FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES NEW CRICKET FIELD IN SOUTHERN QUEENS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the creation of a new cricket field in St. Albans Park in Queens. It will be the second designated cricket field in the City designed specifically for this sport and paid for with City capital funds. Construction on the $1.5 million project is expected to begin next spring and be completed in the summer of 2007. The Mayor was joined by State Senator Malcolm Smith, Council Member Leroy Comrie, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and members of the West Indian Softball Cricket Association and the New York Cricket Coaching School at the announcement.
“Cricket is played all over the world and its popularity is quickly growing right here in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The new cricket field at St. Albans Park illustrates just how much our West Indian and South Asian communities have grown. New York City is the ‘World’s Second Home,’ and we’re committed to helping our diverse and dynamic communities celebrate their heritage through their native cuisines, hobbies or recreational activities.”
“New York City’s parks host a global roster of sports, from Bocce to Ultimate Frisbee,” said Commissioner Benepe. “We are happy to support South Queens’ burgeoning cricket community by planning this state-of-the-art cricket field.”
The field at St. Albans was originally designed as a Little League field, but is currently used as an unofficial cricket venue. The restoration will include the installation of a clay pitch (the surface off which the ball is bounced), a drainage system, fencing, benches, paths, and plantings. Once work is completed, the field will host both hardball and softball forms of cricket, and Little League baseball. Softball cricket, which doesn’t require a clay pitch, is mainly played by the Indian and Pakistani populations, while Hardball cricket is played competitively in England, Australia, and the Caribbean, and is the form recognized by the United States Cricket Association.
Work on another new cricket field, funded by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, will begin next year in nearby Idlewild Park. Parks & Recreation introduced the United States’ first public field dedicated solely to cricket in 2003 in Brooklyn’s Spring Creek Park. Though cricket is currently played in all five boroughs at more than 25 general-use fields, the St. Albans field will be only the second in the City – and the second in the United States – designed specifically for this sport and paid for with City capital funds.
Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks)
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