Life is not always easy and you have to be prepared for the curve balls thrown your way.
Keenen Tinto knows this well having endured several challenges.
After his mother died when he was just three years old, he was sent to his parents’ birth country – Trinidad & Tobago — where he was raised by family members, including his grandfather who has a passion for cricket.
“Watching him embrace the sport inspired me to try it out,” recalled Tinto who attended Tranquility Government Secondary School. “The next thing I knew was that the coaches were telling me I was good and I should stick to the sport.”
The medium pacer, who started playing the game in his early teens, is counted on to spearhead the Canadian bowling attack in the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
“He has some pace and he’s accurate,” said national youth coach Ingleton Liburd. “He is definitely a young player with a bright future.”
For the past five years, Tinto has split time between T & T and the Greater Toronto Area where he has represented Overseas, Lion Hearts and Limers in the Toronto & District Cricket Association (TDCA) league.
Tinto, who has a passion for music, resides with a friend when he’s in Canada.
“Playing for Canada is a dream come true and I just want to go out there and help my team do well.”
The young man, who gave up his job to prepare for the tour, plans to return to school later this year. He and the rest of the squad leave tonight for the UAE.
“The preparation has not been ideal, but we have to go there and gave it our best effort,” said Liburd. “Our plan to leave a bit early and get in some work in the warm weather was scuttled because of finances. We just have the two practice matches before the tournament starts and the boys will have to make full use of them.”
The full squad is Nitesh Kumar, Nikhil Dhutta, Arman Kapoor, Stephan Joseph, Anikit Joshi, Abraash Khan, Stephan Rajasingham, Yug Rao, Tala Sheikh and Keenen Tinto of Ontario; Sudeepta Aurka and Farhan Malik of Alberta; Gurkaran Dhillon of British Columbia and Trevor Manoosingh of Manitoba.
Former Canadian all-rounder Sanjayan Thuraisingam is the assistant coach and Cricket Canada’s junior co-ordinator Wijay Senathirajah is the manager.
The national side faces Zimbabwe on February 14, South Africa two days later and West Indies on February 18. The games will be played in Abu Dhabi.
Canada, Afghanistan, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and host country the United Arab Emirates and the 10 Full Member nations will compete in 48 matches to be staged across seven venues in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai.
The 16 teams are split into four groups and the top two will advance to the quarter finals. The other two sides from each group will participate in the Plate Championship quarter finals.
Canada has just two victories in 18 matches – there are two no results along with the tie – in its previous three World Cup outings.
India and Australia have each won the tournament, which started in 1988, three times.