Cricket, one of the world’s oldest sports, has been around since the 18th century. For those unfamiliar with the sport, similarities can be found between cricket and baseball, as both sports involve batting, pitching, and fielding.
However, there are three different formats in cricket, which differ in game length and rules: test matches, One Day Internationals, and T20 games. Test matches go up to five days, and are only played for a maximum of six hours (excluding breaks). One Day games are played with a maximum of 50 overs allotted per side, which can take about four hours at the most. In recent times, the T20 format has been the most popular, due to its shorter time commitment and higher entertainment value.
Cricket is also played on designated cricket pitches, with 11 players per team, and it requires the athletes to be in top shape if they want to be successful.
Despite all of this, cricket at UTM is not at all how I just described it. Due to the unforgiving nature of Canadian weather, coupled with the general lack of facilities, UTM cricket is played indoors in the RAWC’s Gym C.
Indoor cricket has its own unique appeal from the regular game. The rules and equipment are completely different. The games are shorter, more intense, and even more competitive. Six overs are given to each side, as well as six players on the field. They are played between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the past few years, UTM students have been consistently coming out to form at least six to eight teams for the intramurals, raising the bar every single time.
The current league commissioner, Moaaz Imran, told me that he thinks the current UTM crop might be the most talented bunch of individuals he’s seen yet. “The level of competition and talent continues to increase every semester,” Imran said. “It bodes well for Canadian cricket enthusiasts and players, because of the lack of awareness in the country. Captains begin recruiting early in the academic year, and based on their needs, players are drafted in and out of their respective teams.”
For students such as myself, these intramural and pick-up game times provide us with an opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts, take a breather from hectic studies, and just have a good time.
Although cricket might not be one of the most prominent sports at UTM, or even in Canada for that matter, it is growing. There are many leagues offered in the summer, which feature teams and players from all over Ontario. In addition to this, there is also the first-of-its-kind winter cricket league called The Lakeshore Cricket League, which was established by none other than UTM’s very own Manmeet Singh.
Singh is a former president of the UTM Cricket Club, as well as a valuable team member of the cricket team. He led his team to multiple intramural wins to go along with his continuous efforts in other tournaments. A great advocate for the sport, his league has grown exponentially, even though it’s only halfway through its second season.
Apart from intramurals, UTM also has an extramural and tri-campus team. UTM is currently the reigning champion of the University of Toronto tri-campus competition, having won it for the past two years. With the 2017 edition of the tri-campus tournament, as well more external college competitions coming soon, the campus hopes they can continue in this rich vein of form.