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Photo-op for PM Trudeau in North Delta at the city’s only cricket pitch

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches as young cricket players demonstrate the sport at Delview Park in North Delta on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

In North Delta, young cricket players demonstrated the growing sport for an audience that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon (March 27).

The half-hour photo-op at Delview Park also involved Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, Delta Mayor George Harvie, other local politicians and members of cricket clubs in the Surrey/Delta area.

Trudeau made no announcement and did not take questions from reporters at the gathering, where people were keen to take photos of the PM and pose for selfies as a light rain fell.

“This is an historic moment for these young players!” an onlooker yelled as Trudeau got a close-up view of a cricket batter in action.

At one point, Trudeau bent his body out of the way to avoid a ball hit at slow speed.

Later, he talked with cricket club officials and looked at old photos showing the century-long history of British Columbia Mainland Cricket League (

“We celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2014, so the league is more than 100 years old,” boasted BCMCL president Harjit Sandhu.

“We are excited today to be here, and I think the kids are very excited to meet the Prime Minister, a dream come true to have him watch them play,” he added.

Academy-level players who demonstrated the sport at Delview Park were from different clubs involved in the league, including some based in Surrey.

Prior to meeting with Trudeau, Sandhu said he planned to tell Canada’s leader about how the cricket league has grown in recent years due to the popularity of the sport.

“Just eight years ago we had 47 teams, and now we have 112 senior teams, plus many junior teams of under-17 players, and six women’s teams last year,” Sandhu noted. “We have 14 more applications this year, so that can tell you how much growth there is — not double, but more than triple what we had just seven or eight years ago.”

Delview Park is home to Delta’s only cricket grounds, he noted.

“It started here just a few years ago, and there’s a need for more grounds and facilities if you want to keep the youth on the fields,” Sandhu said. “I’m going to be honest with you, I couldn’t sleep last night because this is preparation time right now for the coming season. We’re fighting over fields and don’t have enough of them. Competition comes and they try to take. It should be equal opportunity for everybody.”

A Surrey resident, Sandhu said he played the sport as a kid and still plays, and now also volunteers his time to govern the region’s largest cricket league.

“I had the potential to be better, but my goal as (league) president is to give that opportunity to others and have those kids play and compete at a high level. We are mentoring them to go in the right direction.”

MP Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, said she was eager to host Trudeau and Freeland at a sports field in North Delta.

“This is the diversity of sport in Canada, and this is what sport looks like in Delta, and in Surrey,” Qualtrough said. “We need to increase the opportunities for kids to play, and that’s what this is about.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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