‘We recognized five or six years ago that cricket is going to be one of the sports that’s going to be accommodated here as the face is changing of the municipality,’ says the town councillor.
The Bradford Cricket Club is looking for a more permanent home in town, to play more of the game they love.
Currently, the team travels out of town to play other teams like in Orillia, Toronto and Markham, which already have cricket pitches in place.
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury has plans to put in its own cricket field eventually but not for another five years.
“It’s too far out right now, we have to see if we can move it up,” said Deputy Mayor James Leduc.
Cricket is typically played on a grassy oval or circular-shaped field, with a 22-yard pitch down the middle that is flat with shorter, thinned-out grass, soil or concrete.
The team recently hosted its first game against Alliston at Henderson Park, on a makeshift pitch in the middle of a soccer field. Team captain Ankit Patel said it took the team about three days to prepare the pitch for the Saturday game, and flatten the grass, in order to play.
“It’s hard to maintain because the grass keeps growing,” said Patel.
For now, the team is looking to have a temporary pitch made until the town’s cricket field will be built in five years’ time.
Leduc and Couns. Raj Sandhu and Gary Lamb, who all attended the team’s post-game celebration event, agreed to bring a motion forward for a temporary pitch to the council table.
“It’s about time,” Lamb told the group, noting that he has seen cricket pitches in many surrounding communities.
He suggested that the town use leftover funds saved from previous town projects to make it happen.
“I think that we could probably look at $15,000 to $20,000 for a proper pitch,” said Lamb.
“It’s well within our purview to do that little bit of spending, we do have a little bit of extra money,” added Leduc. “If you can get it done for that kind of money, then why not go ahead and do it?”
Sandhu assured the group an official field would be built as part of the town’s future plan, and this would be a temporary solution.
“We recognized five or six years ago that cricket is going to be one of the sports that is going to be accommodated here as the face is changing of the municipality,” said Sandhu. “We will always support what our community needs.”
The group of players was pleased to hear the support from the members of the council.
The Bradford Cricket Club was formed a few years ago and has since grown to 60 adult male members, ranging in age from 18 to 60. Their season begins mid-May and goes until the end of September.
“Now we have so many players,” said Patel, who hopes to expand the group even further to have women’s and children’s leagues.