NEW GLASGOW – Every wanted to try cricket?
If so, you will have the opportunity to do so today (Saturday).
Don’t worry if you haven’t tried the sport before because the Multicultural Association of Pictou County (MAPC) will be helping those curious about the sport and fresh to it, which most will be, learn about cricket. Their demonstration and match will be held at the Ward 1 Recreation Centre on Brother Street in New Glasgow from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend the free event, including kids and adults. There is no equipment necessary, just ensure you have sneakers.
“Everybody that shows up will be getting a chance to play, so it’s not really a full demo that we’re showing to somebody,” said co-organizer Ajay Shirke. “We’re just having a game and we hope everybody will participate.”
Cricket was originally developed in England in the 16th century, but during the expansion of the British Empire the sport expanded its reach as well. It’s a bat and ball game played between two teams of 11 players. In the centre of the field is a 22-yard pitch where the bowler and batsman are stationed. The batsman tries to hit the ball away from the fielders to score runs by running to the other end of the pitch.
That's only a portion of the game, but if that still seems a like a little too much to take in, don’t worry, Shirke said that for the first half hour they plan to explain the sport and some of the rules before getting everyone involved in playing the match.
From India originally, Shirke said that members of MAPC play from time to time right now, but hope that with this event they will be able to grow the involvement of the community in the sport. He said it’s entirely meant to be fun, but if the community had enough participants in the future they might try to play matches against teams from Truro or Halifax.
“A couple years ago we started playing cricket in the summer as part of MAPC’s summer activities to see if people wanted to come out and play cricket,” he said. “I think we now have a group of about 15 players that participate. With this we’re hoping to get more people in.
“We’re hoping that if more people from the county get interested that maybe we can have a Pictou team and then compete a little bit.”
This MAPC cricket demonstration is just one of many events they have held in the community to get its members and the public active. These were put on through a wellness grant MAPC received from Pictou County Health Authority. Previous events included sledding and snowshoeing, swimming, bowling, curling, hiking on Fitzpatrick Mountain and yoga.