Staten Island Cricket Club set to celebrate 150th anniversary

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Opening weekend 2021 at Staten island Cricket Club. Photo courtesy @statenislandcc.org

Staten Island is home to the oldest continuously operating cricket club in America – the Staten Island Cricket Club – and this weekend, July 16 and 17, 2022, it marks its 150th anniversary.

Celebrations begin with a plaque unveiling on Saturday, July 16 morning and will continue throughout the day with a cricket match and a banquet and awards dinner at 6:00pm.

The sport of cricket has been played on Staten Island since the club formed in 1872 and Walker Park off Bard Avenue has been the club’s home since the 1880’s, a press release said.

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The celebration will continue on Sunday, July 17 with a cricket match and another banquet at 6:00pm that day as well.

On its website, statenislandcc.org, the Club is welcoming cricket layers of all backgrounds and abilities to join as members.

Organizers say the home ground has seen cricket legends and its members come from all parts of the world–India, Pakistan, Trinidad, Jamaica, Ireland, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and of course USA.

WhatsApp Image 2021-08-14 at 8.41.02 PM Women’s Team at Staten Island Cricket Club posing Aug. 14, 2021. Photo: courtesy statenislandcc.org

“The Club enjoy(s) the busiest and best fixture schedule in the Northeast,” the website says. On Sundays one can witness the play of the NY Metro League Cricket. On Saturdays the Club  plays WSL games. On both days the Club plays friendlies and tour matches.

A ”Brief History” on the website recounts how a book about the Club, History of the Staten Island Cricket and Tennis Club, 1872-1917, author Randolph St. George recounts how it was founded on March 22, 1872, as the Staten island Cricket and Baseball Club. It talks about how picturesque the land was on the north shore of Staten Island, the cricket field looking “like a patch of emerald velvet.”

The first cricket match on the Walker Park site was reported by the New York Times July 6, 1886, when an English and American team competed. The whole accounts makes for good reading considering how the game of cricket is gaining ground in the United States, not least because of the efforts of Indians and Indian-Americans living in this country.

Legendary players like Don Bradman, Geoffery Boycott, Everton Weekes, Garry Sobers, etc. have played on the hallowed grounds, according to the Club.  It started with just 37 members according to the ‘Brief History’.

“The club’s current membership consists largely of players of South Asian and West Indian heritage and they field teams in both the competitive NY Metropolitan League and World Series League,” says a note from publicists July 11, 2022.

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