In the late 90s, a young restless Armaan Kapoor was growing up in Chandigarh listening to stories of Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, who captained India to World Cup victory in 1983, and bursting of Yuvraj Singh on the international scene had made him follow cricket more.
Although Armaan’s exposure to the sport was limited to gully cricket, he wanted to pursue it professionally. He was to get enrolled in a Chandigarh-based cricket academy, but then his parents decided to move to Canada in search of better opportunities and lifestyle. At nine, Armaan never imagined that life would take him away seven seas and then he will live to dream to represent Canadian cricket team.
And now 19-year-old all-rounder Armaan is an inch closer to realise this dream in the coming months. After doing well for the Canada U-19 team in various tournaments, Armaan is likely to don the Maple Leaf colours soon. “I am so proud of my roots. I remember playing cricket on the roads and local parks with the tennis ball in Chandigarh when quite young. When we came to Toronto back in 2004, I started to play cricket in the park with friends in Toronto, and I was in love with the sport again. I harboured a dream of playing for Canada one day then, and I am happy to have played at the U-19 level. I will be the happiest to be in the senior national team soon,” said Armaan, a medium pacer and a middle-order batsman while speaking from Toronto. He is a former student of St John’s School, Sector 26, in Chandigarh.
Although Canada will not feature in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup to be played in Australia next year, Armaan is hopeful of Canada’s better showing at other tournaments. “In the recently concluded qualifying tournaments, Canada didn’t do too well, but I feel Canada has a bright future ahead. As the fastest growing sport in the country, the success rate is bound to increase,” added Armaan, who is a doing his Bachelors in Communication from a Toronto-based Wilfrid Laurier University while his mother is a school teacher and father a mortgage broker.
Canada had taken part in the last ICC Cricket World Cup that took place in India back in 2011. At that time, Canada team had handful of cricketers of Indian origin. Armaan made his debut for Canada U-19 team in July 2013 during the ICC Americas Div 1 tournament to qualify for the U-19 World Cup to be held in UAE. He rose up the ranks of U-19, after doing well for the Canada U-18 team back in 2012.
Armaan was part of the 14-man ICC Americas U-19 squad that took part in the West Indies Cricket Board Regional U-19 50-over competition which took place in Guyana earlier this month. The ICC Americas composite team featured players from Canada, Bermuda and the USA. “The West Indies tour was a great development tour for me. I was also in the team last year, which travelled to St. Kitts & Nevis. Our individual and team performances were under par as we weren’t as successful as we would have liked to be. There is scope for much improvement. And I am working on it. There is a long way to go,” said Armaan, who idolises Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
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Armaan was part of Canada U-19 team that participated in the U-19 WC held in UAE earlier this year.
Armaan is not the only Chandigarh-born cricketer who is doing well for Canada cricket, another cricketer Harvir Baidwan is part of the Canada senior team and was part of the WC Canada team back in 2011.