Once having been the most popular sport in Canada before being overtaken by hockey in the early 20th Century, cricket was declared the national sport in 1867 by Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Today, it remains a popular minority sport in the country and is the fastest growing sport in Canada with more than 40,000 cricketers across the nation.
While cricket is still more common in countries such as India, Australia, or South Africa, the sport has become more and more more frequently played and enjoyed in other areas of the world. And Canada is a typical example with cricket one of the sports that has gained more popularity recently.
If you assume that cricket was never really a frequently played sport in Canada until recent years, it would be incorrect since records show that it was played in the early 1700s by the Royal Navy and the British Army, who brought the sport into Canada from their home countries. The first-ever civilian match to be documented in the country took place at Ile-Ste-Helene, near Montreal, in 1785.
While cricket is not as nationally renowned as ice hockey, there was a resurgence of the popularity of the sport in 2018, when Toronto hosted the Twenty20 league. In terms of playing cricket in Canada, one of the key issues is the country’s weather conditions. When it comes to grounds maintenance and safe play, there are some challenges since the land usually freezes for over half of a year.
In spite of these difficult conditions, Canada still has its own governing body for the sport, Cricket Canada, recognized by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Cricket Canada manages the country’s national men’s and women’s teams, several youth teams at differing levels, and runs some development programs throughout the country.