Canada national cricket team

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Association Cricket Canada
ICC status Associate (1968)
ICC region ICC Americas
WCL 2017 Division Three
Coach Mukesh Narula
Captain Rizwan Cheema
First international
Canada Canada v. United States 
(New York City; 24 September 1844)
First first-class
Canada Canada v. MCC England
(Toronto; 8 September 1951)
First list-A
Canada Canada v. Pakistan 
(Leeds, England; 9 June 1979)
First twenty20
Canada Canada v. Netherlands 
(Belfast, Northern Ireland; 2 August 2008)
World Cup
Appearances 4 (first in 1979)
Best result First round (1979; 2003–2011)
World Cup Qualifier
Appearances 10 (first in 1979)
Best result Runner-up (1979, 2009)
World Twenty20 Qualifier
Appearances 5 (first in 2008)
Best result Fifth (2008)
As of 4 September 2015

The Canada national cricket team is the team that represents Canada in international cricket matches. The team is organised by Cricket Canada, which became an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1968.

With the United States, Canada was one of the two participants in the first international cricket match, played in New York City in 1844. An annual Canada–U.S. fixture has continued to this day, now known as the Auty Cup. Canada's first international match against a team other than the U.S. came only in 1932, when Australia toured.[1] As with the ICC associate members, the team's first major international tournament was the 1979 ICC Trophy in England, where they qualified for the 1979 World Cup after placing second to Sri Lanka. After that, Canada did not make another World Cup until 2003, although they remained one of the leading associate teams. From 2006 to 2013, Canada had both One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International status, making appearances at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. However, since the introduction of the new World Cricket League divisional structure, the team has been less successful – they placed amongst the bottom teams at the 2014 World Cup Qualifier and the 2015 WCL Division Two tournaments, and were consequently relegated to the 2017 Division Three event.


Early days[edit]

It is generally thought that cricket was introduced to Canada by British soldiers after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, although the earliest confirmed reference to cricket is of matches played on Saint Helen's Island, Quebec in 1785 on what later became the site of Expo 67.

The roots of modern Canadian cricket though come from the regions of Upper Canada, in particular Toronto, then known as York. During the early years of the nineteenth century, a schoolmaster by the name of George Anthony Barber encouraged the game there, and founded the Toronto Cricket Club in 1827. Barber instigated a game played between the Toronto Cricket Club and the cricket team of Upper Canada College in 1836, a game won by the college team.[2] This game has been played annually ever since. As already mentioned, Canada played its first international against the USA in 1844 in New York at St George's Cricket Club, now the site of the New York University Medical Center.

Late 19th century[edit]

George Parr led an English team to Canada in 1859, which was the first ever international cricket tour. A product of the tour was a book by Fred Lillywhite entitled The English Cricketers' Trip to Canada and the United States, published the following year. On the tour, which also ventured into the USA, the team won all five official matches against a 22 of Lower Canada (by 8 wickets at Montreal, Quebec on 26 October – 27 September), a 22 of the United States (by an innings and 64 runs at Hoboken, New Jersey on 3–5 October), a different 22 of the United States (by 7 wickets at Philadelphia on 10–12 October), a 22 of Lower Canada (by 10 wickets at Hamilton, Ontario on 17–19 October) and a further 22 of the United States (by an innings and 68 runs at Rochester, New York on 21–25 October). There were also some exhibition matches and two excursions to view the Niagara Falls.

When Canada became a nation in 1867, cricket was so popular it was declared the national sport by John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada.[3][4] The influence of baseball from the United States saw a decline in the popularity of cricket, despite tours from English and Australian teams. The third tour by an English team in 1872 featured none other than the famous W. G. Grace. The first Australian team to tour came in 1877, and they returned in 1893 beating Canada by an innings.[5] Three games were played against Ireland between 1888 and 1890, Ireland winning one, with the other two drawn. A tour of North America by the Australians in 1913 saw two first-class games (both won by the tourists) against a combined Canada–USA team.[6][7] The second of these, played at Rosedale, Toronto, was the first first-class match played in Canada.

1887 England tour[edit]

After an unofficial tour in 1880, which saw the Canadian captain arrested during a game against Leicestershire and the tour abandoned, the first official tour of the United Kingdom by a Canadian team took place in 1887. The tour started with two matches against Ireland, against whom Canada drew one game and lost the other, followed by two matches against Scotland with the same result. The tour then ventured into the north east of England with a defeat against the Gentlemen of Northumberland and a draw against Durham.

The tour then continued with various matches against county sides and others, with wins coming against the Gentlemen of Derbyshire and the Gentlemen of Warwickshire. The Canadian team finished the tour with a win/loss record of 2/5 with the remaining twelve games all drawn.


The Marylebone Cricket Club visited Canada in 1951, the highlight of which was the first first-class game played by the Canadian national team, played in Armour Heights, Toronto, which was won by the visiting side. This was followed in 1954 by a tour to England on which Canada played eighteen games, four of which were given first class status, including one against Pakistan who were also touring England at the same time.[8] The MCC again visited Canada in 1959 under Dennis Silk, and played a 3-day game against a Canada XI in Toronto which they won by 10 wickets. They were undefeated throughout the tour, winning most of their matches by wide margins, but had a closely fought draw against the Toronto Cricket Club. This was the decade when "The Imperial Cricket Conference" had serious plans to grant Canada "Test status", However Canada themselves postponed the idea as they felt that the Canadian national team was not of sufficient Test standard, and that competing against full-members sides needed some time as they wanted to improve their cricket even domestically. However, things did not go as planned and it would be fifty years before Canada next played a first class cricket match.


