Like father, like son: a passion for the sport of cricket runs deep in one Edmonton family.
And it’s deep enough that Tyson Gordon Jr. left home in January to pursue playing and training in Jamaica, where the 14-year-old is a member of the country’s Under-15 cricket team.
When his family gets to watch him play from a distance online — Edmonton is about 5,000 kilometres from the Caribbean country — emotions run strong for his father.
“When the game goes live on YouTube, watching him … it`s breathtaking,” said Tyson Gordon Sr. “We want him to do well. Your heart is pounding. All in all, to see him growing into the man he wants to become, trying to achieve and take a step forward, it`s great to see that it`s working out and moving forward.”
The senior Gordon says “it’s really hard” having his son far from home but understands the commitment it takes to pursue playing the sport at a high level. After all, he once played internationally for both Jamaica and Canada.
“Growing up, I tried to teach him that you`ve got to decide what you want to be in life. If you want to be a cricketer, you`ve got to start from a young age,” said Gordon Sr., who played for Jamaica’s senior national team in 2005 and later moved to Canada, for whom he started playing in 2010 and competed in the sport’s World Cup in 2011. “Here in Canada, unfortunately, we don’t have an under-15 program. We only have under-19 … I told him, ‘Ìf you really want to play and you really want to be a part of Jamaica`s team, you have to attend school there and start from the lowest level.’”
In Jamaica, the young Gordon is working on gaining strength and experience to go with the strong technical skills he’s developed over the past few years living in Edmonton as he’s played and trained mostly with older players.
Back home this summer, the teenaged Gordon continues to train almost every day. He credits his father’s influence for his love of the game – the junior Gordon says it’s his only hobby – and for helping him develop the skills needed to pursue his dream of playing internationally one day for the senior West Indies team.
“It’s a very good thing to have,” Gordon Jr. said of the influence on him by his father. “I have someone to teach me and show me ways of playing cricket, and the way I go about myself playing cricket.”
Watching his son pick up his passion and take it to a high level has been satisfying for Gordon Sr.
“It feels really good because of all the sports in the world, that’s the No. 1 sport that I know and invest all my time in, so it makes it easier as a dad to teach him what he wants to learn,” he said. “(Cricket has) been my passion and it’s started to be his as well. Since he was young, he would watch me play, always watching on the computer with his mom when I was travelling and playing. (Then) being home playing games, he was always at my games.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Galen McDougall