History of Peterborough Cricket
Welcome to the game of white uniforms, fast bowlers, googlies, wickets and willow bats, being played right here in Peterborough. Surprised, are you! Read on about this earliest known organized sport played in over 100 countries including Canada, and in your own backyard in Peterborough! Cricket is extremely popular with people from Commonwealth countries in South Asia and the Caribbeans, some African countries (like Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa) and from Australia, New Zealand and England. Canada, being part of the Commonwealth, was the anomaly by not having a professional cricket team. This is starting to change slowly.
Canada was represented in the recent 2007 Cricket World Cup played in the West Indies. According to Cricket Canada, cricket has more than 40,000 registered players across the country and perhaps 50,000 more not registered in any league. Toronto district schools now feature cricket as a varsity sport, with about 150 schools playing in the Greater Toronto Area. As recent as June 2008, Canada has given cricket recognition as an official sport, allowing the game to grow.
Cricket was once the most popular sport in Canada until the early 20th Century before it was overtaken by hockey. Cricket was so popular it was declared the national sport in 1867 by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Canada, although still in minority. While Canada is not sanctioned to play Test matches, the team does take part in One Day International (ODI) matches and also in first-class games (in the ICC Intercontinental Cup) against other non-Test-playing opposition, with the rivalry against the United States being as strong in cricket as it is in other team sports. The match between these two nations is in fact the oldest international fixture in cricket, having first been played in 1844. This international fixture even outdates the Olympics by over 50 years.
The roots of Canadian cricket spring mainly from the regions of Upper Canada and in particular from around the little town of York (now known as Toronto) in the Province of Ontario. During the early years of the nineteenth century, the game was encouraged in the town by George A. Barber, a young English schoolmaster. Today he is considered to be the father of Canadian cricket. In 1827, he helped found the Toronto Cricket Club.