Cricket players are coming together for a tournament in Dartmouth, NS, this weekend to showcase their love of the sport as they rally to get a dedicated field.
The Atlantic Champions Cup Fundraising Cricket Tournament is taking place at Don Bayer Sports Field on Saturday and Sunday.
The players, most of whom immigrated to Canada, are also using the tournament to show their appreciation of their new communities, so they’re fundraising for Autism Nova Scotia and Shelter Nova Scotia.
“We wanted to do an event where we could give back to the community,” said Midhun Udai, president of Hustlers Halifax Cricket Club.
Udai says they put the call out to other teams asking for help and within a day they already had 10 teams signed up. One team is coming all the way from Moncton, he says, and another from Cape Breton.
“Give something back to the community who is supporting us,” said Albin Rappi with Team Lunenburg.
“Through the employment and social security and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, you know, giving back to the community from our side.”
The other aim of the event was to show how many people in this province love the sport and the need for a proper cricket field.
Udai says despite the level of interest in the game, there isn’t a single cricket field in Nova Scotia. The tournament was set up on a soccer field.
“There are a lot of polish and there is unevenness everywhere across it,” he said. “A soccer field or a baseball field doesn’t have a proper batting pitch.”
Team Lunenburg plays on a baseball field, Rappi says, and they’re making the best of what they have.
“Luckily, Lunenburg County is doing really good for us,” he said. “They cut the grass and they set the pitch for us, but it’s not the same in every part of the province.”
He says even if there was one proper cricket field in the province, the team would be fine traveling to it.
Halifax Major Mike Savage was one of a few local politicians who attended the tournament’s opening ceremony Saturday afternoon.
He told the teams he knows Halifax needs a proper cricket field and the city needs to make it happen.
The Atlantic Champions Cup Fundraising Cricket Tournament is expected to wrap up at 7 pm Sunday.