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Cricketer goes Down Under to bring game up

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Trevor Manoosingh takes his cricket seriously — so seriously that he’s moving halfway around the world to hone his game.

The 19-year-old from Waverley West recently joined the University of New South Wales Cricket Club in Sydney, Australia.

Manoosingh is hoping to learn as much as possible from the club’s top-level coaching prior to representing Canada this summer in a qualifying tournament for the Under-19 World Cup.

Getting an invite to one of the world’s top club cricket programs was a lengthy process for Manoosingh.

"At the beginning of last year I communicated with one of my friends who had moved to Australia," he said. "I asked if there was any way for me to get down there and play half a season, and get some training or high-level coaching."

The friend passed around Manoosingh’s resume — which included some prior international experience for Team Canada — and was able to get the NSW club to extend an invitation.

"They saw my stats, and could see that I was legit and working hard at my game," Manoosingh said.

Unlike with college sports in North America, there’s no requirement for Manoosingh to take classes while he plays cricket in Australia. The club is affiliated with the university, but follows a model that’s closer to European soccer.

Manoosingh is a bowler who specializes in a leg spin delivery, using slight variations of his hand and finger position to get the ball to turn left or right and fool batsmen.

"A lot of batsmen in Manitoba have trouble reading me," he said. "But I’ve been watching a lot of Australian league play, and I’m a little scared. But it’s something that I want to rise to the challenge and show these guys that Canada is working hard at developing our youth."

If things go as planned, Manoosingh will have some new tricks up his sleeve when Canada hosts the U.S., Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Argentina in Toronto in July with a single spot in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup in Dubai at stake.

"I think we’re going to do a very good job," he said. "We’re the biggest threat going into this championship. I’m confident, especially with the way some of our players have prepared for it."

The Canadian roster is spread all across the cricket world, gaining the same sort of experience as Manoosingh leading up to the qualifier. Players are in India, England and Bangladesh.

Aside from the World Cup, Manoosingh’s short-term goal is to be invited back to Sydney for another season. Long-term he’s got his heart set of a professional career.

"I’m taking it one step at a time," he said. "Obviously I’m thinking big privately. If they want me to come back I can start thinking about how I want to push this as far as I can into something more than playing for fun."

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

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