is always found deep in the middle of training a group of batters around the Centre.

“Now the plan is simple. We want to grow the cricket and that’s only if we grow our youth,” Dilshad said. “If we develop our youth, we grow.”

“Western Canada should be represented on team Canada and it starts with Passionate, it starts with proper cricket grounds, like they do in Ontario. We need that here.”

Find out more about Passionate Cricketers Academy and the Stallions at stallionscricket.ca.

READ ALSO: Horgan helps open Delta’s first-ever cricket pitch, May 30, 2019



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read