Canada has renewed its lengthy cricket rivalry with the United States in a series of matches in Florida this week.
They are competing in the two-day Karl Auty Memorial Trophy tournament that ends today. Starting in 1844, the countries participated in the world’s oldest sporting rivalry annually up until 1912, when it was interrupted by the First World War and other global events.
Revived in 1963, the series ran for another 17 years up until 1980 when there was a three-year hiatus before a restart in 1983. It ran for another 12 years to 1995, when there was another break. The series resumed last year at King City.
An excellent cricketer and former president of the Chicago Cricket Club and the Illinois Cricket Association, Auty – he lived in Canada for six years – passed away in 1959 at age 81. The Karl Auty Memorial Trophy has been the symbol of cricket supremacy between Canada and the U.S. since 1963.
The North American neighbours will also play a One-Day International tomorrow and two Twenty/20 games on Saturday.
The 13-member squad, led by all-rounder Rizwan Cheema, has been practicing indoors since the local league season ended in early October. New High Performance manager, David Patterson, and former Canadian captain, Ingleton Liburd, managed the practice sessions in place of national coach, Gus Logie, who joined the squad in Florida last Tuesday.
“The practice sessions have been intense and we expect Canada to be successful in the matches because they are the number one team in the region,” said Liburd, who is also Cricket Canada’s domestic development manager.
This is Canada’s last scheduled overseas engagement before their Intercontinental Cup meeting and two One-Day games in Kenya in April. Three weeks ago, Canada learned it will not participate in the West Indies Cricket Board’s seven-team Twenty/20 tournament that starts on January 6 in Trinidad & Tobago.
“They basically told us it’s for the West Indies teams this time around,” said Liburd. “This is a big setback for us as we had planned on using the competition to prepare for Kenya and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 World Cup qualifier in the United Arab Emirates next October.
Logie, who recently acquired a permit to work in Canada, flew to the United States from Trinidad & Tobago. He will return to the twin-island republic at the end of the series to spend the Christmas holidays with his family before relocating to the Greater Toronto Area in January.
BY RON FANFAIR