Canadian National Universities Twenty20 tournament July 23, 2007

Ryerson victory overshowed by poor organisation

Eddie Norfolk

Officials debate the rights and wrongs as the tournament ended in chaos © Eddie Norfolk
Ryerson won the first Canadian National Universities Twenty20 tournament late on Friday night, beating McMaster University (Hamilton) in the final.

The scheduled final almost did not take place as the tournament supervising umpire from the Canadian Cricket Association (CCA) proved a highly immovable object to the sentiments of the participating teams. McMaster beat Seneca College in one semi-final and Ryerson edged out the fancied University of Toronto Scarborough (UTS) campus in the other.

It was noticed that one of the Ryerson batsman had not been declared in the original team list of 11 players. At one point, Ryerson were deemed to have lost, and UTS were told the final would be forfeited if they did not take the field. There was a lot of sympathy from the attending students as both last and this year's event owed a massive debt to the key organiser from Ryerson.

Figures showing how McMaster had qualified ahead of Ryerson on run-rate for last year's final have not been publicly disclosed, to the best of my knowledge. I arrived on Friday morning uncertain as to the four semi-finalists. It seems the calculations and discussions went on until late. The ability to advise local media of the line-up for the big-day and a desire to draw a decent crowd evaporated during Thursday night's deliberations and confusion.

Trevin Bastiampillai in action during the replayed semi-final © Eddie Norfolk
The designated CCA vice-president responsible for schools, colleges and universities cricket, as well as umpiring and scoring, was not present. He attended the opening ceremony on Monday. Eventually the CCA president arrived and about 50 minutes later a replay of five-overs-a-side between Ryerson and U of T Scarborough began.

U of T Scarborough, including Trevin Bastiampillai, one of Canada's batting hero's from the recent ICC Intercontinental Cup win over UAE, made 45 for 4. Ryerson overhauled this total in the fourth over for the loss of two wickets.

Closing speeches followed before McMaster went out and scored 104 for 5 wickets in a match shortened to 12 overs because of problems caused by the setting sun, Hassan Mir leading from the front with an unbeaten 49. Those with long memories recalled he hit 45 earlier in the day against Seneca. A couple of Toronto and District players formed the bedrock of Ryerson's chase, Harvir Baidwan making 29 off16 balls and Rahath Mirza 37 off 25 to guide them home with an over to spare. In fairness, the fielding side struggled in far from ideal conditions as the sun set and dusk arrived.