Canadian based Guyanese cricketer Dillon Heyliger is one of the contemporary athletes who are benefactors of a now globalised sporting world.
The 28-year-old Essequibian, recently snapped up by the Montreal Tigers to play in the inaugural Global T20 Canada league, is thrilled and eager to rub shoulders with some of the headline names in the sport.
“I’m very much excited and privileged to be a part of the inaugural Global T20 tournament,” Heyliger told Stabroek Sports in an interview.
The break, which he described as a “dream come true,” and one for which he will share with his son when he becomes of age, is quite momentous, Heyliger explained.
“It gives me the opportunity to interact, play and mingle with the international players, and you can also learn from them, which inspires me to work on myself and generally to improve my game,” he added.
The genesis of his earlier playing days saw him representing Guyana at all the junior levels, including once with a Guyana Under-15 team during a tour to England.
He was also a member of the National T20 squad without getting a game. Those inclusions and experiences have helped to equip him with the ideal temperament suited for the shortest form of the game.
He possesses the ability to hit a long ball while his efforts with the ball are also very useful. Those attributes, however, will be brought to the fore and tested in the near future and will determine if his improved game can take him beyond the Global Canadian T20 league.
“I’ve been working a lot, and with my coach Henry over the winter, which has been helping me to understand a bit more of my game… putting in a lot gives you success, and I mean hard work gives you success and people start to see you, and you get to the bigger table,” he disclosed.
Taking things off the field, to his credit, Heyliger has also been a talisman for the talent in Essequibo, most of whom will be cheering for him when the tournament commences.
Against that backdrop, and seeing the waves his fellow countryman Keemo Paul has been creating, Heyliger hopes his strides can inspire more youngsters from his hometown to believe and strive for greatness.
“Coming from Essequibo, I see this as a big motivation for the young ones who are coming up. I’m always proud of saying I’m from Essequibo, and to come out this far and achieve this success; it’s good for young kids to see it.
“If I can do it, anyone can. It’s the success I’m reaping from my hard work, and it doesn’t matter which part of the world you go, once you put in the hard work you’ll get the success.”
To put into perspective, the magnitude of the tournament, here are the names of some of the high profile players he will be playing with, and against: Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Mohammad Hafeez, David Miller, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Tim Southee and the suspended Australian duo of David Warner and Steve Smith.