Just after being re-elected general secretary of Cricket Canada at its annual general meeting in British Columbia late last month, Calvin Clarke received a congratulatory e-mail from former president Jack Kyle.
Clarke also learned from the digital message that he is now the national body’s longest serving executive member in one position, surpassing Kyle who was president for 15 straight years up until 1993.
Taking over from Ramesh Jagoo in 1994, Clarke has served under several presidents, including Jimmy Siew, Geoff Edwards, Ben Sennik, Ranjit Saini and now Ravin Moorthy. Brampton-Etobicoke & District Cricket League president, Praim Persaud, ran against Clarke at the last AGM.
“I get a sense that this group will take the game in the right direction,” said 77-year-old Clarke. “I want to see where they are going and if they are going to do what is in the best interest of the game. We have to work as a national body and not as individuals or for our province only.”
Raised in the Trinidad & Tobago community of Belmont, Clarke worked with Rediffusion T & T before migrating to England in the 1960s. He spent seven years with Rediffusion in London which was the British ITV contractor for London and parts of the surrounding counties on weekdays between 1954 and 1968.
Rediffusion also owned Wembley Stadium at the time and Clarke was part of the technical team responsible for installing the first public address system in the then soccer-only stadium in 1964. He also played cricket for Moresby in the Enfield League before coming to Canada in 1967.
Clarke spent 33 years with Electro Sonic Inc., an electrical and electronic components distributor, before retiring in 2000. During that period, he was quite active as a medium-pacer with Civics Cricket Club in the Toronto & District Cricket Association (TDCA) and then as a club administrator, serving as secretary and vice-president before taking his administrative skills to the TDCL where he was a vice-president and president.
He was also the secretary and first vice-president of the Ontario Cricket Association, assistant manager of the national teams that took part in the 1982 and 1986 International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy tournament for Associate members in England and manager of the national side that defeated the United States by 136 runs in St. Louis in 1980 in the world’s oldest sports rivalry.
Started in 1844, the competition was held annually up until 1912 when it was interrupted by World War 1 and other global events. Revived in 1963, the series ran for another 17 years up until 1980 when there was a three-year hiatus before a restart in 1983. There was another break that lasted 16 years before the tournament resumed last year at Maple Leaf Cricket Ground in King City.
“I have enjoyed giving back to the sport that I love,” said Clarke who visits the Caribbean annually to watch West Indies’ home series and was part of the team that successfully organized the 1989 United Way of Toronto fundraising fixture featuring the West Indies and a Rest of the World XI at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre). “I will keep giving until I feel it’s time to step back.”
Five years ago, Clarke was the recipient of the ICC Americas Region Award for lifetime service to cricket.
By RON FANFAIR