If you have been to the Community Center in the last few weeks, there is a good chance that you have noticed some dirt being removed on what used to be one of our baseball fields. I am sure you have also noticed the fence around the field has been torn down, along with the dugouts. If you have been wondering what we are doing, I am excited to announce that we are in the process of turning that land into a cricket pitch!
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world. It ranks between 2nd and 5th on various publications. However, in our region, athletes have a difficult time finding available land to play on. Many pick-up games are played on streets, basketball courts, and open fields due to the lack of true cricket pitches. Through our research, we were able to find out that there is a large number of players and leagues that play cricket on a weekly basis in our area. Many of these athletes have to travel to Arlington, Washington D.C., and even Maryland to practice and compete. The cricket pitch that we are working on consists of a 10’x70’ concrete slab covered by artificial turf. By transforming the baseball field into a cricket pitch, it will allow athletes and teams in our area to have a local pitch to practice and play on.
We are excited for this new sporting opportunity within the City! Cricket allows us to expand our already diverse programming, and expose people to this popular, yet still relatively unknown sport. In addition to the exposure, the City will be able to gain revenue through rental fees for practices, games, and tournaments. We will also have the opportunity to offer youth classes and create recreation programming around the game of cricket for those that are new to the sport and are interested in learning how to play.
Once you learn how to play cricket, it’s not difficult to see why it is one of the most popular sports to play and watch internationally. The cricket pitch will help continue to establish Manassas Park as a city that values creative recreation opportunities.
The pitch is schedule to be completed in early May. I encourage you to stop by and give the sport a watch. If you are interested in playing, feel free to reach out to me.
On a final note; ESPN put together a brief video showing how the game is played, and some of the rules that must be followed. The video does a great job of breaking down some of the intricacies of the game.
Tony Thomas is the Recreation Services Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.