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Spreading the word on cricket and sharing a trophy

The Sudbury Warriors will have plenty of time to settle their internal cricket club bid for bragging rights.

Housed under the umbrella of the Big Nickel Cricket Club, both of the Warriors teams (players are divided into two relatively equal squads) get together on most Sundays to enjoy a sport they love at the club pitch in Capreol.

But when it came time for the final of the Northern Ontario Cricket League tournament a few weeks back at the venue they call home, it was the Sudbury entries emerging from a field of six teams.

With Warriors I and II set to do battle, the skies opened and with no sign of the rain slowing down, it was a shared trophy that was presented to all of the Sudbury players.

If they subsequently want to decide on one ultimate winner, there will be plenty of Sundays to do so.

In the meantime, event organizers were happy simply to host a competition that drew groups from Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, Thunder Bay and North Bay, helping to further promote the internationally popular sport in the north.

"This game is spreading everywhere," noted Tarang Ingle, primary contact for the BNCC and president of the NOCL. "We want to invite anyone who wants to join the club to just come out and try cricket - we will teach them how to play."

While the local athletes are largely of Asian background, primarily with roots in India and Pakistan, the Warriors have also welcomed one player from Jamaica - and would dearly love to initiate a few more Canadians to their passion.

In fact, Ingle and company could not have been more appreciative of the out of town teams that made their way to Sudbury - or Capreol, more specifically - including the good folks from Thunder Bay.

"They are so much into cricket that they drove 12 hours yesterday, came and played a game," said Ingle. "They are a good team - we really respect them for coming."

The northwestern Ontario reps made it to the semi-finals before falling to Warriors II while the Warriors I crew, led by a century from batsman Navdeep Atwal, bested the Timmins team in games of 20 overs.

And while there are no formal cricket pitches in northern Ontario - or most of the province, for that matter - Ingle and his cohorts are more than pleased with the field they have at their disposal.

"It's a pretty good field - very open with lots of room," said Ingle. "We are very fortunate to have this kind of a pitch here. We have one of the best pitches in all of Ontario, even compared to the south."

"The City has helped us a lot to do this thing," Ingle added. "It took us a little to convince them, but they are really into this thing."

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