Cricket in Medicine Hat -The Gentleman's Game
I went to my first cricket match August 28. :)
Earlier this year I made a post about cricket pitches being on the Parks and Recreation Survey, thinking nobody played it in the ‘Hat. I was corrected by a very nice young man. I apologized that day, learning a little humility along the way.
Here’s what he told me.
Cricket is the second most watched game in the world, second only to football (soccer).
The Medicine Hat league (MHCA) has three teams; they have tournaments with out of town teams. They had a match recently with a team from Suffield.
August 28 the tournament had 7 teams – two from Edmonton, two from Lethbridge and three from the ‘Hat. Each team has 11 players - 77 total to check out our beautiful city. They each paid $50 to fund the tournament, they have no sponsors.
The young man came here from India some years back. He came to go to Medicine Hat College because it was much less expensive than Calgary or Edmonton. He also had a family member here. He stayed and now has a young family. They are just the sort of people we need in our city.
He said MHCA could use some support from the City.
The cricket pitch is not that difficult to create, a concrete pad for the batsmen and the wickets. They already have that. It’s on Southlands Blvd SE, just off 13th Ave.
A place to store their gear would be very helpful, that’s the #1 priority.
They purchased their own batting net to practice but a permanent place to use it would be nice.
Also, bleachers for spectators in the future. (For myself I’d like to see a permanent bathroom available.)
One thing I noticed with watching these teams play was how sportsmanlike they all were, I saw none of the the male posturing often seen with other sports. Cricket is called the Gentleman's Game and these players were the epitome of gentlemen. I was made to feel very welcome by everyone who saw me.
Cricket has been played in Canada since 1785, it was declared our national sport by our first prime minister. It was overtaken by hockey in the early 20th century but it is the fastest growing sport in Canada right now. Cricket Canada was established in 1892; there are more than 40,000 players in Canada; Calgary has 1000 of them.
We are spending $2 million on pickleball, we can spend some on cricket. Given how many people we have here from cricket loving countries, our nearness to Suffield, this is perfect for our Parks and Recreation. :)