It’s My Park: Cricket

Cricket. It’s widespread, it’s international, and what we’re trying to do is to make it the #1 sport in America. Cricket originated in England and spread throughout most of the British Commonwealth during the colonial era. The sport has only recently gained popularity in the U.S. and has spread from the Bronx to Brooklyn. My name is Imtiaz Hasan, and I’ve been playing cricket pretty much all my life, when I was born in Guyana, then I came over here, there was not so many cricket fields available nearby, so when this came, it gave us an opportunity to come out here and feel encouraged to play cricket. This is the first official cricket ground here in Brooklyn. Originally the plan was to build a little league field, but we insisted, the Parks Department insisted, that it be a cricket field because it’s the fastest growing sport in Brooklyn. The fact that someone could think of developing a cricket field in the middle of New York City is very important. This cricket field is the only cricket field built by the City of New York, or by any state in America. I’ve played all over at different parks and stuff, and I think this is one of the best parks in New York right now. We have players from all the islands; from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, America, England, India, Pakistan, and we who live here want to see it played here, and see that we can come to the park and enjoy a day of cricket. Watching the game, and have some entertainment, and you know, the barbecues, we have food prepared, and so it’s a family-oriented thing. It makes you want to come out and play. Often compared to baseball, but with more rules, a cricket match can last up to three days. We score runs by running back and forth between the two wickets. Who scores the most runs in the game will be the winner. A batsman can be out ten different ways. When a batsman is out, he’s replaced by another batsman. The game goes on until all 11 batsmen are out. At the end of that session, there is a change. The fielding team becomes the batting team and the batting team becomes the fielding team, and the process continues. I’m a bowler, fast bowler. That means that I take a really long run up, and I deliver the ball really quickly. I bowl around 80 miles an hour. I throw the ball, and it’s supposed to hit the wickets, so my job is basically to get them out. I left Antigua? and came to New York to go to college. I’ve always been into cricket, so when I got here Some of my relatives, they took me along, and it took off from there. It’s a mental sport. If you have no head, you can’t play this game. If you’re not in shape, you can’t play this game. So it’s a physical sport. If you can’t run, you still can’t play this game. So it’s an athletic sport. With this three combination, it’s the best sport there is in the world.

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