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Students from different schools unite to learn the 2nd most popular sport in the world

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One hundred high school students from across Simcoe County united Friday for one purpose, to learn about the world's second most popular sport - cricket.

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) organized the event as part of an ongoing effort to promote inclusion through diverse sports activities.

The initiative was inspired by a ministry program to give Canadian students studying abroad a sense of home.

High school students from across Simcoe County learn to play cricket in Bradford, Ont., on Fri., March 24, 2023. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

Some of the students at the event were experiencing the game of cricket from childhood, like Grade 12 student Paranvir Banwaid, who emigrated from India.

"I have like emotions connected to this game. So when I see other people playing the game that I love, I feel very like the game is being promoted in a country where it's not, like, that popular, so I would like people to go crazy about cricket here also," Banwaid said.

High school students from across Simcoe County learn to play cricket in Bradford, Ont., on Fri., March 24, 2023. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

The students learned some of the game's terminology, including 'wicket' and 'googly.'

Bradford Cricket Club Founder Ankit Patel said the game has rapidly grown in Canada over the last few years and more recently in smaller towns.

"Now we see Alliston, Orillia, Barrie, Bradford, Tottenham, Shelbourne, they all are participating. We played last year with all the cities, and it really feels nice to have the community part of the game," Patel said.

High school students from across Simcoe County learn to play cricket in Bradford, Ont., on Fri., March 24, 2023. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

Students at Friday's event will use what they learned to introduce cricket to feeder elementary schools, creating more opportunities for students of all ages to learn the sport and grow the game locally.

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