SCA President Joins Call For More Cricket Facilities In Toronto

THE Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) is one of
the most inclusive and diverse cricketing organizations
in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with programs for
youths, women, adults and adults primarily over the age of
However, the growth in the SCA has been stymied by the
number of grounds available, forcing the SCA to turn away
prospective teams, posing a real concern for President Shiv
Persaud and his executives.
Responding to questions, following a recent Toronto Star
report which sighted Toronto District Cricket Association
(TDCA) vice-president Farhan Khan lamenting the lack
of support by the relevant authorities for cricket, Persaud
pointed out that “we have witnessed the growth from 21
teams in 2015 to 104 teams in 2022. Because of the lack
of facilities, we have had to turn away 45 applications for
new clubs to participate in the association. This is putting
approximately 1350 constituents out of cricket. We hope
that we can have facilities in the near future to accommodate
these players. Hopefully sooner rather than later as we have
all witnessed the importance of physical activities on the
health and wellness of individuals.”
In his missive in the Toronto Star, Khan pointed out that
“Toronto used to be the leading cricketing city 20 years back,
but if you look at what they have done to support cricket
since, it’s zero. If you go out in Toronto in the summer, you
will literally see baseball fields with the lights on and no one is
even there. We don’t have a single cricket field in the entire
city with lights.”
Khan also pointed out that “Toronto says it wants to be the
premiere cricket city in the province and is in the midst of a 20-
year strategy to cater to the demand for a sport that’s hugely
popular, particularly among immigrants and newcomers. But
cricketers fear the city’s long-term vision will be too little,
too late – they say public fields have deteriorated so badly it’s
driving people to play in other cities where the facilities are
newer and the grass is greener.”
Referring to the City of Toronto’s Cricket Reference Group
20-year cricket strategy to implement five new cricket fields,
Persaud emphatically stated that “this is not enough today
and will not be nearly enough in the future. Because of this,
residents are leaving to go play in surrounding areas where
they have better quality of facilities.
“Often the main point that comes up is the size
of field that is required for cricket is too large to
easily find in a developed city like Toronto. We
hope that the City will acknowledge the demand
for arguably the fastest growing sport. Cricket is
growing in the international standard of hardball
and other emerging formats like softball, tape ball
and tennis ball. Each format has its own needs,”
Persaud stated.
According to the SCA president, the City’s Cricket
Reference Group is focusing on developing facilities
and also improve the maintenance of existing ones.
“We have seen improvements and a willingness
from the City to work with cricket stakeholders
and welcomes it. The committee has been open to
working with different groups in a collective effort
to satisfy the requirements of the sport. Our hope
is that decisions that often take time can be made
quicker by the City to accommodate the demands
of the sport.”
Persaud referenced a recent Cricinfo report
which said that the organizers of Major League
Cricket, USA’s officially sanctioned T20 franchise
league anticipated to launch in 2023, announced
the next phase of their venue development plan,
in which they intend to spend approximately $110
million dollars on building or renovating a total of
eight venues around the USA.
The report pointed out that aside from five venues
already in existence earmarked for upgrades, MLC is
in negotiations to secure land and build new venues
at Marymoor Park in the eastern Seattle suburb of
Redmond, Washington; as well as two California
venues – one proposed for the Santa Clara County
Fairgrounds in San Jose, and the other in Orange
County south of Los Angeles.

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