Philadelphia’s International Cricket Festival

Cricket might not be the first sport you associate with Philadelphia, but the Philadelphia International Cricket Festivalis testament to its rich heritage in our region.

Hosted at Haverford College just outside Ardmore, PA, this annual charity event takes place during the first week in May.

It aims to promote cricket as a sport, encourage sporting links with other countries, and raise charitable donations to support junior cricket in the region.

Every year, it brings over 200 players from across the globe to Philadelphia, from as far afield as England, Canada, and Bermuda.

Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) attended the event’s opening reception and cricket match at Haverford’s cricket pavilion, where a team from England played the Haverford College side. A building to the rear of the pavilion is a temporary home for the university’s CC Morris Cricket Library, a treasure trove of almost 200 years of cricket history in Philadelphia.

Some of the gems in the Library’s collection include a bat that once belonged to legendary English cricket player W.G. Grace, who is considered one of the sport’s best ever players, and helped shape the modern game. There is also a photograph of the first ever English cricket team to visit the United States in 1859.

One exciting story told by the collection is that of Indian Prince Ranjitsinhji, a keen cricketer who studied in the Philadelphia area before returning home to inherit his father’s throne. In 1899, he brought his own hand-picked team back to Haverford for an international match against the Philadelphia team.

This year’s International Cricket Festival welcomed Dr Ali Bacher from South Africa as its Guest of Honor.Bacher played a role in the racial integration of the South African cricket league in the 1990s, and helped organize the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

 

Article written by Alice Krainock on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association.

Photographs by Alice Krainock on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association.