Nov 02, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Guyanese Dillon Heyliger is the only West Indian in Canada’s squad for the upcoming ICC 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers to be held in Antigua and Barbuda from November 7-15.
Canada has competed at the ICC Cricket World Cup on four occasions, 1979, 2003, 2007 and 2011. Dillion played for Guyana U-15s in 2005, U-19s in 2008 before playing for the Senior team in a T20 in 2013.
The Essequibian pacer has captured 19 wickets with a best 4-16 against Bermuda since making his T20 International debut for Canada on 18 August 2019 against the Cayman Islands. He finished his debut tournament as the leading wicket-taker, with eleven scalps in five matches.
The 32-year-old played his last T20I on 27 October 2019 against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the covid-19 pandemic put the brakes on most things. He made his List A debut for Canada in the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament on February 8, 2018.
In June 2021, he was selected to participate in the Minor League Cricket tournament in the United States following the players’ draft. Being the only West Indian on the Asian-dominated Canadian team, does not bother him and he feels comfortable in the Canada set up.
“All I want is just keep my focus and get Canada qualified and take the team to a World Cup” explained Dillon, who previously shared the new ball with fellow Guyanese Jeremy Gordon for Canada. Dillon revealed that he moved to Canada in 2015 because of the politics in Guyana’s cricket.
“It was tough for me to make the senior team with how cricket was going in Guyana at that time so I decided to move Canada” lamented the Essequibian. Introduced by the British, cricket was the most popular sport in Canada until the early 20th Century when it was overtaken by Ice Hockey. Cricket was so popular it was declared the National Sport by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada.
In September 1844 in New York, Canada opposed the USA in the first International cricket match. Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Canada, with over 40,000 cricketers across the nation.
While Canada does not play Test matches, the team participates ODIs and also in first-class games in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
“Well cricket is developing faster now in Canada as it’s been introduced in all schools and a lot of grass root programs are being done by holding Summer and Winter and camps. The standard of cricket is high because of the multi-cultural immigrants. We have loads of overseas players coming in to Canada to play in the domestic season here.
We made our own team here in Canada and named it Amazon Kings… we played in the Mississauga in the 2021league season” Dillon disclosed. Dillon was born on October 21, 1989 at the Suddie Hospital on the Essequibo Coastto Orin and Tennessee Heyliger and has three brothers, Orin junior, Ryan and Jason Heyliger who plays first-division Cricket for Police in Guyana.
He attended the Abram Zuil Secondary School and says he had quite life growing up in Guyana largest County with his siblings and Mom. “I came from a cricketing family and lived close to the playground and Beaches where we would go play every day.
I fell in love with the game. I would enjoy just being picked for the senior team to take water and was so happy just to be in the game. I played youth cricket for Essequibo at the age of 13 for Essequibo Under-15 and south Essequibo,” said Dillion, who was a member of the Santos Club in Suddie.
Dillon played for Guyana Defense Force (GDF) after got a contact from Coach Roddy Lovell who was the Coach when he played for Guyana at U-15 level and as he got more matured he made the GDF First Division team.
“My most memorable moment is playing in the World Cup qualifiers playing against Ireland in Abu Dhabi and winning the game in the last over” said Dillon, who says his favourite player Brian Lara.
“God and my mom along with Coach Daniels and Coach Abdul Sammad aka bird are main persons who have helped and supported me. My biggest motivation is my mom and my son Dillon junior. I just want to be the best role model as a dad,” concluded Dillon.
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