With cricket’s rapid growth in Maryland, local jurisdictions continue to add infrastructure to meet demand. On Saturday, Montgomery County opened another new cricket field to the public, but this was the first time that a new county park has been created with only cricket in mind, rather than adding a pitch to an existing park or converting an athletic field. The field also boasts nets, a first of its kind in the area.
The South Germantown Recreational Park ceremony was attended by State Senator Brian Feldman, Councilmembers Craig Rice and Will Jawando, Montgomery Parks Director Mike Riley, Montgomery Parks planning board chair Casey Anderson and planning board member Pratap Verma. Also participating in the opening were youth teams from the Maryland Youth Cricket Association, plus adult players from the Maryland Cricket Premier League, Maryland Cricket League and the Washington Cricket League.
Anup Shah of the Germantown Kids Cricket Club said, “GKCC are excited to see this field open up in the Germantown area, as it not only has a cricket pitch but a batting cage and couple of big shelters for teams and visitors to sit in shade and enjoy the game.
“We currently have over 50 children playing, and having access to a top class field will allow them to improve their performance. GKCC coaches plan to schedule practice sessions and invite teams for games before the fall season ends,” said Shah.
Shaffeel Ahmed, MYCA’s Infrastructure Committee Chairman said, “More and more youth are taking up cricket, and demand has always been much greater than supply in terms of coaching and infrastructure. As the training has been taken over from parent volunteers to professional coaches, we owe it to our players to develop infrastructure so that they can play the game better and develop in technique to compete at the highest levels across the USA.
“Building infrastructure has become a paramount goal of MYCA’s directors. This is the first step as MYCA has joined hands with Montgomery County Parks, and soon another field at Gunners Branch will be available just for youth cricket, along with the addition of a second field at the Soccerplex,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed also noted that new pitches are scheduled for construction this fall in Howard and Anne Arundel counties.