BATTER UP!: Cricketers the stars of International Sport Day

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CORNWALL, Ontario - For Jamshed Sadiq the chance to get out on the field for a cricket match in Canada, in March, is a rare thing.

To play the game with a bunch of Canadians who didn't know the first thing about cricket, the opportunity was even more unique.

Sadiq and about 30 other cricket players from far-off places like Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka took part in International Sport Day at the Benson Centre.

The event was hosted by the Local Immigration Partnership, a branch of the Eastern Ontario Training Board, as a chance to get people from different ethnicities taking part in sporting events.

Both soccer and cricket were played Sunday afternoon - but the focus was reserved for cricket, a sport which few Canadians have ever played, and even fewer understand.

"It's nice to bring people together to do things like this," said Sadiq, captain of a mixed bag of players from both overseas and the Cornwall area which took the field. "Canada is really in the building process with cricket.

"But it is getting better."

And he added the opportunity to break down cultural barriers is important.

"If you interact with guys from a good team, they can help to build bridges," he said.

That sentiment was music to the ears of Kimberly Vass, project delivery assistant with the training board, which organized the event in conjunction with local sponsors like Supply Chain Management and Kensington Park Recruitment.

"We were thrilled to see so many smiling faces out today," she said. "It shows that regardless of background, people can find common ground and have a good time."

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