By Sam Sooppersaud
The Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) will resume its annual cricket tournament among 30 high schools in Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, and Brooklyn, beginning April 1, 2022. The program administered by the PSAL in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education started in 2009. Over the years, there has been an increase in participating schools and cricket fans who watched the matches. It is encouraging to see many parents of the young cricketers showing up to watch their youngsters play the sport they love and for others to see their kids learning a new sport.
From the beginning, the program was organized and managed by Ms. Lorna Austin, Cricket Coordinator, Mr. Bassett Thompson, Cricket Commissioner, and Mr. Ricky Kissoon, Assistant Cricket Commissioner, and their hard-working staff. Mr. Fitzroy Hayles, Umpire Coordinator and a former president of the United States of America Cricket Umpires Association, was responsible for assigning umpires. It may seem undaunting that these folks could handle the logistics involved in scheduling close to 400 matches within the short period between April and June each year. They have done so successfully year after year. It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to our great city’s youths.
Since 2019, no matches have been played due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Ms. Austin has moved on to other great things, and the new Cricket Coordinator is Ms. Nicole Emery. I want to thank Ms. Austin for her hard work as the PSAL Cricket Coordinator during her stint.
With the announcement that PSAL cricket will resume this April, cricket fans are elated, mostly the hundreds who flock to the cricket parks to see the future stars in action. I have received numerous calls from fans wanting to know the starting date of this year’s tournament. Well, fans, here it is. The first round of matches will commence on March 31, at various fields in Queens, Brooklyn, and The Bronx. Fans can get the full schedule by logging on to PSAL.org. Also, you can obtain more information by contacting me at [email protected].
We are at a junction right now when cricket is growing in popularity. A relatively new national governing body, USA Cricket, is working along with various professional cricket management organizations to popularize the game. Works are going on at this time to create a professional cricket league in this country. Who knows! Many PSAL youngsters may be professional cricketers in the USA one day. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see their growth. Come out and watch some PSAL cricket matches this season.