It’s been almost a century since the last competitive cricket match was played in Harbour Grace, but the sport’s long absence from the Conception Bay North community is set to end Sunday.
That’s when the Town of Harbour Grace, in partnership with Cricket Newfoundland and Labrador, will stage a 10-over match between two teams from Cricket NL, followed by an opportunity for locals to try their hand at the game.
The last known cricket match in Harbour Grace was in 1924 following a decline in the sport’s popularity after World War One. However, it was considered the major summer sport in the area during the 19th century. In fact, there is a record of the formation of a club in Carbonear in 1833, making it one of the earliest club in North America. Two clubs were formed in Harbour Grace in 1864, and for the next four decades, cricket was played regularly in the town, with matches against other CBN teams — there also were clubs in Brigus and Bay Roberts. There were also big matches against teams from St. John’s, with Conception Bay North teams often beating those from the capital city.
Harbour Grace also produced the person considered Newfoundland’s greatest ever cricketer, John Shannon Munn, who played at the highest levels of the game while attending Oxford University in 1901 and 1902. Munn moved to St. John’s, and along with his daughter Betty Munn, died in the Florizel disaster of 1918. Betty Munn is commemorated by the Peter Pan statue in Bowring Park.
Sunday’s event runs 2-5 p.m. at the St. Francis Soccer Field in Harbour Grace.