Indoor cricket league aims to grow sport in Windsor

With the sport of cricket growing in Windsor, one international student decided to start the area's first indoor league so players can get some practice during the winter.

League is open to those with an interest in taking a swing at cricket

Shahzeb Akram started a new indoor cricket league in Windsor. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Cricket is making more noise indoors than ever before in Windsor.

The Intramural Cricket League is wrapping up its first season with six teams and 66 players.

Shahzeb Akram, an international student and University of Windsor graduate, started the new league in January.

With many similarities to baseball, players say cricket is actually growing in Windsor, especially among international students.

"We come from [different] countries and it's something that we miss during the winter," said Akram.

The league manager describes cricket as a sport of strategy and mind games.

In the league's first season, six teams with 66 players participated. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Akram was born in Pakistan, where cricket is popular, but he grew up playing it in Dubai.

"I'm here as an international student and I want community members to take part in it and enjoy themselves," said Akram, who graduated from the university's mechanical engineering program in October.

When he's not searching for a job, Akram plays the opening batsman position.

Teams generally put their best first, because they have 10 batters. That's because in cricket, you're limited to a certain number of balls and once your batter is out, they're done until the next match.

Trying to attract new players

Most of the league's players are University of Windsor students, but up to three per team can be just regular community members.

Day-long tournaments are held at the St. Denis Centre and Akram said they're already trying to grow interest for next year.

The league is even welcoming people who never set foot on a cricket pitch.

"I'm trying to promote it to the Canadians," said Akram. "I've talked to people outside and they really like the sport."

About the Author

Jason Viau

Jason Viau is a video journalist, TV host and radio newsreader at CBC Windsor. He was born in North Bay, but has lived in Windsor for most of his life. Since graduating from St. Clair College, he's worked in print, TV and radio. Email him at jason.viau@cbc.ca