Toronto Honours Cricket Legends

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The Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda partnered with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority to host a Brunch in honour of the Cricket Legends’ visit at Toronto’s Albany Club.

And what a Brunch it was. Entering the storied Albany Club, we were greeted by a live West Indies band, singers and dancers and an ambiance of such pure fun, that everyone, including me, was swaying to the music. Enjoying the mood were the West Indies cricketing giants and legends of the sport – Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Anderson Roberts, Sir Richard Richardson, and Sir Curtly Ambrose. They were officially heading home after a landmark series of public appearances throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Their visit was orchestrated by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) and its local partners as part of the Cricket and Culture Tour which kicked off in the UK last month.

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Knights of the Realm. Sir Curtly Ambrose, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Anderson Roberts, Sir Richard Richardson at Toronto’s Albany Club. Photo by Desran Mckie
The Knights’ visit came at an exciting time for the future of cricket in Canada, as a growing South Asian and Afro-Caribbean diaspora continues to bolster Cricket into becoming the country’s fastest-growing sport. Additionally, 2024 marks Canada’s first time to play in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with Antigua and Barbuda set to host eight exciting matches at its Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

“Canada’s qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a monumental achievement for the country, and spells well for the future of cricket in Canada.” said Sir Vivian Richards.

The Albany Club kitchen outdid itself with a menu that included an homage to the West Indies cuisine.  And then, guests were invited to ask questions of their favorite team members.   I was reminded again, that Cricket is considered “the gentleman’s game” and was quite popular in High School in my hometown, Winnipeg.  In Toronto, the Knights met with students, youth players, and staff at Dallington Public School and were also joined by Woodbine, and Don Valley school teams in North York, where they offered words of encouragement and some choice batting and bowling tips to the next generation of Canadian cricketers.

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Sara Waxman, Alana Jones
“In Antigua and Barbuda, cricket is huge, and we have produced a number of great international players. We are thrilled to see more and more Canadians embracing the game as we have,” said Sir Curtly Ambrose.

While in Toronto, the Knights participated in the ICC T20 Trophy Tour and assembled for the high-profile “A Night with the Knights” at the Galaxy Grand Convention Centre in Brampton. The food and entertainment inclusive event saw Sir “Richie” Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose take to the stage to perform as part of Antigua and Barbuda’s famed Spirited Band, energizing those in attendance with an eclectic setlist.   The Knights had an opportunity to also meet, congratulate and offer some tips to The Canadian Men’s National Team in attendance who will participate in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup this year.

“There is no better time to come visit us in Antigua and Barbuda” said Tameka Wharton, ABTA Director of Tourism, Canada. “There is so much happening with cricket matches all summer long, romance month in June and Antigua Carnival in early August. On top of that Canadians can get to Antigua and Barbuda so easily with direct flights on Air Canada and with WestJet adding a mid-week Wednesday flight in June in addition to its standard Sunday flight.”

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In fact, I shall be dropping into the beautiful island of Antigua in a few weeks myself, and if my timing is right, I might get to see a Cricket Match.

For T20 World Cup match and scheduling information visit: https://www.icc-cricket.com/tournaments/t20cricketworldcup

For more information visit: https://www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/

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