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Canada has a long association with the noble sport of cricket, going back to the year 1785, when the earliest known reference to the game in the dominion was made regarding matches played at Ile-Ste-Helene in the province of Quebec. Sporting history was established on September 24 - 25, 1844 at New York when Canada and the United States of America played at cricket, which was the term of the day. This was the earliest international athletic contest of the modern era, predating the famous America's Cup yacht race, which began off the Isle of Wight in 1851 and the modern Olympic Games, first held at Athens, Greece in 1896. The Canadian Cricket Association (Now Cricket Canada) has been in existence since 1892. Canadian cricket history added another feather to its cap in 1989 when a record crowd of 40,570 attended a match at the Toronto Sky Dome between the West Indies and a Rest of the World XI. This was the largest gathering ever to attend a cricket match on the North American continent.
Over the years, Canada has played against many nations and has appeared in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy from the days of the inaugural tournament in 1979. Canada has competed at the ICC Cricket World Cup on four occasions, in 1979, 2003 and in the West Indies in 2007 and for the fourth time in 2011. Canada will get to raise its profile as a Twenty20 side by competing in a new domestic T20 competition in West Indies, the first of which took place in July 2010. Its U19 team made several tours to England and Europe in the 1970s. With the help of England, a seven-nation tournament, The International Youth Tournament (IYT), was founded. This was replaced by the Regional Tournaments after 1997. Canada was part of the Americas team at the 2000 World Youth Cup (Sri Lanka) and represented the region at the 2002 World Youth Cup in New Zealand, the 2004 World Youth Cup in Bangladesh, 2010 in New Zealand and 2014 in UAE.
Cricket is played by all the member provinces of the association. There are five major leagues, in: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. The other member provinces, New Brunswick; Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan and Newfoundland are much smaller.
The largest of the five is in Ontario (Toronto & District C. A.). The league consists of five divisions, 47 clubs, 92 teams and over 1380 registered players. The league has some of the best playing facilities in North America, a total of 29 playing grounds, most notably is the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club and Maple Leaf Cricket Club. The level and quality of cricket played in the T&D league is second to none in Canada. This fact is reinforced by the selection of the national team with an average 80 - 90% of players coming from the T & D. The scheduling of the teams is based on a round robin system, with each team in a conference / division playing each other twice in a season.
Key game development activities in Canada include the national schools cricket strategy, a club cricket model clarifying the structure and role of the game at this level, and the establishment of a program to recognise the contribution of cricket volunteers. This work will provide more opportunities for Canadians to become involved in the game. Retention of new participants will be increased by providing a positive first experience of the game. The Canada Cricket Kids Program is designed and directed across the country for the development and promotion of cricket at the junior and senior schools level, and First Nation Canadians (indigenous people) and is not gender specific.