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Salmon Arm Cricket Club looks to form Interior B.C. league

Club may explore interest among youth in becoming involved with the sport

Now that it has a home, the Salmon Arm Cricket Club is looking for a league.

Earlier this summer, at the request of, and with input from the club, the City of Salmon Arm installed a cement pitch at Safeway fields near the Downtown Activity Centre. Since then, the group of 24 local cricket players has been able to practice at the pitch on weeknights and host matches on Sundays.

For its inaugural match at the new pitch, the Salmon Arm Club welcomed the Revelstoke Cricket Club to play on Sunday, Aug. 6.

“Club cricket is well and truly on the rise in our region,” said the Revelstoke club in the announcement of the match.

Sunday, Sept. 17, was another special date for the Salmon Arm Cricket Club. During that day’s game, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the pitch, with Mayor Alan Harrison doing the honours.

The Revelstoke team was back for the occasion, and the Salmon Arm Club’s Prasad Savanagouder said between 30 and 40 people were there to watch the action.

“They went above and beyond and they also found the funds to help with the pitch so that was fantastic,” commented Savanagouder on support received from the City of Salmon Arm. “The city did a great job on it.”

Savanagouder and the club are also grateful for the support received from local businesses, whose donations enabled the purchase of equipment and uniforms. Also appreciated are the spectators who stop by to catch the Sunday matches, or who simply watch from their nearby patios.

“All those apartments across from the field, they just sit on their patios and watch from there and quite a few come down and ask us what it’s all about and how it’s played…,” said Savanagouder. “We’ve got quite a few ex-pats in town, people who were originally from England, basically the English-speaking European countries that have knowledge of the game. We just had one older gentleman… who came down to the pitch and donated all his equipment from his playing days. So there is a lot of interest.”

With the exposure received so far, Savanagouder anticipates the club may have up to 34 members when play picks up after winter. He also anticipates the club will be part of a league. He explained there are a couple of options. One involves the creation of a B.C. Interior league.

“We’re talking with Cricket B.C., as part of what we’re planning for is an Interior League,” said Savanagouder.”Because now have about 16 teams between Okanagan Falls, Vernon, Kelowna, us, Revelstoke and Kamloops, which is quite a big number.”

Savanagouder added that between these communities, there are five playing fields, “so we can do a round-robin league kind of thing.”

Read more: Salmon Arm Cricket Club finds spot for permanent pitch

Read more: With a past that beckons’: Cricket club would like a field in Salmon Arm to call home

The alternative is playing in a casual league with the British Columbia Mainland Cricket League.

“Either we go on and play in the casual league or we start an Interior B.C. league – one of the two will come to fruition by next summer,” said Savanagouder.

Another thing the Salmon Arm Cricket Club would like to do is get local youth involved in the game.

“One of the things we are toying with for next year is to get the kids interested and start training them,” said Savanagouder, suggesting the club’s members could go to the schools and talk about the club.

“Just like the soccer guys do in the summer, we’ll have training camps if we get enough kids interested in the game.”

While the pitch is new, this current iteration of the Salmon Arm Cricket Club (the last one existed between 1911 and 1939) has been playing in the community for the past couple of years, using local school fields for practice and games.

“Prior to two years ago, I used to play for a Kelowna club, which I’d been doing ever since I moved into the community. You could call me a driving force to get this (the Salmon Arm pitch) done because I was tired of travelling to Kelowna every Sunday. And Wednesdays,” laughed Savanagouder. “From a personal perspective, this has been fantastic.”

The Salmon Arm Cricket Club welcomes anyone interested in the sport to stop by during games or practices. Savanagouder described cricket as a “pretty simple game” – once you get the hang of it.

“The easiest way I can explain it is to think of it as baseball with one pitcher and two batters, and instead of having four bases, you’re working off of two bases,” said Savanagouder. “It’s a little more intense than a regular baseball game and there’s a lot of strategy involved.

“Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very simple game. But until then, it’s like, ‘I don’t know what you guys are doing.’ ‘Why are you just running between the bases?’ ‘What’s the point of this?’”

Savanagouder said Sunday’s games are proper cricket matches and take about eight hours to play. He explained Test Cricket matches take five days.

“I’ve not seen anybody play that in Canada yet but that’s mostly professional sports,” said Savanagouder. “Amateurs like us play eight hours mostly.”

Anyone interested in more information can visit the Salmon Arm Cricket Club page on Facebook, or give Savanagouder a call at 250-463-4732.

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