New York Big Apple Cricket League

New York Gets Another T20 League

New YorkNewsSam Soopersaud March 27, 2024 admin

By Sam Sooppersaud
New York City consisting of Boroughs of Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, has long been known for producing some of the finest cricketers and the most competitive cricket leagues. The 2024 season in the Big Apple has just been blessed with the addition of another cricket league, as the New York Big Apple Cricket League (NYBACL) makes its debut as a T20 competitor with an emphasis on developing available youth talent, while providing yet another platform for cricket players north of 23 years old.

New York Big Apple Cricket League

It has been a long and cold winter. Maybe not as cold as some winters in the past, but cold, at least for me, who “feels cold” once the temperature falls below 80 degrees. But, a few weathermen have said this winter has been comparatively warm. It all depends on whether one likes the cold or not. Spring is now here, though still a bit cold, and it is a sure sign that outdoor activities will soon resume. For cricketers and cricket fans, it seems that the cold weather is with us for “eternity.” But don’t be discouraged; cricket will be in the parks very soon.

In fact, the official cricket season of the Public Schools Athletic League commenced on March 1st. Although the high school players still need to be in the parks, I am sure they are doing their workouts in the gyms at their respective schools. Games in the PSAL tournament will be played as of Saturday, April 6th, in the New York City cricket parks at Baisley Pond Park, The Cage, Gateway, Idlewild, Van Cortlandt, and several other venues. Log on to to get the full cricket schedule.

Cricket leagues and organizers in New York have been meeting since the beginning of the year to make plans for the various 2024 cricket tournaments. One such organization is the debutante NYBACL. The officials are Cyril Choy, President; Powan Persaud, Director/VP; Ricky Kissoon, Organizer; Umpire Pandit Jankie, Umpire Coordinator, and several other stakeholders, have been meeting regularly and mapping out their vision of a successful T20 tournament season. They plan to have a 15-team tournament, with Under-17, Under-23, and Senior teams participating.

Recently, the NYBACL held its first “open” meeting at the Royal Empress Palace on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. Present were the NYBACL officials and representatives of various clubs that have expressed interest in participating in the tournament. Several umpires were also present, with yours truly joining the meeting. Ten clubs signified their intention to “definitely” be a part of the tournament. Included among the club representatives was Coach Persaud of the Richmond High School of the PSAL. He informed the gathering that he would field an Under-17 team comprising players from the PSAL. The organizers said one of their ideas is to encourage and support youngsters interested in playing cricket. The Under-17 team will not be charged an entrance fee, and the Under-23 team will pay half of the entrance fee. Of course, the senior teams will pay the full registration fee of $1700.

The NYBACL matches will be played on Saturdays. The organizers hope to have a 15-team season. Clubs will be organized into groups. The number of groups will depend on the number of teams participating in the tournament. The organizers intend to follow the “regular” setting for the playoffs as used in the premier leagues around the world. There would be a four-game playoff. A Qualifier, two Eliminators, and a Final. The top four teams will get into the playoffs. The two top teams will play the Qualifier, with the winner advancing to the Final. The third and fourth teams play the first Eliminator. The loser goes home, while the winner plays the loser of the Qualifier in the second Eliminator. Then the Finals between the two winners will take place.

As mentioned above, Umpire Coordinator Jankie and several of his umpiring crew were at the meeting. There were discussions on the rules under which the tournament will be played. Standard T20 format rules will be used, with a few modifications. The tournament organizers and the umpires will get together and develop the rules for the tournament. Hopefully, this will be done very soon, and another public meeting will be held with the registered clubs present.

After the meeting, the guys got together for some “cricket talk” over snacks, compliments of the host, The Royal Empress Palace. I raised the topic that the cricket fraternity’s prevailing view, not only in New York but around the country, is that there are too many leagues and tournaments with no cohesion among organizers. As a result of this fractured practice, “our cricket is going nowhere.” In fact, not only are there factions, but there is resentment among the various leagues and organizers. For example, the NYBACL has a post on social media advertising its upcoming tournament. Within days of that is posting, there was a disclaimer from the New York National Cricket League (NYNCL) on social media platforms, stating that the NYBACL is not part of the NYNCL and that any information posted that gives that impression is false and misleading and should be disregarded. I believe that if the NYNCL felt that it was being infringed upon, they should have contacted the organizers of the NYBACL, with both entities sitting down to “straighten things out.” It is terrible for cricket when there is bickering among cricket organizers. The underlying reason for wanting to organize or sponsor cricket tournaments should be “to further the game, not for self-gratification.” What is your viewpoint?

Cricket fans can reach me with critiques and comments at [email protected] or Cell phone # 646-363-5063.

The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of