Fulfilling a dream of playing cricket for Canada should be enough reason for Tyson Gordon to celebrate. The middle-order batsman, who played one game for Jamaica before migrating to Edmonton to join his Canadian-born wife in December 2007, made his national debut in last year’s Caribbean Twenty/20 tournament. He was also with the national squad which spent five weeks in India last November-December preparing for next month’s World Cup and he’s now in Antigua taking part in the regional Twenty/20 series.
Gordon’s delight with being on the Canadian team is however tinged with uncertainty. He will not be at the World Cup if he does not receive his Canadian passport by January 15 when Cricket Canada submits its final 15-member squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Gordon is in limbo in as much the same way Jamaican-born bobsledder Lascelles Brown was a few years ago when the Calgary resident was seeking to represent Canada at the Turin Olympics. He was awarded his citizenship by special exemption just a few weeks before the Games started in 2006 and nearly six months after submitting his application.
Gordon is hoping that he will be just as fortunate.
In order to apply for Canadian citizenship, an individual has to live in Canada for 1,095 days in a five-year period. It can take up to a year to be invited to the Canadian citizenship exam and, if successful, one will be summoned a few months later to take the oath in front of an Immigration judge and obtain the citizenship card. After this process is completed, an individual can apply for a passport.
Gordon, who applied for his passport on December 3 when he became eligible, hopes to by-pass this process through special exemption.
“I will be disappointed if I do no get it in time for the World Cup,” said 28-year-old Gordon who top scored with 70 in his only match for Jamaica against South Africa at Chedwin Park in a One-Day International in May 2005. “Playing in the World Cup is what every cricketer aspires for and I have worked very hard to get to this stage.”
The older brother of Jamaica youth player Andre Creary, Gordon has scored heavily in the past three years for Scona in the Edmonton & District Cricket Association league. Last season, he amassed an unbeaten double century in a Twenty/20 contest after coming to the crease at number three in the second over. He also represented Toronto & District Cricket Association elite champions Brampton Masters Tranzac in eight matches in 2010.
“The standard of play is much higher here than in Edmonton and I enjoyed the opportunity to come to Toronto and play in a few matches,” said Gordon whose highest score was 52 against Vikings in an Elite contest in August. “The owner of the company I work with in Edmonton is into cricket and he was very generous in giving me time-off to travel here on weekends for the matches.”
Despite enjoying the competition in the Toronto league, don’t expect Gordon and his family to move to this city anytime soon.
“I don’t think my wife would want to do that now and I am fine with Edmonton because the lifestyle is not as hectic as it is here,” he said.