British Columbia

Cricket in Canada: a secret history

The 2015 Cricket World Cup is currently underway in Australia. Cricket is actually much more significant in Canada than many people are aware of.

Canada's first official sport and other facts you didn't know about cricket

Cricket is Canada's fastest growing sport ((Munir Uz Zaman/Getty Images))

The 2015 Cricket World Cup, currently underway in Australia, doesn't gather as much attention in Canada as the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl, but the sport is actually much more significant here than many people are aware of.

Alphonso Franco, President of the Victoria and District Cricket Association and the Vice President of Cricket BC, spoke with Victoria's All Points West to reveal these little-known facts about the elusive sport.

1. Cricket was Canada's first official sport

In 1867, John A. MacDonald declared cricket Canada's first official sport. Lacrosse was appointed as the national sport 1.5 years later. 

2. Cricket is Canada's fastest growing sport

There has been an explosion of interest in cricket in Canada. The sport's biggest challenge used to be lack of interest — its biggest challenge now is finding enough space to practice and play.

3. The first international cricket game was Canada vs the U.S.

Most cricket fans think the first international game was England vs Australia. In fact, the first international cricket match was Canada vs the U.S., which took place at Bloomingdale Park in Manhattan in 1844.

The game drew a crowd of 5,000 people. Canada beat the U.S. by 23 runs.

4. The most watched game in the history of sports

Move over, Super Bowl: according to the BBC an estimated one billion people tuned in to watch the recent Pakistan vs India game at the Cricket World Cup.

To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Canada's secret cricket history