Laurier women’s cricket team named Canadian College National Champions
On Sept. 3 and 4, Wilfrid Laurier’s University’s women’s cricket team competed in the first-ever Canadian College Cricket Women’s National Championship in King City.
Despite the team being in its infancy at Laurier, having been founded less than three years ago, the Golden Hawks managed to take home the championship, being crowned the Canadian College National Champions for 2019.
“We were just hoping to have a fun time,” vice-captain Amisha Yadav said, “winning was totally not expected.”
After defeating Ryerson in the semi-finals, Laurier set up a finals matchup against Canadian College Cricket’s top team. Trailing for a large part of the match, Laurier saw themselves down 11 runs with just three balls left. However, the team was able to dig in deep and squeeze out an 81-79 victory.
Top performers in the finals included Yadav, who contributed 45 runs, and Maaike van Wingerden, who gave the team 33 runs.
“We have been practicing throughout the summer, so in terms of skill set, there has been significant improvement in a lot of players,” Yadav said.
Making this tournament win even more surprising for Laurier is the fact that just a few weeks ago, the team was not even sure if they would be able to compete in it.
“Throughout the summer we lost a lot of players, [as] a lot of our team graduated. We were just concerned with if we would be able to even play at all,.” Yadav said.
This challenge of having enough players to compete is something that Laurier’s women’s cricket team has dealt with since it was founded.
As with many new clubs or teams created at the university level, being able to recruit enough individuals to join is often the biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared.
“A lot of students in general at Laurier don’t know what cricket is as a sport,” Yadav said.
“So even if we do advertise that we are looking for people, and no matter how much we say that we don’t require any previous experience, people just aren’t as willing to just try it out.”
“We’re trying to get as many players as we can and just get the word out about our team and a women’s cricket team in general, because there are just not that many teams like [us] across Ontario and Canada.”
Following such an impressive performance at the National Championships, the Laurier team has a busy few months ahead of them to not only continue to make a name for themselves at the provincial level, but also work towards continuing to grow interest in the team.
“We are hoping to host a tournament in November, where we are getting universities coming to Laurier for a two-day event. Nothing is confirmed yet, but that is our goal,.”
The next big provincial tournament for Laurier will be the Ontario Cup, where the Golden Hawks will be entering as the defending runner-up, after losing to York University in the finals last year.
Coming off of such an impressive performance at the National Championships, Laurier will definitely be entering the Ontario Cup as one of the favourites for the tournament, and it will be very exciting to see how the team can perform.
With continued tournament success, and a strong effort by team members to promote the sport of women’s cricket, it would be no surprise if the team becomes among the most popular choices at Laurier for women’s athletics.