Play Your Game at Laurier

By Wilfrid Laurier University Modified on December 12, 2019

Basketball? We've got it. Hockey? Definitely. Cricket? Laurier students made it happen.

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The women's cricket team at Wilfrid Laurier University, the first in Canada to use the traditional hard ball.

For Muhammad Abdul Rehman Naeem, growing up in Lahore, Pakistan meant that cricket was as popular and inescapable as hockey is to Canadian kids. So when Abdul began his studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2014, he took it for granted that Laurier would have a cricket team. It may be the second-most popular sport in the world, but in Canada cricket tends to have a much lower profile than other sports. For one thing, Canada's cold winters don't make year-round play easy. At the time, Laurier did not have an official cricket club, but Abdul found students playing makeshift games in empty parking lots around campus.

Outside of the student community, however, cricket's popularity has remained strong in Southern Ontario: the first cricket club in Waterloo, Ontario was formed in 1895, and the Sunrise Cricket Club has been playing traditional hard ball cricket on grounds in Waterloo Park, located about a five-minute walk from Laurier's Waterloo campus, since 1995. Abdul recognized an opportunity to bring Laurier students and Waterloo's cricket community together.

With equipment, training, and support from the Sunrise Cricket Club, Laurier Athletics and the International Student Support Office, Abdul recruited more than 40 international and domestic students, and established an intramural program with four co-ed cricket teams. The Laurier Cricket Club (LCC) was registered through the Laurier Athletics department in 2015, and the team rose to win the 2018 American College Cricket Midwest Championship in Detroit. In 2018, Abdul established the Women's Cricket Club at Laurier, which is the first women's cricket team in Canada to use the traditional hard ball.

Although Abdul will be completing his double degree in Business Administration and Mathematics this year, he is confident that his teammates will continue his work promoting cricket, women in sports, and fostering a sense of belonging and community among international students at Laurier. Try-outs for the LCC are open to all students, and first-year students are welcome.

Looking for another social sporting experience? Check out our sports clubs, run by students, for students. With more than 20 different clubs available, you can participate in a wide variety of competitive and recreational sports and activities, including karate, ball hockey, equestrian, dragon boat racing and men's lacrosse. Laurier also has 22 varsity teams, including baseball, basketball, curling, football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, swimming, cheerleading and more!

The cost to access campus fitness centres is included in your tuition, so don't just sit there. Climb a rock wall. Take a dance class. Give yoga a shot! If you've got the energy, we've got a program for you.

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