Cricket is officially coming to Nassau County parks. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran recently joined Senator Kevin Thomas, South Asian and West Indie community groups, USA Cricket Board member Ajith Bhaskar Shetty and several local players to unveil cricket pitches in Eisenhower Park. The county has installed two permanent cricket pitches in Eisenhower Park at Field 11 and Field 16, which opened for play on Sept. 14.
“After soccer, cricket is the most watched and most played sport in the world and in Nassau County we are welcoming and supporting the game with great enthusiasm—along with the rapidly growing South Asian community,” said Curran. “Not only are we delivering for our residents, but we are increasing opportunities for economic development in our county. With a relatively small investment to create pitches in our parks, there is tremendous potential to attract a new market, and create new partnerships and opportunities. I want to thank our Office of Asian American Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation for their hard work to get this done.”
“As the first Indian-American Senator in New York, I recognize how important the sport of cricket is to the thriving South Asian community we have here on Long Island,” said Senator Thomas. “I am proud to see the addition of cricket pitches to Eisenhower Park—yet another great place for people to get outside, engage in our community, and have fun. Special thanks to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for her leadership and support of this project.”
These pitches were constructed utilizing the county’s golf and parks maintenance staffs. Within the next few weeks the county will also begin installing a pitch for youth leagues at Cow Meadow Park in Freeport. Presently there are teams that play on portable pitches at Bay Park in East Rockaway, Eisenhower Park in East Meadow and occasionally at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.
As the county has already received tremendous interest, permits for the 2020 season will be based on a lottery, opening in January. Youth permitting for Cow Meadow will begin in 2020. All requests must be sent to NCFields@nassaucountyny.gov.
To celebrate the opening, after remarks, Curran joined local cricket players to demonstrate skills and how the game is played.
Representation from several community organizations and leagues were in attendance including: LI Youth Cricket Academy, LI Titans, NYTBCL, Cricket Travels, AAAC Member, South Asian Times and TBN24.