The domestic Canadian outdoor cricket season begins over the course of the next month. The first competitive matches are scheduled for Victoria, on Vancouver Island starting this Saturday (April 21).
Cricket enthusiasts and, hopefully, new followers of the game, attracted by publicity surrounding Cricket World Cup 2007, will come along to watch or even participate in the sport in the local parks and grounds across the country.
The milder climate in southern British Columbia allows the Victoria and District Cricket Association (VDCA) to schedule play on the weekend of April 21 and 22. The British Columbia Mainland Cricket League (BCMCL) starts on April 28. Outdoor cricket resumes in other parts as the climate allows.
In Manitoba, cricket playing continued for much of the winter in Winnipeg, thanks to 7-a-side and 6-a-side indoor leagues. The 7-a-side competition was won by Winnipeg Juniors.
The Manitoba Cricket Association has a number of indoor coaching sessions that continue during April. Some are aimed at High Performance cricketers but others have a broader-based participation. The sessions have operated from Under 13 up to Senior Mens, as well as promoting coaching for women..
Staying in the west, the Calgary and District League season is also set to open on April 28. Predators will be hoping to repeat their Premier Division win and success in the Provincial Championship. Cricket followers in Edmonton will soon be able to see action in the Edmonton and District League.
The intense rivalry between these two Alberta cities, which crescendos on the (ice) hockey rink, continues in cricket. A series of Inter-City matches are scheduled this summer at several levels. These include Master, Senior, Under-23, Under-18 and Under-15.
The other prairie province, Saskatchewan, also has a small cricket league involving teams from Saskatoon and Regina.
A number of web-sites exist for Provincial Cricket Associations, cricket leagues/associations, and for some clubs through which news, schedules, results, and contacts in the cricket scene can usually be found. Some of the leagues do a fine job in maintaining information.
The start of the season in Eastern Canada is also imminent. In Toronto, the City is to stage a series of exhibitions linked to South Asian Heritage month starting in May and, according to latest information, continuing into June. News of cricket in the east will follow next week.