Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Montreal’s Winter cricket league running strong in 2024 | CityNews Montreal

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Cricket and tape ball are alive and going strong in Montreal, with the Winter League having already played in two tournaments for 2024 and a third upcoming on March 9 in Rigaud. 

“All these teams, they come from different varied backgrounds and various different communities and imagine cricket being a place where we all come and play together,” said Mudasser Akbar, the president of Alpha Cricket Club, Montreal Tigers CEO, and Quebec Cricket Board Member.

The previous tournament played was overnight. But this time many welcome the daytime fixtures.

“We had teams from Ottawa and teams from you know Cornwall and Montreal. They all came and played here. The team that, the game was played at from 11 p.m. to morning 6 a.m. Right? We had finished the over at 6 a.m. So this time we have another tournament that’s happening, but it’s going to be a day tournament and we’re going to be starting at 6 a.m. in the morning and finishing by 6 p.m.”

Montreal’s Winter cricket League. (Photo Credit: Anastasia Dextrene, CityNews)

Mohammed Almas, a referee added, “As far as the last two seasons have been gone, so they were commendable the team spirit was very good.”

With many feeling stuck inside during winter months, organizers say players in the community are thrilled.

“In winter actually, we don’t have anything to do, and so that’s the reason we have to find something for our community also. So that’s the reason we got this and we contacted Michel and the authorities and we’re thankful to him also,” said Arshad Ahmed Syed, Tournament Co-Organizer.

Mudasser Akbar (Left) Michel Lanthier (Right). (Photo Credit: Anastasia Dextrene, CityNews)

Michel Lanthier, the operational manager of Complexe Sportif de l’Ouest says “[in] the winter our schedules are pretty pretty tight with every opportunity, so night playing in nighttime was a good option for both of us to make it work.”

Akbar says they are seeing more interest in the game.

“Cricket has been growing at a tremendous rate, right with a lot of communities from Asia that are coming in right immigrants coming in at the same time We have cricket itself that is growing from within Canada, right? So from GT 20, we saw that last year Montreal Tigers won GT 20, right? And other than that cricket Canada itself right now qualified for the World Cup that’s happening in June itself. It’s a very enjoyable sport and very friendly with a lot of strategies and everything and that’s why we love cricket so much,” explained Akbar.

Montreal’s Winter cricket League. (Photo Credit: Anastasia Dextrene, CityNews)

“If you look at Montreal itself, we used to have about 20 teams that are playing hardball cricket in Cuba. Cuba Cricket right now, we have about 65 teams participating in hard work besides that various different formats of cricket that’s being played. So we have about 150 total teams.”

Cricket organizers are hoping to expand to include more age groups.

“We can start with the kids when they’re in the early age and it’s similar to baseball. It’s the same thing like that and once the the kids are used to it, you think it’s not so hard,” said Syed.

Montreal’s Winter cricket League. (Photo Credit: Anastasia Dextrene, CityNews)

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