Winnipeg cricketer raising the bar for bowlers and batsmen
A Winnipeg cricketer is raising the bar for bowlers and batsmen, and now has his eyes set on the world stage.
Jatinder Matharu is the latest Manitoban to be selected to the national senior cricket team.
While he learned to play the game in India, he didn't realize his full potential in cricket until moving to Winnipeg from India at 16 years old.
Cricket brought a sense of familiarity for Matharu, but it was also an opportunity to grow his game.
“My main role was as a bowler. I wasn’t really that good as a batsman. That training helped me a lot here, right,” said Matharu, who also goes by the name Sunny.
“And then I started playing here, and my coach started focusing on my batting too, so I kind of improved on my batting as well,” said Matharu.
Recently named to the national cricket team, he's the first Manitoban to represent Canada in eight years.
Unlike those before him, Matharu played almost all of his competitive cricket in the province.
“The other players, they played high level outside, came here with the skill set, enhanced that and made the Canadian team. Sunny is, although he learned cricket as a teenager, he perfected his skill set right here in Assiniboine Park with competition here,’ said Ray Ramrattan of the Cosmos Cricket Club.
Known in cricket as an all-rounder, Matharu is described as the complete package. Building a reputation as a versatile bowler and a dangerous batsman.
In fact, his coach considers him the gold standard of cricket in Manitoba.
“Me as a manager, I’ll walk by and see a kid and then I would say, ‘That’s the next Sunny,’ and you hear other people say things like that. He’s handling it well. He is a role model without trying,” said Ramrattan.
Being a role model to the up-and-coming cricket players here in Manitoba is something Matharu is embracing as he prepares to leave his Winnipeg Cosmos Club team to join Team Canada.
“There’s also young people, young players, that are always watching me and they want to see me at that level so it’s not a pressure, I would say it’s actually building more confidence in me,” said Matharu.
Proud to be representing Canada on the world stage, Matharu said he is now one step closer to his ultimate dream.
“To play World Cup. I would say that’s the last thing,” Matharu said.