The first International sports contest was USA vs Canada, in a cricket match in 1844 .It took place in New York City at the St George’s Cricket Club in Bloomingdale Park, where the NYU  Medical Center now stands at 31 Street & 1st Ave. About 20,000 spectators watched and over $1 million (in present day currency) in bets were placed.

Bilal Shahid (York College) bowling at the 2010 American College Cricket Championship. Photos courtesy of American College Cricket

In 1845 a return match was played at McGill University in Montreal. The USA vs Canada series continued for more than 60 years before ending, then being briefly revived in 1963.

Starting in 2011 this oldest of international sports rivalry will begin again! USA vs Canada, in cricket! And it will happen at the level that will provide extremely athletic and talented competition – at the College-level! Around the world, now and historically, in every sport, players generally make their debuts in their early 20’s – the prime of the male athlete. It was vs Canada in 1892 that America’s greatest cricket player John Bart King made his debut at age 20. Now every young cricket players get their opportunity!

The best players at the 2011 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship will be selected, for an All America Team, and an All Canada team. They will then play a Series, 2 best out of 3. The first match is likely to be at the 2011 Championship in March. Further details will be released later.

From the 1790’s when students at Dartmouth played, colleges played an early role in the development of cricket teams in the USA & Canada. Then in the early 1800’s at Haverford, UPenn, Yale, Fordham (of NYC), and Harvard.  The first USA college sports team was the Haverford cricket team formed in 1833. A cricket team was also formed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1842.

York University's Jai Patel & Kushroo Wadia, likely openers for the All Canada team. They were the top run scorers at the 2010 American College Cricket Championship.

Until the Civil War, colleges across America embraced cricket and clubs started at Assumption, Girard, the U.S Naval Academy at Annapolis, NYC’s Free Academy, Oberlin, Holy Cross, and Princeton.

In Canada George Barber, regarded as the father of Canadian cricket, introduced cricket to Upper Canada College, and an annual cricket match ensued between the College and Toronto Cricket Club, with the College team winning the first game in 1836. John Beverley Robinson of Upper Canada College went on to play in the first International match in 1844 for Canada, and later became Mayor of Toronto. In 1857 Canada’s Prime Minister John McDonald declared cricket to be Canada’s national sport.

In 1895 a USA College XI (comprised of students from UPenn, Haverford & Harvard) played a Canada College XI in the first International university-level cricket match. Also in 1895 a Combined Oxford and Cambridge Universities Team toured the USA and were defeated by the University of Pennsylvania team.

Now American College Cricket has invigorated cricket in the USA & Canada, giving the game a real chance to become part of the mainstream sports scene, with major media and college media covering cricket, many for the first time.

The talent being highlighted is also extremely good: in March 2010 Montgomery College played the University of the West Indies and proved their mettle. Recently a Combined Canadian Universities team defeated a Toronto & District Cricket League All Star team which included many Canadian National players. After all College players are usually in their athletic prime, even if not highly practiced.

Adrian Gordon, 22, of New York University-Polytechnic, bowled the USA national team to victories that enable them to ascend to Division 3 of the World Cricket League.

The Rivalry is returning, in the Original American & Canadian Game!