The annual series of matches between Canada and the USA continued, alternating between the countries. In the 1963 match in Toronto, Ray Nascimento scored 176, then a record for the series.


Canada drew a game against Ireland in 1973,[9] and the following year again embarked on a tour of England. The tour was a much lower profile than the 1954 tour, with the games being against club sides, county second XIs, and minor counties. Canada had a 4/6 win/loss record on the tour, with a further six games being drawn.[10] In 1979, Canada participated in the first ICC Trophy. They reached the final of the competition, which qualified them for the 1979 World Cup, where they played their first One Day Internationals. The World Cup was not a successful tournament for the Canadians though, and they failed to progress beyond the first round, losing all three games.


Canada participated in the ICC Trophy again in 1982 and 1986. They could not repeat their success of 1979 though, and failed to progress beyond the first round on both occasions. Other internationals in the 1980s include a no result game against Ireland in 1981,[11] and a 3 wicket loss to Barbados.[12]


The 1990s saw Canada progress up the international ladder, playing in three further ICC Trophy tournaments, their best being a seventh-place finish in 1997. They also began competing in West Indian domestic one-day cricket in 1996, and competed in the Commonwealth Games cricket tournament in 1998, though they did not progress beyond the first round.


2000 saw Canada host the first ICC Americas Championship, a tournament which they won. The following year they embarked on a tour to Sri Lanka, but the highlight of 2001 was their hosting of the ICC Trophy. They finished third in the tournament, which qualified them for the 2003 World Cup. It was this ICC Trophy tournament that first saw the emergence of John Davison, who was to become one of Canada's most successful players.

Canada played various matches in the buildup to the World Cup, visiting Argentina in April 2002, finishing as runners up to longtime rivals the USA in the Americas Championship, swiftly followed by a fifth-place finish in the ICC 6 Nations Challenge in Namibia. The West Indian A team toured Canada later in the year, and Canada won the one-day series 2–1, and drew a two-day game. This was followed by Canada's best performance to date in West Indian domestic one-day cricket, winning two games in their first round group, just missing out on qualification for the semi finals.

The World Cup itself was a tournament of contrasting fortunes for the Canadians. They started with their first ODI win, over Bangladesh. Two games later saw them dismissed for 36 against Sri Lanka, then the lowest score in One Day International history. The next game against the West Indies saw John Davison score the fastest ever World Cup century, although Canada lost that game, and did not progress past the first round.


2004 started badly for Canada, with a last place finish in the Six Nations Challenge in the United Arab Emirates after Canada lost all their games. They had improved significantly by the time of the ICC Americas Championship in Bermuda, which they won. Also in 2004, Canada participated in the first ICC Intercontinental Cup, finishing as runners up to Scotland. The highlight of this tournament was the game against the USA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when John Davison recorded the best match bowling figures since Jim Laker's 19 wickets against Australia in 1956.

In 2005, Canada again finished third in the ICC Trophy, which gained them official ODI status from 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, as well as qualifying them for the 2007 World Cup. Their performance in the Intercontinental Cup that year was not as good as in 2004 however, as they did not make it past the first round.

In 2006, Canada put in good performances in the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, beating Kenya by 25 runs and Bermuda by nine wickets, but their one-day form was a complete reversal, losing three times to Bermuda and Kenya, and a further loss to Zimbabwe.

In August, Canada took part in the first Division of the Americas Championship. They beat Argentina and longtime rivals the USA, but lost to the Cayman Islands and eventual winners Bermuda, and finished third, their worst performance so far in this tournament.


In June and July 2008, Canada hosted Bermuda for three ODIs and Intercontinental Cup matches against Bermuda and Scotland.

In August, Canada travelled to Ireland for the World Twenty20 Qualification Tournament. Canada did not qualify for the World Twenty20, finishing 5th ahead of Bermuda. The ODIs and an Intercontinental Cup match were hampered by rain.

In late summer of 2008, West Indies and Bermuda came to Canada to play in the Scotiabank One-Day Series against Canada. Canada defeated Bermuda, to face West Indies in the Final. West Indies captain Chris Gayle smashed his sixteenth ODI century and led his side to an easy seven-wicket victory against Canada in the finals of the Scotiabank ODI Series at King City.

During the Scotiabank Series the talents of Rizwan Cheema were discovered – he would become the star of the first Al-Barakah T20 Canada. The tournament involved Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Canada lost both and tied one match, however in the tie with Zimbabwe, Canada lost by points in a bowl-out. Sri Lanka were eventual winners, defeating Pakistan in the Final. The tournament was expected to be played annually for the following four years.

In late November 2008, Canada participated in the Americas Championship in Florida, USA. The United States, after years of disarray, pulled together and won the championship. Canada finished 3rd on Net Run Rate behind Bermuda, as their match was washed out by rain.

In April 2009 Canada participated in the 2009 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualification Tournament. Assembling the best Canadian team in many years, Canada rolled through the opening stages of the event and eventually finished second in the tournament. The impressive display earned Canada a berth in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

The ICC announced that the 2015 Cricket World Cup will only have 10 participating teams – this makes it difficult for the Associate Countries to qualify for the world cup. Cricket Canada expressed its unhappiness with the reduced world cup[13]

In January 2014, Canada lost ODI & T20I status and with no prospect of big-stage international cricket to come until next qualifier, owing to a poor performance at the World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.

Tournament history[edit]