‘Only on the Halifax Commons, you say? Pity!’

O P P O S I N G  D I S IN F O R M A T I O N

A LETTER TO THE CHRONICLE HERALD

Dear Editor,

Your coverage of plans to host the Maritime Cricket Festival later this month at our usual weekly venue (“Chopra hoping cricket festival will help raise profile of sport”, Willy Palov, The Chronicle-Herald, July 12, p.D-3) was welcome and timely.

If I might just to clarify three things from the second paragraph of the article, however. It reported: “A native of India who moved to Canada 20 years ago, [Ranjeev] Chopra has been heavily involved in the local cricket scene… He and a number of other immigrants have been getting together at the Halifax Commons every Sunday to play the game that is a national pastime in their native countries but a fringe sport here in Nova Scotia.”

1. I am actually a naturalised Canadian citizen, as are a number of the other players broadly referred to as “immigrants.”

2. The “fringe” that cricket began among in Halifax back in the 1800s were members of the British garrison at The Citadel. Indeed, up until the 2003 provincial contest that returned the Hamm government, any British subject – regardless of citizenship – was permitted to vote in Nova Scotia elections.

3. Finally, it is not I “and a number of other immigrants … getting together at the Halifax Commons every Sunday” who are hosting the festival, but the Nova Scotia Cricket Association, whose president, Tony Seed, editor-publisher of Shunpiking discovery magazine, is a native-born-Canadian who learned cricket at school in Ontario as a young man.

After perusing your “us [native-born Canadians] and them [who play cricket in their ‘native countries’]” style of covering news about our sport and its well-known activity of long standing here, we had the longest laugh. Someone had observed the surname of the article’s author. There are people from more than 190 national origins in Canada. Does it therefore not strike you as the height of absurdity for someone with a name like Palov to be writing as though someone with a name like Chopra were the stranger?

Yours truly,

Ranjeev Chopra

Date: Tue, 13 July 2004

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