Over 100 children participated in the kid’s cricket clinic at Richard Presser Park, Central Ave, Hartsdale on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Greenburgh is the first locality in Westchester to promote cricket. The cricket field opened in June- a few months after many Greenburgh residents requested the opportunity to enjoy the sport. A cricket committee organizes practice games every Sunday morning.
“It’s my hope that county and other local officials,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner shared with Black Westchester, “as well as school districts around the county, will recognize the demand for cricket and will create additional cricket fields. There is definitely a demand.”
In a packed auditorium at Graham Elementary School in Mount Vernon, Westchester County Executive George Latimer held a public forum on the future of Memorial Field, and one of the many requests from residents was to include a cricket field in the renovations.
The following photos are from Sunday’s cricket clinic at Richard Presser Park, Central Ave, Hartsdale.
Some of you reading this may be wondering why are we talking about Cricket in Black Westchester? Well, believe it or not, the sport of Cricket was once one of the more popular sports in the United States. As reported recently in The Atlantic, cricket was regularly played in Philadelphia, New York, Hartford and Boston during the 1700s. The game hit its peak in the mid-1800s when close to 1,000 cricket clubs existed across 22 states. But its popularity dwindled during the Civil War. Baseball became a common sport played amongst the soldiers, and naturally, it took on the public reputation of being a patriotic game. At the turn of the century baseball grew to replace cricket as the country’s most popular sport, and by the end of World War I interest in cricket was almost non-existent throughout the United States.
Today, cricket is most popular in England, India, and Australia. But over the last few decades increasing numbers of Indians and West Indians have moved to the United States, naturally increasing the sport’s popularity. Last April, ESPN broadcasted an Indian Premier League cricket match between India and Sri Lanka, and matches like these are now regularly streamed online and through digital media players like Apple TV and Chromecast. ESPN estimates that the growing cricket market in the United States currently consists of about 30 million fans, with New York City being one of the biggest hotbeds for the sport.
“If school districts would allow cricket to be played on their fields – they will prepare children to enjoy one of the world’s most popular sports,” Town Supervisor Paul Feiner shared when he appeared on the People Before Politics Show with Councilwoman-Elect Gina Johnson, Sunday, July 21st. “It’s a worthwhile sport to learn. There could also be scholarship opportunities.”