Oakville Cricket Club : Maintaining The Game”

Located in the southern Ontario district of Canada, halfway between Toronto and Hamilton, Oakville is the largest town in the district that boasts of the most densely populated areas in the country.
Just as cricket is played in the forms of tennis ball or backyard cricket in densely populated countries like India and Pakistan, cricket came naturally to the inhabitants of Oakville. Appleby College, a famous university preparatory boarding school in Oakville, introduced cricket in its sports curriculum in 1911. The game was discontinued in 1992 but had to be reinstated due to an active movement by the student body as an instructional sport in the year 2004-2005.
Cricket saw insignificant growth in Ontario despite its undisputed popularity among people living in Oakville, even though the Hamilton and District Cricket League, the oldest league in Canada since the early 1900s, was going strong with competitive cricket happening every weekend.
In 2000, a group of cricket lovers got together and decided to take cricket in Oakville to a new level. Thus took place the formation of the Oakville Cricket Club. With a handful of fifteen people, the club members zeroed in on a vision to participate in organized cricket by entering into HDCL (Hamilton District Cricket League) and growing Oakville’s sport from the grassroots.
The sailing was not smooth. Challenges to get the Club up and running were many, and they continue to bog the management to date. The biggest of them was to locating a cricket field. The demographics of Oakville changed rapidly from the year 2000. While the influx of cricket-loving and cricket playing, the community grew rapidly; it was challenging to sustain the growth without a proper cricket field.
From the time of Mayor Ann Mulvale (1988-2006), the biggest hurdle that the Club faced was to have a reasonable size cricket ground of their own. The members started playing cricket at W.H. Morden ground though the conditions were not ideal for playing cricket .” There was no proper pitch (wicket) laid out, and the ground was small and uneven. The cricket balls used to land in the backyard of houses surrounding the ground.” reminisces Zain Khot, President of the Oakville Cricket Club.
In 2005, the authorities sanctioned the Club to share Glenashton, primarily used for women’s field hockey. To date, Glenashton Park continues to be the Home Ground for Oakville Cricket Club. The plethora of problems still haunts the players as that the ground is only 75% size of what is actually required. There are trees inside the playing area, there is a public walkway and a huge ditch on the Southside of the ground. The ball is usually hit on the water reservoir building, flying over the fence. The Club authorities recognize these as counterproductive to cricket development and growth in Oakville and as safety hazards.
Despite all odds, the members at OCC did not lose heart. They listened to their collective inner voice, and doors eventually opened for them, even if they slammed in the beginning .” We are excited to announce that the Town has approved construction of a new cricket ground at North Park, coming 2023,” reads a club notification dated July 8, 2021.
In 2017 Cricket Canada kids and Oakville Cricket Club conducted the first of their six-week cricket program for children Page: 22 wickets
aged 5-12. The program gave the kids an opportunity
to learn the fundamentals of cricket in a fun and
engaging environment. The project was a part of the
Club’s strategy to start delivering cricket programs in
communities across Canada None directly, yet, but
once we have a proper field, we want to start it at
all schools in the area that are willing to accept it as
part of their sporting activities. Development has to
start from the base, feels Zain .” The kids need to be
playing, and the institutions have to come forward.”
The Club has an ambitious plan to run the programs
at all schools in the area that are willing to accept
it as part of their sporting activities, shares Zain. In
August this year, the Club ran a four-session packed
program for kids between 8-14 years.
The Club has four teams in each League division
known as Super Elite, Elite, Premier and Junior
Division in the Senior section.
No- one is excluded from the joy, fulfillment and
lifelong benefits of sport, including women. At
the Oakville Cricket Club, the driving principle is
promoting gender diversity with the belief that
inclusive sport can help tackle social and economic
inequalities. The Club involved women in the yearly
Max Khan tournament that ran for three years with
huge success.
An equal opportunity club, Oakville Cricket Club is a
most diversified club, not just in GTA, but in the whole
of Ontario. It has players from all cricket-playing
nations like South Africa, England, Australia, India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean.
OCC’s ethical, dedicated, and passionate
management is the inspiration behind the Club’s
success, where everyone is allowed to think
independently together. The organized cricket
segment HDCL league is Ranjit Chaudhri practices a
zero-tolerance policy to racism, any form of division
and intolerance while maintaining strict discipline
dealing with club members, players, officials, and
The Pandemic has put a hold on most of the Club’s
activities, including the sparkling Awards Night,
which recognizes the extraordinary effort of its
In 2020, the Club strictly followed the Government
Guide and developed a protocol in the context of the
COVID-19 Pandemic. The Club’s indoor practices are
currently held at SOFF Indoor Cricket Facility. In 2021,
it becomes imperative that while following the same protocols of
the previous year, cricket as a safe, socially distanced, and outdoor
sport is is resumed, feels Zain.
Oakville Cricket Club not only promotes cricketers but in 2017 also
had Majid Mahmood and Tanzeel Ali attend the seminar to become
certified NCCP Cricket Canada Community Coaches.
Winning Super Elite, Elite and Premier championships over the
years are all defining moments for the Club. With five wins and
one loss in the regular season and a dominating win in the finals,
Oakville Cricket Club became the HDCL 2020 Elite Champions.
With have over 600 interested members and around 200 active
members, being centrally located, Oakville is a major player for
cricket in Ontario. It can easily become a place for international
games for this very reason. Without having a normal size cricket
field, it grew 200 % and has a potential growth of 1500 % in just
ward 7, observes Zain Khot .” It has a great future, once we get a
reasonable size cricket field,” continues Zain.
With hard work and rock-solid determination, Oakville Cricket Club
has brought in actual changes and their effect on people. The Town
of Oakville has been very supportive in helping the Club grow the
sport in the neighbourhood by constantly making improvements.
With their active participation and support guidance from Effie
Triantafilopoulos, the MPP for Oakville North-Burlington, the
dream for a cricket ground s finally turning into reality.
Oakville Cricket Club now celebrates and looks for tougher

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *