PHOENIX, Md. — Baltimore County is set to get its first cricket field, giving local fans an official venue to play the sport.
Cricket, the ball-and-bat sport that's especially popular in south Asia and the U.K., is often called the second most popular sport in the world, after soccer.
County Councilman David Marks posted on Facebook:
I was honored to join Delegate Carl Jackson and members of our Nepalese community at the first cricket match at Cloverfield in Northern Baltimore County. We worked with the County Executive's office to secure $250,000 to design a future cricket field.
The cricket field - usually called the "pitch" - is expected to be built by the end of 2024, said county spokesperson Erica Palmisano. The Department of Recreation and Parks will put in a request for Fiscal Year 2024, she said.
The cricket field was requested by the Satthi Baltimore Cricket Club, a Nepalese group that plays at 12340 Dulaney Valley Road in the Phoenix area (near Loch Raven Drive, Peerce's restaurant and Loch Raven Reservoir).
County Councilman David Marks and State Del. Carl Jackson were on hand Sunday for an exhibition match between Saathi Cricket Club and the Far-Western Cricket Club (both of which were established last year).
Howard County, meanwhile, now has six cricket fields, including one specifically for children. Last year, more than 100 teams came to the county for the 8th annual National Youth Cricket League tournament.
The Baltimore region has the nation's fifth largest Nepalese community, as of 2019.