Former cricket administrator Dr. Geoff Edwards is among 26 honourees in Cricket Canada’s inaugural Hall of Fame induction class.
“It’s kind of nice to know that what I have done is appreciated,” said Dr. Edwards. “But I have received a lot of support from others along the way.”
He was Cricket Canada’s president for seven years, an Ontario Cricket Association (OCA) director for a decade and chair of the Hamilton & District Cricket League (HDCL) for nine years.
Born in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Edwards participated in the sport at the club and national level where his teammates included wicketkeeper Mike Findlay who played 10 Tests for the West Indies.
On arriving in Canada in 1968, Edwards joined the HDCL as a player and later as an administrator. In 1983, he replaced Jack Dickens as league president.
A graduate of the University of Guelph in veterinarian science, Edwards managed national teams to the Bahamas and Calgary and was a Cricket Canada senior team selector.
International Management Group (IMG) executive vice-president Andrew Wildblood, who created the Sahara Cup series featuring India and Pakistan that was staged in Toronto from 1996-1999 and late Trans World International (TWI) chief executive Bill Sinrich, who oversaw the expansion of the IMG programming arm, are also honoured in the Builder category.
Other inductees are Calvin Clarke who is Cricket Canada’s longest serving official having served as general secretary for the last 20 years, historian Kevin Boller who came to Canada in 1972 and served as Tranzac Cricket Club’s secretary/treasurer and president and the OCA secretary before becoming Cricket Canada’s public relations officer, Jack Kyle who was the national association’s president for 15 years up until 1993 and businessman Ben Sennik who stepped down as Cricket Canada’s president in 2009 after being at the helm for six years.
Colin Harvey and Frederick Heather will be posthumously inducted in the Officials’ category.
Heather, who migrated from England in 1921 at age 31, was a member of the St. George’s Club that won the city championship in 1922 and Bell Telephone Cricket Club that captured the Toronto & District Cricket Association’s top league title five years later.
When his playing days were over, Heather became an umpire. He stood in Bermuda’s inaugural visit to Canada in August 1931 and a year later in the Australian series featuring the legendary Sir Don Bradman and skipper Victor Richardson, the grandfather of the Chappell brothers.
In addition to umpiring, Heather was a key administrative contributor. He served as secretary of St. George’s and Yorkshire Cricket Clubs, vice-president and public relations officer of Dentonia Park Cricket Club and was a founding member and first Life Member of the Toronto & District Cricket Umpires Association in 1931. He also started an academy for umpires and was instrumental in the birth of structured junior cricket in Canada.
Heather died in Toronto in 1976 and Cricket Canada has on three occasions unsuccessfully nominated him to be recognized in the Builder category in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
A Cricket Canada treasurer and senior member of the national body’s umpire certification committee, Harvey passed away in November 2012 at age 78.
Meantime, Cricket Canada’s annual general meeting takes place this weekend at the Sport Alliance of Ontario in Don Mills.