Cricket was the original Canadian sport, so in 1867 the first Prime Minister of Canada declared cricket to be “Canada’s national game” and like the rest of Canada and the USA, McGill University has a long cricket history, as shown in the 1907 photo of a cricket game on campus.
McGill and cricket are also connected to Canada’s more recent “national game” -ice hockey. It was some McGill students who in 1877 devised the first rules for the game, then in 1893 hockey goalies in Winnipeg began using cricket pads for protection.
In recent years Tape ball cricket has been the main form of cricket played at McGill. Now inspired by ACC and the opportunity to play in the American College Cricket Spring Break Championship, hard-ball (season ball) has returned to McGill. In regular communication with American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah, the McGill Cricket Club led by Tayab Zafar was motivated to create a hardball team, and apply for official status at the McGill Athletics Department, which was granted.
Starting this season, the McGill CC took on local cricket clubs and managed to defeat some of the best in Quebec. Just like in other Universities across the USA & Canada the cricket club has successfully managed to bring cricketers, many from different cricket -playing countries, to unite under a single McGill banner.
The Club is a group of dynamic cricket enthusiasts currently attending McGill University in the heart of Montreal, Quebec, who are determined to take McGill Cricket to new heights. The Club has organized tape ball cricket tournaments during Fall. Last year ten teams of eight members each took part in the tournament.
The Club charges a small membership fee annually along with tournament fees and the funds raised have helped the club to take this beautiful game to the local community as well. The outcome has been very successful since more local players have expressed their eagerness to get involved with the club.
The university administration is supportive, no doubt recognizing the tremendous value of a vibrant cricket team as an attraction for potential students, particularly internationally. About 20% of McGill’s over 30,000 students are International students.
McGill University still has a rugby rivalry with Harvard University. The 2 schools featured in 2 “football” games with an “oblong” ball in 1874 under “McGill” rules to truly begin “American Football.”
McGill University’s biggest sports rival however is Queens University going back to 1884 so there will be some fireworks when these 2 cricket teams take the field at the 2010 Regional Championship and the 2011 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship!
Lloyd Jodah is President of American College Cricket