Cricket fever is about to begin around the world.
Before the pitches are made, the crowds roll in waves of blue, green and yellow for the much-awaited ICC Men’s World Cup 2023, starting Oct. 5. Cricket lovers in the Lower Mainland can witness the action-packed sport in-person one last time for the season, right here in Burnaby — unless you can afford a trip to India, where the enthralling World Cup will happen.
Back in June, Emrul Hasan, the director of strategy with Last Man Stands (LMS) Canada, an amateur league with quirky, unconventional rules, announced a new league catering to university and college students — LMS Canadian University Cricket League (UCCL).
Hasan, who hails from Bangladesh, said to the NOW back in June: “It took me seven years to find a club when I first came to Canada.”
“We are trying to overcome different barriers for these newcomers: language barriers, financial barriers, awareness barriers, [as many students] don’t even know they could come and play in a league, and transportation barriers.”
On Friday, Sept. 29, the university league season, Hasan’s vision coming true, will culminate in a grand finale at 3 p.m. in the very ground that brought the game to Burnaby in the first place — Sperling.
The league was started to foster the feeling of community and integration, especially for newcomers in Canada.
According to a news release, Last Man Stands (LMS) Canada League, backed by government of Canada and CPRA funding, has enabled more than 60 newcomers to embrace the sport for free.
Hasan, who was once an international student, too, said in a statement: "University leagues provide a unique platform for students and newcomers to connect, share experiences, and build lasting bonds. It's not just about cricket; it's about integration, friendship and personal growth."
In the past year, LMS Canada DEI Foundation has grown from having 150 cricketers to now more than 600 in British Columbia — with multiple sub-leagues, such as LMS BC Blasters, LMS BC EarlyRisers and LMS UCCL launching.
Catch the exciting cricket match at the North cricket ground at Sperling (3860 Sperling Ave) in Burnaby on Friday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. and witness the diverse communities unite for a single love — cricket.
The LMS BC EarlyRisers will also conclude on the same day, with the finals happening at the South cricket ground at Sperling (3860 Sperling Ave) in Burnaby at 3 p.m.