Cricket is one of the most beloved sports in the world, played by millions across its many forms. The sport has a long history, and today we are celebrating a game that changed the future of Cricket forever – the first international Cricket match ever! On 24-26 Sept 1844, menacing red in their coats and flannel trousers, an English team assembled at the Garrison Ground in Toronto to play an overarm bowling Canadian side in what is considered to be the first official international Cricket match. Despite England triumphing by 23 runs, this momentous occasion marked the dawn of a new era for Cricket. With no hint of how successful and beloved Cricket was to become, this ground-breaking match triggered extensive worldwide success for Cricket as we know it today!
First international cricket match
Canada won by 23 runs. The game was watched by between 10,000 and 20,000 spectators and around $120,000 worth of bets was placed.
In the summer of 1840, an intrepid team from St George’s Club departed on a journey across New York State and onto Lake Ontario. The ambitious mission: to bring cricket to Toronto by taking part in the match against their local Cricket Club – which unbeknownst to them, had not been informed! Despite challenging conditions with no sign of Mr. Phillpotts who initiated the tour, these brave 18 men forged ahead carrying out their quest.
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Despite the lack of preparations, a cricket match was hastily arranged, which was attended by a good number of spectators, a brass band, and Sir George Arthur, the Governor of Upper Canada. The New Yorkers won, and left on such good terms that they invited the Canadians down for what was to be the first international cricket match.
24–26 September 1844
Province of Canada vs United States
Canada won by 23 runs
St. George’s Cricket Club, New York City
Umpires: JH Conolly, H Russell, R Waller
- United States of America won the toss and was elected to the field.
- Rain prevented any play from occurring on Day 2. The match was extended to a third day.
- Wheatcroft failed to arrive in time to take part in the match on the third day – Alfred Marsh fielded as a substitute for him.
First Official International Cricket Match
On March 15, 1877, the first-ever official international cricket match was played between England and Australia in Melbourne. It was a Test match that Australia, led by Dave Gregory, went on to win by 45 runs in four days time. Interestingly there was also a ‘rest day’ after three consecutive days of the match.