Cricket A Growing Sport in Lunenburg County

(Illustration: Jessie McLaughlin)

Last month, the Lunenburg Cricket Club hosted the Maritime Mallu Cup during the Lunenburg Craft & Food Festival, which consisted of 10 Atlantic cricket teams protecting their wickets in a weekend-long tournament.

Though the Halifax team Scotia Strikers ended up taking the Cup, the Lunenburg team was happy to be able to host the tournament locally for the third year in a row, which is named after the Malayalam language spoken in regions in Southern India. 

Tom Baby Madathiparampil joined the team in 2019 when he moved to Lunenburg from India and soon became actively involved as a team manager and occasional player.

“Cricket is in the blood of everyone in India,” he says. “And it’s growing in Nova Scotia. We went from three teams in our first Mallu Cup [Lunenburg, PEI, and Halifax’s Scotia Strikers] to 10 teams this year.”

There are 28 active teams in Nova Scotia, including two with the Lunenburg Cricket Club captained by Albin Rappai and Jeeva Jan, with former captain Shamnath Rawther building the team’s spirit.

The Lunenburg teams practice four times weekly at the baseball fields on Schwartz Street, and they encourage anyone to stop by to learn more. Tom says the Town of Lunenburg was instrumental in getting the team proper equipment, and several sponsors have helped them purchase jerseys and support game costs.

But six years in, the team hopes to secure a proper cricket field. Not one single cricket field exists in Nova Scotia. The first could be in Lunenburg County.

Tom says the team is drafting a letter to the local government to convert one of the soccer fields near the old Centre Consolidated School on Highway 3 into a cricket field. Outdoor cricket is officially played on an oval grass field with a flat strip of ground called the pitch in the middle. Matches are traditionally full-day or multi-day events. 

The Town of Lunenburg helped the local club purchase a new mobile batting cage, which Tom says will be useful in hosting training sessions for the public to come out and try cricket.

“We want to share the sport we love with people who grew up in Canada and might not be familiar with it,” he says.

As new members join each year, so does the need for a cricket field. Imagine if we didn’t have hockey and curling rinks. A cricket field would go a long way in encouraging inclusivity and enriching our sports culture with a culturally significant game played in over 125 countries and by more than 30 million people worldwide.


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