Whitehorse Hunters win Yukon Cricket Championship
On Canada Day,
On Canada Day, the Whitehorse Hunters, a cricket team whose members practise at Yukon College, travelled to Dawson City for the Yukon Cricket Championship held at the Crocus Bluff field.
It was the second year of the Yukon Cricket Championship. In the inaugural competition, South Dawson defeated North Dawson.
Jashan Kainth, a batter for the Hunters, said in Whitehorse about 25 people come and play regularly at the college, and that the numbers continue to grow if not rapidly but steadily.
Cricket, the national sport of England, is also very popular in India, Pakistan, and Australia. Kainth notes that as more people from these countries move or just visit the Yukon, they are searching out a place to play.
"We had five or six more people join (this year)," said Kainth.
The Yukon Cricket Champion was played between the Whitehorse Hunters and the Dawson Cricket Team. The team from Dawson was an amalgamation of the two sides that played in the inaugural tournament. In cricket, there are 11 players a side.
The Yukon Championships were a best of three competition and the Whitehorse Hunters swept the series two straight to be crowned champions.
In game one, the Hunters batted first and put up a score of 167 runs by eight wickets. Dawson fell far short in their innings and was all out for 65.
During a batting team’s innings (yes, innings), they will have two batsmen at either end of the pitch. One batsman will have the ball bowled their way while the other effectively acts as a baserunner.
Runs are scored when a batsman hits the ball into the field of play and each batsman runs the 22 yards, where the two sets of wickets stand, to score points. They are not obliged to run, unlike baseball.
If they both make it to either end of the field without getting an out, they score one run, and the batsman who was in the non-striker's end is now on strike. In theory, they can score as many runs as possible before the ball is returned to the bowler or wicket-keeper (baseball’s equivalent to a back catcher).
During this time, the fielding team will accumulate wickets or outs.
The fielding team can accumulate outs by bowling the batsman. This is when the bowler successfully bowls the ball past the batsman and knocks into the wickets. The fielding team can also catch the ball or a batsman can be run out, which is similar to being thrown out in baseball – the batsman must make it into the crease before the ball gets back to the bowler or the wicket-keeper.
Game two was much closer as Dawson was first to bat. Their batters set a target of 67, which the Hunters reached with only three wickets remaining.
The fielding team needed to get 10 outs to end an innings.
Kainth said the Dawson team added two players from the game before, which made them stronger.
"They were a strong team," said Kainth about Dawson." They just had some miscommunications."
Hunters wicket-keeper Manjot Takhar, a former national player in India, said the competition was very good, adding it’s nice to see the sport growing in the Yukon.
"There are two teams in Dawson, so we can call them up and play sometime," said Takhar.
Both Takhar and Kainth said anyone who is interested in trying cricket can come and play with them at the College on Saturdays and Mondays from 8-11 p.m.
"All are welcome," said Kainth. "No worries if you haven't played; it is just a little different than baseball."
Currently, those who are playing in Whitehorse play in the college's gym, but Takhar said they are searching for an outside space.
Although it was the second year of the Yukon Cricket Championships, this was the first known time of cricket teams from Whitehorse and Dawson City facing off against each other.
Kainth said hopefully the Yukon Cricket Championships can be held in Whitehorse next year.