FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Cricket Foundation (NPCF) held its annual County Cricket League Cup last month to promote the emerging sport and encourage social bonding for new immigrants in the Peace region.
The NPCF has been pushing to improve the sport of cricket in the Peace region by holding a yearly event since 2017. The league cup had four local teams participate: the Northern Bulls, the Northern Strikers, the Energetic Stars, and FSJ United.
The Northern Bulls beat the Northern Strikers in the finals to win the league cup.
Ananthakrishnan Anilkumar was recognized as the Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his performance at the league cup. He was also recognized as the Best Batsman, with Joel David being awarded the league cup’s Best Bowler.
Joel David, president of the NPCF, said the league cup consists of immigrants from Southeast Asia and Africa, mainly professionals in healthcare, energy, and services sectors, playing together and cultivating a sense of bonding among them.
The mission statement of the NPCF is to promote fun, cross-cultural friendship, and respect through team participation.
“Our cricket community reflects the true essence of Fort St. John’s inclusivity,” said David.
David came to Fort St. John 10 years ago and said, “Cricket was the decisive factor for him in staying in Fort St. John.”
The foundation president said the league cup also has many international students from Northern Lights College. He feels the event has helped students from different cultures bond and socialize through a shared love of the sport.
“Seeing young minds from different nations engage in our sport fosters an enriching cultural blend that helps build social relationships,” said David.
The NPFC supports its activities with funds collected from club members and sponsorships. They also host teams from Prince George, Grande Prairie, and Dawson Creek.
David hopes to organize more summer tournaments in the future and build a professional cricket field in Fort St. John to provide a strong foundation for aspiring players and allow them to test themselves among the best players.
The North Peace Cricket Foundation is also looking to raise money to install synthetic turf at Forster Fields, estimated to be around $20,000.