Of the 73 birthdays he has celebrated, at least one stands out for retired cricketer Glenroy Sealy.
Just two days before his 39th in 1979, the all-rounder made his One-Day International debut in the second World Cup.
Opening the batting with Chris Chappell at Headingly against a new-ball attack comprising Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz who combined to play 143 Tests and 220 limited-overs internationals, Sealy disdainfully despatched Imran’s first ball through the onside to the boundary. After Chappell departed for 14 with the score at 54, Sealy partnered with Franklyn Dennis (25) and Martin Stead (10) to help Canada reach the 100-mark before Majid Khan’s useful off-spin and Asif Iqbal’s accurate inswing sent Canada reeling from 103-3 to 139-9 off 60 overs.
Sealy, one of seven Caribbean-born players on the national side, stood his ground, top scoring with 45 off 110 balls. His 122-minute innings included five boundaries.
Pakistan reached the target in the 41st over for the loss of two wickets.
While scoring just three, 25 and two in the remaining matches against England, Australia and Sri Lanka respectively, Sealy still has fond memories of the tournament.
“Going to a World Cup and facing good cricketers, many of whom went on to have Hall-of-Fame careers, was special,” Sealy told Share last week at the Modernite Association of Toronto’s 30th anniversary gala where he was honoured for his contributions to the sport. “That stood out for me as was the team’s meeting with the Queen and her family at Buckingham Palace.”
Born in Barbados where he started playing the sport as a young boy, Sealy represented St. Giles Boys’ School and Hamilton in the Barbados Cricket League prior to joining Maple where he spent five seasons until 1968.
His teammates included Essex and West Indies all-rounder Keith Boyce who played 21 Tests before passing away in 1996 at age 53, John Shepherd who represented Gloucestershire, Kent and the West Indies in five Tests and Wycliffe Phillips who turned out for Gloucestershire and Barbados.
In his last year as Maple captain, Sealy represented a Barbados “B” team against a formidable Guyana line-up that included late Barbadian-born batsman Sir Clyde Walcott who was the captain, Rohan Kanhai, Joe Solomon, Lance Gibbs and Clive Lloyd. He also played against the Bob Simpson-led 1965 Australians.
“I got 80-odd runs against the Guyanese, but I was not so fortunate when we took on the Aussies because I made a duck,” he recounted.
Sealy spent the 1969 season playing for Ayr in Scotland, alongside former England captain Mike Denness who succumbed to cancer in April 2013, before coming to Canada.
“Playing league cricket was a great experience and I had a fantastic season,” Sealy said. “The club wanted me to return, but when I arrived here, I secured a decent paying job and found that the standard of cricket here was just as good.”
An attacking batsman, Sealy played the last three games in the 1969 season with Dovercourt which was the only Toronto & District Cricket League side he represented until the club folded in 1995.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing the sport in the Caribbean, Scotland and here in Canada,” said the married father of two daughters and a grandchild. “I had a good run.”
While admitting he doesn’t follow Canadian cricket, Sealy – who also played basketball, tennis and soccer – spends a lot of time in front of the television at home watching his favourite sport.