Saskatoon Cricket History
Cricket is most watched sport after soccer in the world and one of the oldest sports played in Saskatchewan. Canada has two national sports which are hockey and lacrosse but cricket was declared the National Sport of Canada in 1867 by the first prime minster of Canada.
Cricket was a popular sport among early settlers in Saskatchewan and was played in many communities across province. The popularity of the sport faded over time as the early Settlers aged and the new generation took over other sportslike ice hockey and baseball. In 1970’s, the two remaining clubs in the province; Regina Cricket Club and Saskatoon Cricket Club played friendly games. Regina had more players than Saskatoon but the number of players never grew to add more teams.
Kinsmen Park on the South Saskatchewan River was the oldest cricket pitch in Saskatoon. Teams from all over Canada and United States came to play matches at Kinsmen Park. Cricket was played there for many years until the pitch was moved to Saskatoon Forestry Farm in 1980’s. This move declined the popularity of sport as the Forestry Farm was at the edge of theCity boundary at the time and ground was utilized once a while. Cricket picked up popularity again in early 1990’s when university students start utilizing the pitch at the Forestry Farm. Saskatoon Cricket Clubis one of the oldest club joined the Saskatchewan Cricket league in 1990’s which included teams four teams from Regina; Queen City, Cavaliers Sports and Social Club, Regina Lions and PCCR.
The sport of Cricket is on the rise again in Saskatchewan as new immigrants making this province home and playing the sport they are familiar with. Cricket leagues are played in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Regina and recreational cricket is played in many communities like North Battleford, Yorkton, Moose Jaw, Estevan and Lloydminister as the immigration population is growing in these communities.
In 2011, more teams joined the league from Saskatoon which included Saskatoon Stars, Huskies, Knight Riders. Saskatoon Cricket Club also changed their name to Saskatoon Warriors. Since 2011, the number of team has grown to 10 teams in Saskatoon.
In 2016, another cricket ground was added in the City at Pierre Radisson Park. City of Saskatoon realized the demand of cricket pitches needed in Saskatoon based on growth of sport in Saskatoon and constructed another pitch at the Pierre Radisson Park in 2021.
There are three cricket fields in Saskatoon for league play and for the development of sport in younger population. Grounds are utilized from May to October for Saskatoon Cricket League, youth development and community cricket events. Cricket Saskatoon also conducts many coaching and introduction session to expand the popularity of this sport in the community.
Article: Iftekhar Kalyar
April 18, 2022