Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that cricket was designated Canada’s first national sport by Sir John A. Macdonald. And the game was played on Canadian soil as early as 1785 in Montreal. As hundreds of thousands of Canadians were cheering their favourite team at the Cricket World Cup, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, said, “Cricket is a game with a long history here in Canada. I want to wish Canada’s men’s cricket team the best of luck at the tenth Cricket World Cup. This is Canada’s third Cricket World Cup appearance in a row. Our boys are in tough games against some of the best teams in the world.
I know captain Ashish Bagai and his team will put on a spirited display that will do Canada proud as the team competes over the next few weeks. Here’s hoping Canada’s googlies break in the right direction, our bowlers bowl many wickets and our batsmen hit a whole lot of fours and sixes.
“I strongly believe that Canada’s long historical connection to the game will continue in the future. In 2010, Canada welcomed more than 280,000 new immigrants, the highest number since 1957, and the second highest since 1913. I’m hoping the Canadian Tendulkar is among them.
“Many of those immigrants came from great cricket-playing nations, including 30,246 from India, 5, 205 from the countries that make up the West Indies, 4,985 from Pakistan, 4,363 from Bangladesh, 4,181 from Sri Lanka and 1,349 from South Africa. We even welcomed 9,501 immigrants from the United Kingdom, including England and Scotland, 1,132 Australians, and 563 New Zealanders. Many of these new immigrants will, I suspect, form the backbone of Canada’s future cricket glory, either as fans or as players. I’m optimistic that Canada’s participation in the Cricket World Cup will promote greater interest in cricket in Canada, so that we can one day assume our rightful place among the great cricket-playing nations in the world.
In the meantime, our government will continue to welcome other countries’ cricket teams to tournaments on cricket grounds across Canada, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will continue to facilitate the entry of cricket players into Canada.”