NY Mayor's Cup
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup
USA vs Canada - World's Oldest Sports
By Lloyd Jodah
Jan. 24th, 2010
In 1844 one of the most important events in world history took place
in Manhattan, NY in the area of what is now 31st street and 1st
avenue. What was so important about this event? It was the first
time in mankind's history that two countries stepped onto a field
to do battle against each other, in a game, not a war. The two countries
were the USA and Canada, and the game was cricket. As many as 20,000
spectators watched the game (a huge number based on the population
of that time).
This first 1844 International
cricket match, USA vs Canada, became an annual event that lasted
for about 60 years. It was the beginning of international sports
whereby nations could express their pride, and assert their supremacy
over other nations, not by shooting guns and killing men, but by
playing a game. Man's aggressiveness and testosterone now had a
peaceful outlet. It's symptomatic of cricket's current Cinderella
status in these two countries, that neither Canada nor the USA remembers
or celebrates this important event - but we can begin to commemorate
the event now.
On Friday the USA and the Canadian Under-19 teams were set to play
each other and whilst disappointingly it was not being broadcast,
and very few Canadians or Americans were aware of the game, it shaped
up to be a hotly contested match. Team USA wanted to avenge their
loss to Canada in the World Cup Qualifiers in King City, Ontario
last summer. But then the USA had also lost that first match in
The venue of this Under-19 World Cup match was McLean Park, a Test
cricket ground on the North Island of New Zealand. There is always
some electricity when these two Teams play each other, and here
was the rare opportunity to compete on a Test ground. The boys were
fired up. Heavy rain overnight delayed the start, and eventually
the game was reduced to a 23-overs match.The USA Team fancied its
chances even more in that length of a game.
Seeing the competitive
sparks that fly between these two teams makes one wonder when will
the annual rivalry be revived? Both countries need more cricket,
and being next to each other, logistically it seems like a no-brainer
to have a vibrant rivalry, which would also have some marketability.
Annually there could be a 20/20 series, an ODI series, and even
a Thre-day "Test" on a holiday weekend. Certainly the
20/20 series could be marketed to the American and Canadian public
beyond cricket fans.
Friday however the battle was not to be, the game was abandoned
after the USA Team had batted only three overs when it started to
rain again. Steven Taylor and Andy Mohammed were the not out opening
batsmen, with USA being 13/0. Once again Henry Wardley was omitted.
Wardley scored 54 against Papua New Guinea and together with Taylor
gave USA a great start in the game that the batting line-up performed
With this washout Canada, which finished third in Group C goes through
to the next stage,while the USA which finished fourth in Group B
will play-off for 12th to 16th places. But we still have the rest
of 2010 for the two countries, on another ground, in another country,
to meet again at high noon!