2017 Philadelphia International Cricket Festival

By Will Becker, Global Philadelphia Ambassador.

This past weekend, from May 3rd to May 7th, the 2017 Philadelphia International Cricket Festival occurred – an event that truly encapsulates the global potential of sports in Philadelphia. This year, there were 18 teams from five countries: US, Canada, UK, South Africa & Australia that took part in it, made up of players representing 18 nationalities. The festival kicked off with a reception at the CC Morris Cricket Library, one of the sport’s greatest archives in the world. Players and guests could inspect and even hold rare artifacts of cricket history, and the library holds photos, scorebooks, bats and other memorabilia of some of the world’s most famous matches, teams, players and items since the sport's inception. The collection of the Cricket Library has long been held in high regard internationally, and increased its stature since the Swinging Away Exhibit was on display in 2010 at Lords and 2011 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The exhibit featured items from all three museums that had never been displayed together before, and traced back the roots of baseball and cricket. Many of the great cricketers of the 1880 to 1910 period, like Bart King, started in baseball and converted to cricket.

The audience and athletes in the festival showed diversity representative of the global city Philadelphia is as well.  Each year there are repeat teams that come back every year, and a few new ones – some international, some domestic. For example, a club from Australia that has been operating since 1956 took part in the festival, Melbourne Cricket Club XXIX Club, as did a club from South Africa, Western Province, which has been in operation since 1864. CanAM was also participating, a women’s cricket association whose mission is to develop women’s cricket in the USA, Canada, and throughout the Americas. The team’s English honorary captain, Claire Taylor MBE, was the first woman to be named Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and the team has representative players from USA (7), Canada (4), and Brazil (1).  Most notably, the festival's Guest of Honor was Devon Malcolm. Born in Jamaica, he settled in England and was named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1995, and in his day was one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket.

The Festival turned out to be a great time had by all that perfectly showed how international our city is. We look forward to next year’s!


Click here for pictures of the event