Brian Hale plays his last innings

first_imgBy Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada —Brian Hale,former Guyana Sports Club opening batsman, passes away after brief illness.Described as an individual who lives and breathes cricket, Hale’s death came as a shock to cricket lovers and administrators in the Greater Toronto area,since he was looking forward eagerly to the start of the 2017 season.Since leaving Guyana some 44 years ago, Hale’s interest in the sunshine game has never waned and his development in the sport, more so at the youth level, has been rightfully acknowledged and recognised in Canadian cricket circles.Hale,who started playing for the British Guiana Cricket Club (BGCC), before the Thomas Lands club was renamed Guyana Sports Club (GSC), missed playing for the Guyana senior team because of migration.He was also one of the most qualified and recognised coaches in Canada.Prior to leaving Guyana in 1971, Hale represented Guyana Colts against the touring English cricketers and was also in contention for an English County contract.He was selected based on his outstanding performances in the national trial matches, when he scored a century while sharing in a double-century stand with the late Guyana and West Indies opener,Roy Fredericks.He had also turned out for Demerara in the Jones Cup Inter-county tournament.While Hale played for the GSC,the club had the unique distinction of carting off the Case Cup first division tournament for three consecutive years as well as winning the Rothman’s Cup limited overs competition during the said period.Hale’s first stint in Canada saw him join Victoria Park Cricket Club where he immediately made his presence felt, topping his team’s batting averages in his first two years and was also the leading run-scorer in the league.Hale subsequently donned the Canadian national colours, in games versus Leeward Islands, Australia and Ireland.In an administrative capacity,Hale was a board member of both the Toronto and Ontario Associations and served as a Junior coordinator. He was also credited with starting the Junior League in Toronto which is ongoing.During his term as the National Junior selector and coach, Hale was also at the helm of the Markham Cricket Association.In 1992, Hale started the Toronto Cricket Academy (TCA), the first of its kind in Canada, and he has been credited with producing several notable national Canadian players including former Canadian captain and wicketkeeper,Ashish Bagai,and the youngest Canadian World Cup player,Nitish Kumar.Hale was recognised by the Province of Ontario for ‘Distinguished Performance’, by Cricket Canada for his ‘Contribution to the Sport’ and the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the ‘Spirit of Cricket’.The National Film Board of Canada also did an award-winning documentary featuring his academy which is also available on Youtube and is titled ‘Cricket and the meaning of Life’.While Hale’s work within the TCA was well known, his services were also sought by other players outside of the body – a testimony of dedication to the game of cricket over the years.last_img

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