AMAZING GROUNDS- PART 11

AG- 11 -CITI FIELD, FLUSHING MEADOWS, QUEEN’S, NEW YORK , U.S.A.

Photo : cricinfo.com

Citi Field is a  baseball stadium located in Flushing Meadows- Corona Park in New York City. It was opened in 2009 and is the home field of Major League Ball’s New York Mets. 

Citi Field was designed by Populous  (then HOK Sport). The $850 million baseball park was funded with $615 million in public subsidies, including the sale of New York City Municipal Bonds  that are to be repaid by the Mets with interest. The payments will offset the property taxes for the lifetime of the park.

When you turn up at Citi Field on a normal match day you will be watching the NEW YORK METS play in Major League Baseball’s National League East.

On a different occasion, however, some of the best known cricketers in the world turned up  at Citi Field and played cricket.  On 7th November 2015, Shane Warne’s Warriors played Sachin Tendulkar’s Blasters at Citi Field ground.

New turf arrived in steel trays on a lorry and within 48 hours the baseball stadium readied into a Drop-in pitch cricket stadium.

This unlikely venture was the brainchild of the ICC which is ever anxious to globalise the game.New York and Los Angeles have large expat populations from cricket playing nations who are hungry to watch the game and strategically, the ICC is trying to position cricket as an Olympic sport.  Cricket has been played at the Olympics, but only once in 1900 in Paris, France, which was represented by only 2 teams viz.,France and Great Britain, which was won by Great Britain.

Now plans are afoot to host the T20 World Cup in 2024 by U.S.A. jointly with West Indies. 

It is not as if cricket is unknown in the U.S.A.  In fact International Cricket was first played by the U.S.A. and Canada way back in  1844.  

 W.G. Grace of England successfully toured the U.S.A. Canada in 1872 .  Around the turn of the 20th Century, arguably the best bowler in the World was an American , John Barton King of Philadelphia.  Don Bradman and Australians toured the U.S.A and Canada in 1932 and played lot of games there.

The inaugural Cricket All-Star Series, headlined by some of the sport’s biggest stars, was played on 7th Nov.2015  at Citi Field in New York. The three-game series  was also  played through Houston and Los Angeles.

The teams were led by India’s Sachin Tendulkar, the most prolific run producer in the history of cricket, and Australia’s Shane Warne, considered one of the best spin bowlers ever. This series  was the first time either cricket legend has ever played in the United States. The game was played as a T-20  format.

Citi Field was chosen by Shane Warne’s Warrior  &  Sachin Tendulkar’s Blasters  teams as the First match of the 3 match series of “Cricket All- Stars”  in U.S.A. on 7th November 2015 which was won by Shane Warne’s team.  In fact all the 3 match series in USA was won by Shane Warne’s Warrior team.  The exercise is set to be repeated and shown LIVE on T.V. in future years.  

So overall, the venture seems to have been successful and ICC may be feeling quite satisfied.

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