On Sunday night, a small motorcade of revellers snaked down the Danforth, whistling and beeping and waving what looked like the Japanese flag with a green background. Turns out it was the flag of Bangladesh and the occasion was the Bangladeshi team’s triumph over Bermuda in Cricket World Cup.
While most sports fans are fixated on basketball’s Final Four, the rest of the commonwealth is feverishly following cricket’s Super 8. The unsolved murder of Pakistan’s coach Bob Woolmer on March 18 has brought extra media attention to the event. Still, most of us are oblivious to the sport’s presence.
But according to the Toronto and District Cricket Association, between 7,000 and 8,000 cricketers play on organized teams across the city, making it the largest league in North America. The sport is most popular amongst Toronto’s British, Irish, West Indian, East Asian and Australian ex-pat communities but second- and third-generation Canadians are picking up the hard red ball. See the picture above? It’s of a pickup game at City Hall last weekend.
Unfortunately Team Canada was eliminated after a loss to New Zealand on March 23. Bangladesh, however, next plays Australia on Saturday. Now when you see the green and red waving, you’ll know why.
Photo by mr.bokeh from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.