The Whitehorse Hunters defeated Dawson City in the second annual Yukon Cricket Championship on July 1 in Dawson City. (Submitted)

Whitehorse defeats Dawson City in second annual Yukon Cricket Championship

“They came and we had a real Yukon Cricket Championship”

The Yukon Cricket Championship is leaving Dawson City for the first time.

The Whitehorse Hunters defeated Dawson City in a best-of-three twenty-over series in two straight games.

In game one, the Hunters batted first and scored 167 runs for eight wickets, while Dawson was only able to muster 65 runs all out.

Game two was a closer affair, as Dawson hit for 67 and Whitehorse was only able to equal with three wickets remaining.

Last year was the inaugural Yukon Cricket Championship, where South Dawson beat North Dawson.

Per a press release from organizers, the match is believed to be the first of its kind between Dawson City and Whitehorse despite a long history of cricket in the territory dating back to the early 1900s.

Parveen Dhull helped put together the Whitehorse team and said it was a mix of players from the city.

“We have like two or three teams here,” said Dhull, explaining generally in Whitehorse there is a team of Yukon College students, a team of people from different states in India and a team of people from all over the world.

“That was a mixed Whitehorse team,” said Dhull about the squad who travelled to Dawson. “We asked all the players who wanted to join. Whoever was interested to go, those are the players who went.”

Svapnesh Patel helped get the Dawson City team in order for the match.

“Last year, we had lots of players playing every Sunday in Dawson, so there were lots more players from different countries than this year,” said Patel. “This year, we were kind of a little short on players.”

The decision for the Whitehorse team to travel to Dawson was made just a week before the match, but Patel said he’s glad it happened despite the last-minute nature of it all.

“We are glad that we played. They came and we had a real Yukon Cricket Championship,” said Patel.

Dhull agreed having a real territorial championship was a step in the right direction.

“I’m really glad because cricket is the first game I played in my childhood,” said Dhull, adding that there was no cricket being played at all when he moved to Whitehorse. “Now I’m happy. There are people in Dawson — a really small town — that are loving this game. There are more people contacting us like, ‘Oh, we didn’t know there was cricket in Whitehorse.’ I’m feeling really happy though that we’re promoting the game.”

Patel said despite the loss, game two was very close.

“Until they won, both of the teams were in the race,” said Patel. “We could have got more wickets down. They just won by three wickets and it could have ended up on the other side as well.”

Dhull said the quality in Dawson was somewhat of a pleasant surprise.

“I know some people here (in Whitehorse) who don’t even know what cricket is and I’m surprised people there (in Dawson) are literally playing and hosting a tournament as well,” said Dhull. “It is really great you can see those things where people don’t even know the game. That was really awesome.”

The two teams combined forces for a mixed-team third game, ensuring everyone got to play three games despite the 2-0 score.

Although still 360 days away, next year’s championship should be another leap forward for the sport in the territory.

“We are hoping to have an even more intense game,” said Patel. “This year we did lose the first game by a good margin, but we would expect it to be a close game next year.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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