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Does cricket have a future in Canada?

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It's wildly popular in India, Pakistan, England, Australia and the West Indies. But in Canada, the sport of cricket may be on shaky ground. Paul Persaud, who moved to Canada from Guyana as a teen, is now Canada's top-ranked player. He loves cricket. It's something he was brought up with, just like many Canadian kids are brought up to love hockey. "It's part of our culture," he explains. But in this 1994 CBC-TV clip, Persaud wonders what the future holds for cricket in Canada.
•.Cricket was once all the rage in Canada, especially in the 19th century as British immigrants flocked to the country. In fact, "By the time Canada became a nation in 1867, the game was so popular it was declared the national sport of the fledgling country by the first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald and his colleagues," according to the Canadian Cricket Association's website. The influence of baseball's popularity in the U.S., however, soon led to a decline of cricket in Canada. • Although cricket is still not among the most popular sports in Canada, the worries about its immanent demise in this 1994 clip were unfounded. Cricket is still alive and well in Canada. According to the Canadian Cricket Association's website, the association currently has approximately:
• 12,000 players
• 290 clubs
• 400 teams
• 17 major leagues
• 90 junior and school teams.

• Cricket has a reputation as being very civilized. It's also very slow to play, which makes it less appealing for many Canadians today - especially when it comes to watching it on TV. "A typical (World Cup) cricket match runs about eight hours, and viewing one in its entirety could mean having breakfast, lunch and dinner in front of the TV, a tough sell for any family man. It's not just entertainment; it's a major time commitment," explained a March 2007 Toronto Star article.

Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Aug. 23, 1994
Guest(s): Paul Persaud
Host: Pamela Wallin
Reporter: Lorne Matalon
Duration: 2:52

Last updated: June 19, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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