Cricket is back in the Yukon after more than a 100-year absence, and for the first time, a territorial championship has been awarded.
The Yukon Cricket Championship was held at Minto Park in Dawson City on July 1 between North Dawson and South Dawson, with South Dawson winning 153-100.
“They used to play cricket back in the gold rush days,” said Chris Collin. “As far as we know, this is the first Yukon Cricket Championship because back then, Dawson was basically the only real town in the Yukon.”
Collin explained the decision to divide the usual group of cricket players up based on approximate location was a way to try to put together even teams out of a squad that usually mixes and matches.
“There is sort of a rivalry in Dawson between north and south anyways,” said Collin. “It’s not a deep-seeded thing at all. … It’s just sort of a nod and a wink, and a bit of a giggle.”
This was the sixth cricket match of the season, and by far the most competitive.
Cricket is divided into innings, which are in turn made up of overs. An over consists of six balls from a bowler to a batsman.
Rather than the 10 overs per team the group had been playing all season, the championship match was 20 overs for each team — akin to the popular one-day Twenty20 rules.
North Dawson got off to a hot start in the field with some early wickets and catches putting South Dawson on the back foot.
Despite a handful of batsmen retired early, South Dawson rallied with Matthew Emmett hitting a century — 100 runs — through two lengthy partnerships.
After 20 overs, South Dawson had 153 runs with eight out.
North Dawson’s batting was seemingly on pace for its first half-dozen overs, but some running errors, excellent bowling by South Dawson and good fielding meant North Dawson was all out — all eligible batsmen were retired — with just 100 runs.
With Minto Park being what could generously be called a non-traditional venue, there were some unique house rules to help keep things fair.
“This is Klondike cricket,” said Collin. “It’s a little different.”
A portion of the field had traditional boundaries and traditional scoring — four points for a boundary and six for a shot over the boundary — but the portion of the field inside the diamond changed things up with two points for a boundary and four for a hit directly off the fence.
Turnout for cricket has been good all season, with between 20 and 25 players turning up most Sundays. Those 20 to 25 players also represent more than a dozen countries, including New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, India, England and Canada.
The hope had been to put together a Whitehorse side to challenge for the championship, but for now the trophy, and cricket, are staying in Dawson City.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at email@example.com