By John L. Aaron
Brooklyn, NY – The United States Cricket Promoters Association (USCPA) today announced the Spring Creek Cricket Ground located just off the Gateway Plaza complex in Brooklyn will be renamed Roy Sweeney Cricket Field, after the late cricket administrator and promoter extraordinaire who founded the USCPA in 1986.
Roy Sweeney was instrumental in the development of the cricket ground at Spring Creek more than 13 years ago. The cricket ground albeit somewhat smaller than conventional and regulation sized cricket grounds, was the first ground built exclusively for cricket in the New York City area. Administered and maintained by the New York City Parks & Recreation Department, it was recently outfitted with adjacent bathroom facilities, something Roy Sweeney fought for soon after the grand opening of the cricket ground in 2003.
A son of Jamaica, West Indies, Sweeney was a passionate cricketer, administrator, promoter, and member of the Cricket Hall of Fame located in Hartford, CT. Sweeney passed away in 2013 in Florida after a long and courageous battle with diabetes.
Roy Sweeney was an iconic figure in the cricket and political arenas of New York City, where he forged relationships between politicians and cricketers. Such relationships encouraged the development of cricket facilities such as the Spring Creek Cricket Ground, and more recently Canarsie Cricket Ground located near the Paerdegat Basin at Seaview Avenue and East 80th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
To say Roy Sweeney was appreciated by all cricket enthusiasts in the New York metropolitan area would be making an understatement. As a cricket promoter Sweeney was instrumental in bringing West Indian cricketers like Clive Lloyd, Rohan Kanhai and others to play exhibition cricket matches at Mt. Vernon in the late 70s and early 80s, and a star-studded West Indies squad to the Floyd Bennett Cricket Field in Brooklyn in 2006; a squad that included the likes of Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Darren Ganga, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, and a host of other then current West Indies Test and ODI players.
Roy Sweeney spent more than two-thirds of his life promoting cricket in the New York area, and was awarded the International Cricket Council’s Centennial Medal in 2010 for his contributions to the development of the sport in the USA. It would be one of many moments of recognition for the cricket visionary who migrated to the USA to study civil engineering in 1955, from Jamaica in the West Indies.
The ribbon cutting and renaming ceremony of the cricket field by the Brooklyn Parks and Recreation Department begins at 11:00 am, and is followed by a Memorial Celebrity Cricket Match sponsored by the USCPA.
The Roy Sweeney Celebrity XI for the match is Austin Hutchinson, Charles Walker, Dwight Meikle, Balister McLeish, Ewart Gayle, Courtney Elliott, Tony Hinds, Peter Haywood, Neville Flowers, Richard Staple, Lance Scarlett and Derrick Kallicharran. The opposing XI will be selected from clubs in the NY District Metropolitan Cricket League, and will be announced shortly.
The Spring Creek Cricket Ground is located at Exit 15 off of the Belt Parkway, Brooklyn and across from the Gateway Plaza Mall.