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Toronto wins ACF's inaugural North American Championship

Peter Della Penna

March 11, 2014

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The Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club celebrate victory, North American Cricket Championship, Phoenix, March 9, 2014
Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling club beat Midwest Cricket Conference 3-0 © Rod Gohil/ACF
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Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club completed a three-match sweep of Midwest Cricket Conference to win the American Cricket Federation's inaugural North American Cricket Championship in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday. TCSCC won the first 40-over match by five wickets on Friday after bowling out MCC for 110 and completed another five-wicket win chasing down MCC's 259 on Saturday. On Sunday, TCSCC posted a 75-run win to round off an undefeated championship weekend.

Raza-ur-Rehman, who was Canada's leading scorer at the recent ICC World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, was the top-scorer for TCSCC, with 189 runs including an unbeaten 116 in his side's victory on Sunday. Former Canada players Rustam Bhatti, Arsalan Qadir and Shaheed Keshvani were also part of the winning team from Toronto.

MCC's leading scorer on the weekend was former USA U-19 captain Abhijit Joshi while former USA senior team players Ashhar Mehdi and Sohail Alvi also represented the MCC squad. Noticeably absent from the MCC team though was batsman Fahad Babar. An ACF press release in January had stated that Babar, who was the leading scorer and league MVP in the Chicago-area league this past year, was expected to play for MCC at the event.

Babar was part of USA's squad at the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE and had he chosen to play for MCC in Arizona, he may have run the risk of facing consequences from the USA Cricket Association for playing in what was not a USACA-sanctioned event.

Following the conclusion of the tournament, the ACF announced plans for its second North American Cricket Championship to be held at the same Nichols Park Basin turf wicket facility in Arizona again next year from March 6-8.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by MSU_BULLDOG on (March 12, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

Cricket is still at its infancy in the US (compared to other countries) and yet politics between the associations is so significant that players such as Fahad opt to stay out of tournaments. If cricket has to progress and if US is to become a force in the cricket world there is no place for these politics. The associations have to look beyond their petty goals and differences.

Also, not sure who/how the MCC team was selected - if former US senior players (40+?) still play in these tournaments when will youngsters get a chance to play ? How will cricket improve at the grassroots level? No wonder the USA team finishes pretty much at the bottom of all the tournaments it sends teams to.

Posted by android_user on (March 12, 2014, 3:19 GMT)

congratulations to canada team. I saw the second game in action here in arizona and they chased down a total of 260 with such ease that i believe they were the better teams. congratulations to arizona and the chairman of arizona cricket association, Rod Gohil too be able to host it in a nice manner. hope the tournament returns next year.

Posted by WeirdBeard420 on (March 12, 2014, 1:25 GMT)

Can more clubs participate, and if so, how does one get involved next year?

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 0:00 GMT)

Well Done Toronto Team. Kudos to Arizona Cricket Association for successfully hosting this tournament.Great Job..

Posted by Ranjeet_MO on (March 11, 2014, 20:51 GMT)

ACF has triggered lots of positive cricket developments in USA. I have seen a lot happening in last 12 months in all departments youth cricket, women's cricket, men's league all across the country and suddenly cricket seems to be on fast track towards progress. I hope ICC and rest of the cricket world sees the postive changes ACF is bringing in the country, and recognizes their efforts.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

hey, all i can say is ... atleast there is movement in Cricket in America ... great work ACF ...

Posted by nirvana_1959 on (March 11, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

Proud to be a Torontonian!

Posted by android_user on (March 11, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

Well done Toronto thanks cricinfo to bring this

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