Cricket Canada is the National Sports Organization for Cricket in Canada. But, it is nothing like the BCCI, PCB, Cricket Australia or even the old MCC. But, Cricket is being played in Canada since a very long time. In 1859 when the All England XI, all professionals, crossed the Atlantic to play five matches in Canada it was considered as a historic event. England who were then known as MCC or Merelybone Cricket Club officially visited Canada in 1959 and in the first match in Montreal, they had a very tough time winning against Canada.
Cricket Canada, formerly named the Canadian Cricket Association (Established 1892), the organization is presently represented by 9 Provincial boards of Canada. Cricket first recorded in Canada in 1785 at Ile-Ste-Helene in Montreal, Quebec and this place is just a few kilometers away from my house. Right now ile-Ste-Helene has a Formula-1 Grand Prix Race track.
During the old times, the European immigrants/settlers used to play cricket but the trend changed due to the weather conditions and people started playing hockey (hockey in Canada is always ice hockey) and cricket was almost dead, it revived again with the immigrants coming from the sub-continent, Australia and the West Indies, the Canadian National Team played its first World Cup in 1979 and lost badly, their lowest score against England was 45.
The pathetic performance is due to lack of match practice and weather is the biggest culprit. Winter is so severe in Canada that there is hardly 3 months of summer i.e., Middle of May to Middle of August, prior to that and, after that any extra week of good weather is a bonus. There is also a lot of rain during the summer season so, not only the grounds are wet but, the tracks too. Therefore, some of the matches are played on matting. Basically Canada gets 12 week-ends of cricket or 24 days of cricket if there is NO rain. So, considering that, Canada has done a lot better than other associates of the ICC and managed to play in three world cups so far. Canada’s John Davison’s fastest hundred world cup record remained unbroken for many years. Adam Gilchrist broke that record and then Kevin O’ Brien broke his record in this WC with 100 in 50 balls beating England.
The above photograph is of Vancouver Cricket Ground. With time the Canadian grounds have improved in terms of facilities and a few of international matches have been played in Toronto and a couple at the Toronto Skydome which is NOT a cricket ground. Hopefully sometime in future there will be covered cricket grounds for Canadians, it will only be a dream because you can prevent rain and snow but, keeping the entire stadium warm enough is not easy unless there are other cheaper source of energy. The Canadians love some of their picturesque grounds which you will find all over of the country and here are a few photos that I like to share with you guys.