Laurier Cricket Club begins first year of competition
Cricket can now be added to the list of Laurier club sports this year.
The Laurier Cricket Club is the direct result of several years of development lead by Abdul Rehman Naeem. When Naeem came to Laurier, he found a substantial cricket fan base among students. At that time, there were no cricket teams at Laurier but now students can participate in intramural and club cricket.
Three years ago, Waterloo’s community cricket league was the only option for cricket players at Laurier. Sunrise Cricket – a recreational league – was the popular alternative for current students rather than make the trip to London or Toronto for league matches.
At Sunrise, Naeem found a community of cricket players, support for taking cricket to the next level and the opportunity to make cricket more accessible for Laurier students. Many intramurals and sports clubs require almost exclusive student planning and organization.
Naeem took the initiative to promote and recruit students and gathered a strong enough following for an indoor cricket intramural league of four coed teams. He also orchestrated friendly indoor matches between Laurier, Western, Waterloo and McMaster.
With growing participation, Naeem addressed the Laurier Athletics department in the hopes of making cricket a club sport. Through the Laurier Athletic department, Naeem secured the necessary equipment from MB Malik International in Pakistan and secured jerseys from a local sponsor Abdullah Lawendy.
By this time, news of Naeem’s drive to grow cricket in Canada had reached the Canadian College Cricket league (CCC). The President of the CCC, Hassan Mirza, had only praise for the Laurier student remarking that Laurier has done a fantastic job promoting the sport and providing opportunity for people of colour who share a vision for cricket.
The Laurier Cricket Club is one of ten universities and colleges that make up the The Canadian College Cricket league. The majority of the matches are played in various indoor and outdoor cricket championships as well in league play.
Throughout the year, the results of matches and the participation of students is recorded and the CCC ranks the teams based on performance. Teams participating in the inter-school league play provincial championships and the indoor league have a combined score that determines the standings for the National Championships.
The CCC also launched a summer league where Laurier Cricket Club is currently playing.
Abdul Naeem’s remarkable effort has greatly advanced the cricket influence in Ontario and connected Laurier cricket fans to the sport that they love.