As the Indian Population grows in the US – it’s also growing rapidly in Florida in the city of Tampa Bay and with many fans who love Cricket it’s now coming to the bay area! Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department is adding to the recreational opportunities in the county with the opening of its first designated cricket fields, located at Evans Park in Seffner. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m. at Evans Park, 1104 N. Kingsway Road in Seffner, followed by a demonstration cricket game.
The newly renovated park boasts three cricket fields that meet professional cricket standards and are designed to accommodate tournaments. Important to the design are the pitches. Without a proper pitch, players can sustain injuries. Other features include two lighted batting cages, covered bleachers, lighting for night games, and a LED scoreboard.
The need for designated cricket fields stems from an increase in people from cricket-playing nations moving to the Tampa Bay area for work and business, according to the president of the Tampa Bay Cricket League. Cricket, which originated in England, is played in 75 countries. The sport is played with a ball and bat.
The Tampa Bay Cricket League was formed in 2007 with four teams. The league began playing at Evans Park in 2012, and has since grown to 20 teams with more than 340 players. With the growth in the league and need for proper playing fields, players reached out to The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, who funded the $630,000 state-of-the-art facility. With all its amenities, perhaps the crowning jewel of the new cricket fields is one of the largest grand oak trees in Hillsborough County which was carefully preserved with the field design. A full-fledged cricket facility showcases Hillsborough County’s dedication to welcoming diverse businesses and individuals.
The league has two seasons a year, with teams playing competitive cricket most weekends. Commissioner Al Higginbotham championed the construction of the cricket fields at Evans Park.
Well Tampa Bay, you might not be in India to watch the game live – but you now will be able to watch many local games live in your own hometown! Come out and see all the fun this Saturday! It’s Cricket Time!