By Tony Hinds & Sam Sooppersaud
After 30 years of competing in the American Cricket League (ACL), with much success, the Queens United Cricket Club, housed at the beautiful Idlewild Cricket Complex in Rosedale, Queens, New York, has decided to compete in the New York Metropolitan District Cricket League, starting with the 2015 cricket season.
The club originally played at the Baisley Park cricket field, where they became a powerhouse club in the American Cricket League, where hordes of cricket fans would descend on the weekends when the Queens United club was in action. It was a pleasure watching some of the old timers play; the likes of Barney, “Sarge” Heyliger, and Rose teaming up with Tony Hinds, Paul Duncan, and the younger players.
President of the club and longtime middle-order batsman Tony Hinds expressed his appreciation to the thousands of fans who have supported and cheered for the club week after week. He recalled with great fondness, the joys and sometimes the pressure of days of competition in the American Cricket League. With a countenance of a bit of sadness mixed with a smile, Tony Hinds stated, “I joined the ACL in 1987, back then we played a very high level of two innings cricket, Somerset CC, Empire CC, and Swansea CC, all had two teams each playing as the A and B teams.”
Why the move after such a long stint in the ACL? Tony said that the move allows the club to manage its weekends more effectively from the standpoints of economics and availability of the players, adding, “In the ACL numerous games are played on a Saturday when many players are required to be on the job. Leaving a job to play cricket on these Saturdays creates an economic strain on the players. In the Metropolitan Cricket League almost all of their games are scheduled for Sundays, unless time constraints require clubs to play on Saturdays.”
When reminded that there is a very high level of competition in the MCL, Tony Hinds was quick to say that his club is looking forward to the challenges ahead, and promised that they would play hard to maintain the standard of the MCL, to add value to the league. He says that his club has numerous exciting youngsters who, playing alongside veterans, like him, would be a force to reckon with.
The President remarked that, “In our early years in the ACL, Queens United found it very tough competing against the predominantly strong “Bajan Stars” Stocky Blackman, Ralph Weeks, Rawle Phillips aka Scraggs, and Paceman Pierre, Phillips, Alvin Howard and Wesley King all were a bit tough to chew. But with resolve and grit, in 2009, Queens United won the 35-Overs Market Clarke competition under the captaincy of Veteran opening batsman Paul Duncan. In that season they defeated Cambridge CC in a highly contested semifinal. They then went on to handing the star studded Somerset CC a defeating blow a week later in the final at the same E80 Street cricket venue, in Brooklyn. In 2011 Queens United once again secured gold when they won the Trevor Hall T20 Championship, defeating Brooklyn Queens CC, in a keenly contested final.
Best wishes to Queens United Cricket Club in their future endeavors, and their stay in the NY Metropolitan District Cricket League.