Annual Cricket Challenge moves onto new pitch

Cricket at York is growing again this year as the annual York is U Cricket Challenge begins Monday for a week-long competition outdoors on a new ground.

Following the success of past events, the organizers have hooked up with the York Cricket Club – which formed two years ago following the tournament – to create a new cricket pitch on campus, on the south side of Pond Road at Keele Street. Competition takes place from 10am to 6pm daily. Spectators are welcome to come out and hear the spirit and feel the passion as this exciting tournament unfolds and cheer for their favourite teams as they battle for the tournament cup.

Established in 2003, the York is U Cricket Challenge gives student cricketers a chance to strut their stuff, socialize with students of different national backgrounds and promote the game. The tournament also gives students from cricketing nations a chance to get a little whisper of home, where the game is as popular as hockey is in Canada. In an article on its Web site after the first tournament, Cricket Canada Online said the event recognized “York’s unofficial sport” which had been played for years on any patch of ground available on campus.

“York is U is all about making students feel connected to the University,” said Jeremy Greenberg, coordinator of student alumni programs. “We asked students what they wanted and we consistently got the same response from students from Commonwealth countries: outdoor cricket.'” Greenberg said the response to the tournament has been great again this year with eight teams ready to compete in a longer tournament format than in past years.

Instead of the usual six-over games, this year’s competition will be eight overs for the qualifying matches, with 10-over semi finals and a 12-over final. The preliminary rounds take place Monday through Wednesday. The semi-finals will be held Thursday from 10am to 4pm with the final set for Friday at 10am. Organizers will crown the 2006 winners following the conclusion of the match at 2pm.

When it first began, the tournament had an audience of 50 students. Last year’s event drew a crowd of more than 225 people who saw Team Multicultural (above), led by Sachit Kanwar, emerge victorious over defending champion Pakistan.

For more on cricket at York, see stories in the Oct. 14, 2004 issue and the Oct. 31, 2005 issue of YFile.