The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and the India Association of Buffalo (“IAB”) have announced the creation of the county’s first cricket field, to be created at the county’s Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda. The new field will be built on the site of a little-used baseball diamond at the Park and the IAB hopes to begin playing as soon as possible.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “Cricket is played worldwide and has millions of fans around the globe and thousands in WNY. Adding this cricket field to Ellicott Creek Park will bring the sport closer to home so that residents can see the game played, learn to play it, and have another reason to enjoy our Parks. I thank Parks Commissioner Rizzo and the IAB for working together to make this new offering possible.”
“The India Association of Buffalo has been a great partner to work with and we are glad to be bringing another recreational opportunity to the Erie County Parks,” said Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Daniel J. Rizzo. “We had a little-used baseball diamond that will now see new life and new energy as a cricket pitch, so we look forward to working through the construction process with the IAB as they introduce cricket to Erie County.”
Cricket is a baseball-like game with key differences in equipment, field layout, and scoring. The high-energy matches feature two teams trying to outscore each other and can be played in different formats that may last only an hour or two, or up to several days. The game traces its roots to England and enjoys immense popularity around the world. The IAB will be responsible for maintenance of the cricket field at Ellicott Creek and will coordinate cricket leagues at the site. Field modifications to get the site ready for play will be overseen by the Erie County Department of Public Works with all design- and construction-related costs borne by the IAB.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring cricket to Erie County and thanks to our partnership with the Parks Department we will be moving forward,” said IAB President Sibu Nair. “In addition to hosting matches for teams across WNY at Ellicott Park, IAB will provide lessons on cricket to children and interested members of the community. The field will also serve as a platform for teams wishing to participate in the WNY Cricket Leather Ball League or any other form of cricket.