ICA congratulates 'Saskatchewan Cricket Association' for promoting Cricket in Saskatchewan

ICA is really happy to inform that there are around 12 cricket teams between Regina and Saskatoon. ICA congratulates SCA(Saskatchewan Cricket Association) volunteers and board members on a successful fundraiser event on April 14 to promote Cricket in Saskatchewan. ICA is proud that one of our long time associate- Mike Sharma( we call him Makhan)is the President of SCA and has been very actively involved in this venture. ICA wishes Makhan, Garry Grewal and Prakhar Srivastav (ICA members who are active in SCA) the very best for promoting our beloved sport in Saskatchewan.

Following is the clipping from The Leader Post before April 14 Cricket fundraiser event conducted by SCA:

Regina, LP: Saskatchewan has been bowled over by an explosion of cricket teams in the past couple of years, but this summer local teams are stumped - they need more places to play.

There's only one cricket pitch in Regina, and one in Saskatoon, yet, between the two cities, there are 12 teams.

That's a huge jump from just two years go, when there were only three teams in the province.

"This year there are so many more, because there are more and more immigrants coming here to Saskatchewan because there are more opportunities here," says Mike Sharma, who is president of the Saskatchewan Cricket Association.

"But also, more Canadians are becoming more aware about cricket and what it is, and they want to play," says Sharma.

While most Regina residents would most likely be able to recognize a game of cricket, the sport never really took off in North America.

But with that influx of new Canadians from places like India and Pakistan - both traditional cricket strongholds - interest in playing the sport in Saskatchewan has gone through the roof.

"These people grew up watching cricket and playing cricket, and when they move here they want to play," Sharma says.

There has been no problem finding the numbers for teams, which average around 25 players each, and there has even been interest from Estevan and Prince Albert.

The problem is funding - and it's not exactly easy finding sponsors for a sport very few people know anything about.

"I've been going to businesses, but because they're not very familiar with cricket, I have to explain what it is," Sharma explains.

"But we've had a lot of help, mostly from people like some doctors and professionals and local small business owners who know the game and are part of it."

To that end, the association will be holding a fundraiser on April 14 at Jamdon's Restaurant, in the form of a dinner and dance for $20.

Part of that money is going towards building a cricket clubhouse in Douglas Park.

The cricket association has also applied for a grant for the clubhouse and has been petitioning the City of Regina for use of another park come summer.

"I really hope the city will help us out and donate more ground for us to use," Sharma said.

"Otherwise, this year we'll be really struggling to play, I guarantee you, because there are so many teams."

It's not just Saskatchewan that has seen an explosion of interest in cricket - earlier this month, the sport's governing body in Canada became a member of the Canada Olympic Committee.

Closer to home, Saskatchewan sent a team to the national championship last summer, and just lost out to Manitoba.

The league here has taken pains to become more competitive, explains Sharma.

They strictly follow the sport's international rule book and, last year, Level One umpires were trained in Regina, as well as three A-Grade coaches.

"We're all friends off the field, but on the field, well, not so much," he laughs.

"Our team wants to make our mark."

egraney@leaderpost.com

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