In a country where hockey is king, and increasingly the main summertime youth sport activity is soccer, it’s easy to overlook the growing popularity of cricket in Canada. But in cities like Hamilton with large populations of arrivals from cricket hotbeds like India and Pakistan cricket is on the rise. In fact the sporting website Sportyghost ranks Cricket as number seven in popularity in Canada—ahead of Curling, tennis and golf. Currently there are about 450 schools playing cricket in the GTA and Hamilton. Burlington has a permanent cricket field at Central Park .Since 2008 Canada has hosted a number of cricket matches involving international cricket teams from India, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Little wonder then that the city is planning to construct a full sized cricket pitch as part of the redevelopment of Confederation Beach Park. Lawrence Stasiuk Supervisor Park Redevelopment Landscape, says Hamilton has been making do with small cricket pitches, that are only half the regulation size; but now there will be a full sized facility located at the eastern end of the park where there was a campground up until a few years ago. The cricket field will form part of a multi-use sports park that will also include 12 pickleball courts and a general use playing field that could accommodate soccer.
Later phases of the development will see construction of a field house with showers and a change room. The old campsite gatehouse will be converted to public restrooms. The initial phase of the project will cost $3 Million and be finished in 2019. The sports field development is part of a much larger $40 Million, 20-plus year master plan for the redevelopment of the entire four kilometer- long Confederation park.