If Movva can display that kind of command on the pitch this month in Muscat, Oman, Canada could accomplish a first: a berth in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, to be played in October and November in Australia. (T20, or Twenty20, is a more abbreviated form of the game than One Day International and test cricket.)
Like many competitive athletes, Movva prefers not to play prognosticator. But he feels good about Canada’s chances to qualify for the event, where they could face titans of the sport like India, England and Australia at hallowed grounds like Adelaide Oval and, with a capacity of 100,000 fans, Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“It’s looking very bright to me,” says Movva from a hotel room in Toronto, where Canada’s T20 squad practices. “We’re having a strong training session and we’re coming off a very good effort at the regional qualifiers in Antigua, where we were actually missing some players. We’ll have our full roster in Oman.”
It’s rare for cricketers from Quebec to qualify for Canada’s national squad. In fact, Movva is the first player from the province to make the cut in 12 years.
“Shreyas is one of the best in the country,” affirms Subrata Mandal of the Quebec Cricket Federation. “He reads the game well and has a real captaincy’s sense. That’s why he made the team.”
Success in cricket, success in life
Movva says his conduit to the cricket community in Montreal — he arrived in 2016, fresh off a degree from Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belagavi, Karnataka — was Concordia.
“A friend was a student at Concordia and I messaged him. After I arrived he helped me find a team. Soon after that I played in a tournament where a bunch of us represented the university, unofficially. I performed well and that started my journey in cricket here.”
The adjustment to winter was a struggle, Movva admits, but once he got acclimated he deftly juggled graduate courses (he credits Gina Cody School faculty members Stuart Thiel and Joey Paquet), a part-time job at a busy downtown restaurant and cricket practice.
“That’s the beauty of a competitive sport,” Movva says. “It demands a lot of you, but I enjoy the discipline and routine. It’s helped me in other aspects of my life.”