Revelstoke’s budding cricket community is set to have their first competitive match in over 80-years this weekend in Kelowna.
Despite its mountainous terrain, Revelstoke has a rich cricket history. From 1892–1938, Revelstoke had consistent cricket games and even a friendly rivalry with teams in the Okanagan in Kelowna and Kamloops.
Earlier this summer, the team started getting together to practice, play, and enjoy the sport. Now, the Revelstoke cricket team prepares for their first full game in over 80-years.
Matt Bramall plays on the Revelstoke team. Playing cricket in Revelstoke helped Bramall stay connected to his home in England, where he played the sport more frequently.
“I played every single Sunday at home last summer,” said Bramall.
Bramall came from a town in the midlands of England that’s similar in size to Revelstoke. He said the cricket games –big or small– often had a good turnout.
“Everyone there comes down on a weekend to watch and if the weather’s nice to get a beer from the clubhouse, and you just sit out and it’s a really good environment,” said Bramall.
The team has a way to go before they reach that level of popularity, but Bramall said they are looking to grow the club.
“We plan to sort of kind of ratify the club at the end of this year,” said Bramall.
By making the club formal, the group will look to expand on the success that they’ve achieved so far, which has been a grassroots initiative.
“Then we want to kind of start building more relationships with maybe businesses or community organizations in town. This isn’t a short-term thing,” said Bramall.
Over the summer, the group have often had over a dozen players come out to their Wednesday and Saturday evening practices. Of those players, Bramall said they have 11 who have committed to playing in Kelowna this weekend.
Still, the club is always recruiting. Bramall said part of the popularity of cricket in Revelstoke stems from the diverse backgrounds of the players. He also said that with so many seasonal workers playing on the team, they’ll be recruiting just as heavily next year.
To catch the games –if residents find themselves in Kelowna next weekend– they play on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Kelowna Cricket Club starting at 11:00 a.m.