Update 7:46 p.m.: Added additional clarity regarding the Select Board’s vote on June 27 to accept the donation and authorize the DPW to construct the pitch. The result of this vote was not originally available at the time of reporting.
WESTFORD — A cricket pitch will be constructed at Stony Brook school this summer.
After raising nearly $5,000 through private donations, the Knights XI Cricket team and National Cricket Academy America are donating funds for the construction of a cricket pitch at Stony Brook School.
“We all just pitched in together,” Praveen Sathyesh, a player on the Knights told WestfordCAT. “This was our best and fastest process [to have it built].”
Spreading a love for cricket
Sathyesh says the decision to build a new cricket pitch is based on their “deep passion for the sport.”
“Cricket is growing in this country,” Sathyesh said. “There are a lot of kids in Westford that can play the game. Westford will be home to a nice cricket pitch.”
A number of towns including Acton, Ashland and Shrewsbury among others have their own cricket pitch.
Westford currently has a cricket pitch at the Greystone Field, however, Sathyesh says that it was “not built right.” He noted that the Knights also had to compete with other teams for field time at the Greystone field.
“It wasn’t built correctly,” he said. “For 11 years, we’ve been asking for a [new ground]. There was just no land and most of the ground we use is multi-sport, so it was difficult to find time to get the ground.”
He added, “we all got busy, we were [just] not persistent enough.”
Sathyesh says a goal is to “not build just one pitch” but to promote the sport.
“We want to have a Westford Academy cricket team,” he said. “That’s the aim.”
He continued, “we are bringing the NCAA and the Knights to Westford. Sooner or later, we’d like to start town programs. We want to have more residents participate in the program.”
Officials support project
Organizers collaborated with the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Department of Public Works to plan construction for the pitch. A recent estimate has an initial price tag of $4,462 for the project.
The Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously voted to support the project during a May 1 meeting. The Select Board unanimously accepted the donation and authorized the Department of Public Works to construct the pitch during their June 27 meeting.
The pitch will take approximately three to four days to construct, according to DPW Director Stephen Cronin. Players hope the pitch will be open for use in August.