A brief history of cricket / Canadian Cricket Association

The Canadian Cricket Association reached a milestone on 29 March 1992 when it celebrated 100 years of cricket administration. The national body was formed on Monday evening 28 March 1892 at a meeting held at the Walker House Hotel which was located across from Union Station in downtown Toronto. The chair was taken by John Wright, who was President of the Ontario Cricket Association, and the Secretary was John E. Hall who in 1895 in conjunction with R.O. McCulloch published a book entitled Sixty Years of Canadian Cricket. This publication is today a prize in any collector's library.

Another interesting participant in the meeting was the young 18-year-old John M. (Jack) Laing who was to go on and become the greatest player in the history of Canadian cricket.

Through the years, the Canadian Cricket Association has enjoyed varying degrees of success. One of the early presidents was H.B. (Hal) McGiverin who was probably the finest fast bowler in the annals of Canadian cricket. McGiverin, who was born at Hamilton, played for Canada between 1888 and 1903. While playing for Ottawa Valley against the M.C.C. in 1905, he captured 7 for 34 to record one of the best efforts by a Canadian pace bowler against a major touring team.

The Canadian Cricket Association as it is known today springs mainly from the years immediately following World War II. The ruling body was reconstituted in 1947 under the presidency of W.E.N. (Billy) Bell and the national championships based on the present format took place in Toronto in the same year.

The following article appeared in the Globe & Mail on Tuesday 29 March 1892::

The Canadian Cricket Association forms

The meeting called to organise a Canadian cricket association was held at the Walker House last night. Mr. John Wright, President of the Ontario Association, took the chair and Mr. J.E. Hall acted as secretary. The following delegates were present: J. Pegley (Chatham), Dr. W.J. Stevenson (Aurora), J.H. Laurie, New Fort (Toronto), H.C. Pope (London), A. Gillespie, Kerwan Martin (Hamilton), S.W. Black (Parkdale), J.H. Forrester, J. Bowbanks, T. Clements, H.F. Petman, R.A. Montgomery, J. Hewlett (Rosedale), A.H. Collins, A. Winslow, R.C. Dicken, W. Creelman, C. Lyall, C.N. Shanly, J.E. Hall, A.G. Foy, W.W. Jones, D.W. Saunders, J.M. Laing (Toronto), P. Manning (Toronto Colts), J. Chandler (East Toronto), S.D. Smith (Riverdale), Judge Dartnell (Whitby), A.F.R. Martin, M.S. McCarthy, Trinity College (Toronto), W. Rose-Wilson (Manitoba C.A.), B.T.A. Bell (Ottawa and Eastern Association).

It was decided without opposition that a Canadian association should be formed and the draft constitution was taken up for discussion. The article stating the objects of the association was as follows:

This association has been formed for the encouragement of cricket in the Dominion of Canada to promote the formation of Provincial associations in every province from which the committee of this association shall be principally chosen; to select teams for and to have entire control of the annual international match between the United States and Canada, so far as the Canadian interest in such match is concerned, and as to the recognised head of Canadian cricket.

Mr. Bell, who took an active part in the discussion and whose ideas were pretty generally correct, stated that the Ottawa despatches in some of the papers purporting to give the feeling of the east on the proposed association were altogether erroneous, for the feeling was strongly in favour of the association.

Mr. K. Martin headed a movement to strike out from the article quoted above all reference to the international match, but he got only six votes in support of the amendment to that effect.

It was decided that provincial associations, clubs and individuals should be eligible for membership.

The task of going over the entire constitution was too great for this meeting and was referred to a committee of the following provincial officers: Honorary president, the Governor-General, president, John Wright, Toronto, vice-presidents, Eastern Association, Captain C.C. Newton, Montreal, Ontario Association, Judge Dartnell, Whitby, Manitoba Association, C.P. Wilson, Winnipeg, secretary-treasurer, J.E. Hall, Toronto, assistant secretary-treasurer, H.F. Petman, Rosedale, committee, A.H. Collins, Toronto, Dr. N.H. Beemer, London, of the Ontario Association, the president and secretary of the Winnipeg Club for the Manitoba Association, and B.T.A. Bell (Ottawa), and Thomas Ramsay (Montreal) for the Eastern Association.

The meeting adjourned until April 19, when the committee will report.

Contributed by:
Kevin E. Boller
Public Relations Officer
Toronto, Ontario

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