Junior Cricket Is Alive and Well - in Manitoba


Jon Harris
e-mail: hennessy.harris@sympatico.ca


During my trip to the cricket fields across Canada in June, I spent a day with John Lovelace, President of the Manitoba Cricket Association. The day was full of strange experiences and adventures. We had agreed to meet in a hotel lobby. I waited a long time, before enquiring if there was a message for me. Sure enough John had contacted the hotel and I went off to rescue my stranded new friend whose car had been stolen. We had a very late lunch in the hotel and were talking cricket all the time, when the emergency alarms interupted our conversation. We both shrugged and dismissed the incident and continued with the important matters and issues of cricket, all the while the din of alarms around us. Eventually the sound system called for evacuation of the hotel and we could hear emergency vehichles approaching with sirens wailing. We exited stage left at a brisk pace to rescue my car from the hotel parking lot. Later I was invited to sit in on an Executive Committee meeting of the MCA in the sumptuous accomodations provided by Manitoba Sports. The day had much more, for we all had dinner in a facility which catered to the vibrant Winnipeg young. Four old guys surrounded by noise and energy is a story in itself. Sometime after my visit my new cricket friend wrote the following.

President’s Message, June 2002 – John Lovelace

Cricket, Lovely Cricket! is a term we have heard echoed many times over the years. Today cricket remains a game [I emphasize game] that is as lovely as ever: which continues to thrill millions of players, spectators and enthusiasts throughout the world.

As a game, Cricket [Lovely Cricket!] remains as popular as ever and brings people of all nationality and creeds together to vie for honors and excellence on the field of play. Cricket lovers and cricket enthusiasts are also caught up in the aura that surrounds the quest for honors and excellence. Despite our bias sometimes, crickets lover and/or cricket enthusiasts cannot but be impressed by the skill, endurance, mastery, and artistry of the greats of the game. Their performances are nothing short of (awe) inspiring. And so the legacy of past greats continues today.

In Manitoba, Cricket is still considered to be Lovely Cricket, and we try to promote it as such to schools, youngsters, and the uninitiated. Our players, coaches and officials believe that not only is it a game of individual challenge and aspiration, but also a social one as well, that can serve as a platform to building character and forming ties. Team members need each other but opponents, after their rivalry on the field, - [where incidentally they can still admire an opponent’s stroke
play or good bowling spell] - can interact as friends.

We are proud of the development of cricket here, especially of the fact that cricket has now spread to several of the defined Regions of Manitoba. With the help of Sport Manitoba, the Government of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg and the Canadian Cricket Association, Cricket [Lovely Cricket!] is played in Friendly Manitoba throughout the year: in summer, outdoors and in winter, indoors in a modified form.

We welcome visitors to Manitoba’s website, and hope that you will find it interesting and beneficial. Actual visitors to Manitoba, interested in the game should contact us to participate or to see us at Assiniboine Park in the summer, or one of the indoor venues in winter. Teams that wish to play in Friendly Manitoba should also contact us to enjoy our hospitality.

Cricket [Lovely Cricket!] like any of the other games that people play fosters ties which remain long after the joy of victory or the agony of defeat is forgotten. This, I believe, is Cricket’s [or any game’s] lasting legacy.


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