New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Saturday opened a new season of NYPD Cricket with a community celebration for participants and their families at P.S. 217 in Brooklyn. The NYPD’s citywide cricket league is in its second season and is administered by the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau. Players are young men ages 15 to 19. A majority of those who have signed up to play this summer are of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Guyanese descent.
“There are many ways to measure New York’s diversity: by the languages spoken, the nationalities represented, the foods we eat, and the sports we play,” Commissioner Kelly said. “The NYPD youth cricket league celebrates that diversity, one of the city’s greatest strengths.”
After a very successful inaugural season in 2008, the league this year will involve more players, teams and games. The 2009 NYPD Cricket season will feature 10 teams and roughly 170 players from all five boroughs, an increase from the 2008 season when 6 teams and 100 players took part.
Teams including the Pak Brighton, Punjab, Tigers, Warriors, Dragons, West Indies Kings, Superstars, and Knight Riders will begin play on June 23rd and will culminate play with a championship game on Aug. 25th. The NYPD league uses the twenty/20 format and matches are refereed by New York State certified umpires.
NYPD Community Affairs officers conducted outreach through community groups, youth programs and businesses in the five boroughs; they also promoted the tournament through local New York adult cricket leagues. The NYPD Twenty20 Cricket Cup is an extension of the Department's New Immigrant Outreach initiative that aims to establish positive ongoing relations with multiple ethnic groups including the Arab and South Asian communities.
Participation for all players is free. The Police Department provides a professional color uniform kit with a hat, pants, and jersey as well as t-shirts and hats for the coaches. Coaches are volunteers. Cricket matches are played in Brooklyn at the Gateway Cricket Ground in Spring Creek Park and in Kissena Park in Queens.
More information on the NYPD Cricket League for youth can be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/community_affairs/community_affairs.shtml.