By RON FANFAIR
Jamaican-born Calgary resident Tyson Gordon was granted his Canadian passport last Tuesday, just five days before the national team’s opening World Cup cricket match against host country Sri Lanka in Hambantota on Sunday.
Gordon returned home 10 days ago to write his Canadian citizenship exam last Friday.
He was at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Global Cricket Academy in Dubai with the national squad preparing for the quadrennial tournament.
“I studied all the way back during the nearly 16 hours I was in the air and the two hours I spent in transit in London,” Gordon, who applied for his passport last December 3 when he became eligible, told Share. “Failure was not an option so I made sure I was well prepared.”
He rejoins his teammates in Sri Lanka later today.
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 was awarded his citizenship by special exemption just like fellow Calgary resident and Jamaican-born bobsledder Lascelles Brown, who secured his just weeks before the 2006 Turin Olympics.
The 29-year-old left-handed batsman relished the opportunity to be back home briefly with his wife and young son for the first time since December 26. After taking part in the Caribbean Twenty/20 tournament in Antigua and Barbados, Gordon spent four days in Toronto before heading out to Dubai earlier this month. He was also away for five weeks in India in November and early December preparing for the World Cup.
“It’s nice to spend some quality time with them even though I am a bit tired with all the travelling and hard work we have been doing as we get ready for the World Cup,” said Gordon who made his Canadian debut in the 2010 Caribbean Twenty/20 competition.
“We were in the indoor and outdoor nets in Dubai from around 9.30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily with a one-hour lunch break working on every aspect of the game with our coaches and some of the academy coaches, including Rod Marsh. The training has been rigorous.”
Gordon said team morale is high heading to the World Cup and former captain John Davison has been accessible to the young players. The Australian-based resident joined the squad two weeks ago.
“I have found JD to be very approachable and he has been interacting with our guys helping out however he can,” said Gordon. “With this being his third World Cup, he has the experience so it will be foolish for players like me not to ask him questions and seek his advice.”
National selection panel chair Chris James said he’s delighted that Gordon has the opportunity to play in the World Cup.
“He’s one of the players that the coach is looking to make some runs for us in the middle order,” said James who will witness Canada’s matches in Sri Lanka. “He has worked hard and I am glad that he has been rewarded with the chance to play for Canada at the World Cup.”
Gordon scored 23 off 45 balls to help Canada defeat The Netherlands by four wickets in Dubai in a warm-up match a day before he hopped on a flight for Calgary. The national side lost its second practice match to Afghanistan by five wickets.
Canada and the other Associates at the World Cup – Ireland, the Dutch, Scotland and Afghanistan – were at the camp in Dubai prior to going to the World Cup.
After its opening day/night match on Sunday, Canada faces Zimbabwe at Nagpur on February 28, Pakistan in Colombo on March 3, Kenya in New Delhi on March 7, New Zealand in Mumbai on March 13 and Australia in Bangalore three days later.
This is Canada’s fourth World Cup appearance, having participated in the 1979, 2003 and 2007 competitions.