Hamza Tariq set to play in Caribbean Premier League
Tariq is 1 of 3 Canadians to be drafted this year, and the only player from Western Canada
A Calgary-based cricket player is preparing to compete against some of the best players in the world.
Hamza Tariq, 25, was drafted by the Trinbago Knight Riders of the Caribbean Premium League on Thursday.
"I still can't wrap my head around it," he said. "Every time someone congratulates me, it's almost like it's happening again and again."
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The CPL is considered one of the top cricket leagues in the world, after the Indian Premier League and the Australia-based Big Bash League.
Tariq, who plays as a wicket-keeper and a batsman, is looking forward to learning from the best.
"I'm not going there to just make up numbers," he said. "I want to show people that I belong there. I want to make a good first impression to the coaches and the skipper, and hopefully win some games for the team."
Growing popularity in Canada
Tariq, an accounting student at SAIT, moved to Canada from Pakistan when he was 12.
Canada isn't known for producing elite cricket players but, believe it or not, it's possible to develop world class skills in this country.
"It's actually the fastest growing sport in Canada right now," Tariq said.
"When I moved here I think we only had a couple of cricket grounds, and maybe a handful of teams. But now we've got a lot of teams, a lot of interest."