Pakistan Wins Inaugural Beyond the Boundary T20 Cricket Festival

Pakistan XI pose with the championship
trophy as they celebrate their tournament win
Pakistan XI celebrated a remarkable victory over World XI on Sunday in the first annual Beyond the Boundary T20 Cricket Festival at the Iceland Cricket Ground in Mississauga.
The biggest names in Canadian cricket, including overseas internationals, First-Class professionals and league players from Ontario, took to the pitch this past weekend for two full days of exciting matches in the showcase tournament.
Although the majority of the players in the tournament are Canadian, including 30 current and past Canadian internationals, the teams were organized by the birth nation of each player. The four-team tournament included India XI, Pakistan XI, Sri Lanka XI and World XI, a squad comprised of players from the rest of the world.
Some of the more notable names taking part were Canadian national team members Ashish Bagai (Captain), Hiral Patel, Rizwan Cheema, and Henry Osinde. Mahendra Nagamootoo is a former test player for the West Indies added star power to the World XI.
 Saad Nazar of the Pakistan XI
On Saturday, Pakistan knocked off India by a mere three runs in the opening match while the World team outlasted Sri Lanka by eight runs to advance to the final on the following day.
On Sunday, India cranked out 135 runs and managed to hold Sri Lanka to 120 runs to take the third place game. Hiral Patel took the Man of the Match honours as batted for 53 runs off 40 balls.
In the Finals, Pakistan batted first and started very slowly. Despite a quicker run rate in the final 8 overs, they were held to just 97 runs as the World team took all ten wickets with 2.3 overs to spare. Good bowling put the World team in great position as they needed a 4.85 run rate to win the tournament.
After a decent start from the World batters, the Pakistan XI turned it up a notch as they put on an extraordinary display bowling leading to wicket after wicket. In the end the World XI only lasted until the 14th over while only putting up a measly 47 runs on the board.
Zahid Hussain was named Man of the Match for Pakistan XI as he bowled an impressive 4 for 3 in 3.1 overs.
The founding members of Beyond the
Boundary – Shaheed Keshvani, President
and Coach (left), Anthony Pratt,
Coach (centre) and Lawrence Bill, Coach (right).
Saad Nazar of the Pakistan team gave praise to his teammates for a great collective effort in their decisive win in the final.
“The key of the match is the unity we had on the team, everyone supported each other,” said Nazar. “We played well. We didn’t have a very big score but we chased down…Everyone basically supported each other. Everyone talked to each other where to bowl and where not to bowl. We knew these guys, we knew these batsmen, their weaknesses, their strong points and we bowled accordingly.”
Nazar also added his thoughts about the tournament and the importance of having a grassroots organization like Beyond the Boundary.
“It was a great pleasure to play in this kind of tournament,” said Nazar. “Since as everyone knows that this is the first tournament that the great organization (Beyond the Boundary) have started. And this kind of organization we need in the country to bring up the talent and makes better cricket for the nation. That was a good championship, we feel good.”
Beyond the Boundary
The T20 Cricket Festival was organized by Beyond the Boundary, a not-for-profit organization and community development program aimed to harness the power of sport, namely cricket, to help young and new Canadians come together and become positive members within their communities.
A Sri Lanka XI bowler unleashes a ball
towards an India XI batsman
Beyond the Boundary was created by Shaheed Keshvani, Anthony Pratt and Lawrence Bill, all of whom have a passion for sports and have played cricket professionally at various levels around the world. Keshvani, born and raised in Canada, is the President of the organization but will also act as a coach along with Pratt and Bill, who are Australian and British, respectively, but now live in the Greater Toronto Area. The troika also represented the World XI team in the weekend tournament.
The Cricket T20 Festival was created to not only help create awareness for Beyond the Boundary but also to showcase the great cricket talent that already exists in Canada.
“I want to give back to the game,” said Keshvani during the tournament. “I feel there’s a real need for that with cricket becoming a mainstream sport here in Canada.”
“To get all these players here, kind of united in this festival, the music and the food, I really wanted to put on a show for cricket in Canada. I wanted to show that there is interest, and that there are people who are really passionate about cricket.”
With a strong emphasis on cricket, the program will focus on “creating cricketers” through first-class coaching in an academy to help develop young talent and grow the sport in Canada.
“Our programs are based on facilitating what the players need and having a place with no politics or bias with anybody. You come in and you improve your game with our professional coaches, take it to your club and apply it.”
However, there’s more to the program than just cricket.
“A lot of what we’re about is everything apart from cricket which is the discipline, the education, integration and especially health promotion,” added Keshvani.
"So this is what we’re all about, kind of starting a movement that will benefit all cricketers in Canada. Hopefully give the sport we love more enthusiasm, more recognition in Canada.”
Tournament Notes:
Day 1- Saturday September 25
India vs Pakistan
Pakistan batted first and made 97 (Junaid Siddiqui 26)
India in reply made 94 in a tight finish (Junaid Siddiqui took 3 for 12 in 4 overs)
Man of the Match: Junaid Siddiqui of Pakistan XI
World XI vs Sri Lanka
World XI batted first and made 96 (Mahendra Nagamootoo 24 not out)
Sri Lanka was all out for 88 (Mahendra. Nagamootoo 3 for 5 in 4 overs)
Man of the Match: Mahendra Nagamootoo of World XI
Day 2 – Sunday September 26
Consolation Final
India vs Sri Lanka (View Pictures)
India batted first and made 137 (Hiral Patel 53 off 40 balls)
Sri Lanka 120 for 9 (Akshay Bagai 2 for 21)
Man of the Match: Hiral Patel of India XI
Pakistan batted first and made 97 (Idrees Malik 30) Henry Osinde (3 for 8 in 4 overs)
World XI all out 47 (Zahid Hussain 4 for 3 in 3.1 overs) (Rizwan Cheema 3 for 10)
Man of the Match: Zahid Hussain of Pakistan XI

Click HERE to view more pictures from Pakistan Vs World match.

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Photos courtesy of Annandi Merhai of Devi Designs

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