Canadian cricket team in the United States in 1844
The Canadian cricket team in the United States in 1844 was both the first official international cricket match and the first official international game of any sport. The match between the two national teams was billed as ‘United States of America versus the British Empire's Canadian Province’. The match took place between 24 and 26 September 1844 at the St George's Cricket Club's ground at what is now 30th Street and Broadway (then Bloomingdales) in Manhattan.
Canada won by 23 runs. On the first day, there were from 5,000 to 20,000 spectators and an estimated $100,000 to $120,000 worth of bets were placed on the match.
The origins of the match began four years earlier when a team from the St George's Club turned up in Toronto, almost destitute after a long journey by stage coach through New York State, and across Lake Ontario by steamer. A Mr. Phillpotts had invited St George's to play the Toronto Cricket Club at home, but when the 18 men arrived on 28 August 1840, the Canadians were not expecting them. It was discovered that the "Mr. Philpotts" who had arranged the match was not the Toronto club's Secretary, George A. Phillpotts, but rather an imposter.
Despite the hoax invitation, a cricket match was hastily arranged, which was attended by a good number of spectators, a brass band and Sir George Arthur, the Governor of Upper Canada. The New Yorker Club won by 10 wickets, and left on such good terms that they invited the Canadians down for what was to be the first cricket match between national teams, as compared to local club teams.
The US team was drawn from clubs in Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Boston, as well as a number in New York. Likewise, the Canadians tried to present a representative national team, rather than simply the Toronto CC team. Whether or not the Canadians managed to actually make it a cross-Canada national team is unclear but letters written between the clubs indicate the Canadian team may have included players from the Guelph Cricket Club and Upper Canada College Club as well as the Toronto club. Advertisements and posters for the game found in libraries have the game between the USA and Canada, rather than two city teams.
The game was scheduled for two days and the score after the first day saw Canada post 82, with the USA being 61 for 9 in reply. On the second day, bad weather prevented play, so the game was extended to a third day when the USA were all out for 64 and Canada scored 63 in their second innings, setting the USA 82 runs to win. Canada bowled the USA for 58, winning by 23 runs. The US player Wheatcroft arrived too late on the third day and was replaced in the field by Alfred Marsh, who did not bat.[note 1]
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24–26 September 1844
J Turner 14
George Sharpe 6 wkts
- United States of America won the toss and elected to field.
- Rain prevented any play occurring on Day 2. The match was extended into a third day.
- George Wheatcroft (batting for the USA) failed to arrive in time to take part in the match on the third day – Alfred Marsh fielded as substitute for him.
- Williamson, Martin. "The oldest international contest of them all". Cricinfo. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- "United States of America v Canada". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- Harris, Jon (16 May 2001). "Cricket in Canada: a historical review". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- Hinson, R.N.; Downing, =B.H. (8 August 1844). "Cricketers Chronicle". The Anglo American. pp. 379–81.