A little more than one year after it was first imagined, Bradford’s new cricket field was hosting its first practice and offering up a wicket good time.
Councillors, residents and members of the Bradford Cricket Club gathered for the official unveiling at Joe Magani Park on Sept. 1.
“What started off as just a mere idea, turned into an incredible addition to the town’s large inventory of sports field spaces. ... The new cricket pitch comes at the perfect time with the new school year coming up just around the corner, and the warm weather continuing to grace our parks. ... I’m thrilled that we now have the opportunity for Bradford Cricket Club to grow its programs here in BWG,” Mayor James Leduc said.
Deputy Mayor Raj Sandhu spoke about the way integrating different types of sports fields in one area can help expose people to new ideas, while also helping to build community.
“Cricket is not just a sport; it’s also about bonding, about families getting together and about learning each other’s cultures,” he said.
Sandhu extolled the efforts of staff to make the pitch a reality, and credited them with taking the time to follow official cricket regulations to make sure every part of the field would be as proper as possible.
Bradford Cricket Club executive committee member Ankit Patel gave the pitch a positive reception.
“It’s feeling very great. It came out very nice and it looks beautiful, so we are ready to play on it. We want to bring some more excitement, bring some teams from outside of town and create some good games,” he said.
Not wasting any time, the club has plans for a tournament beginning on Sept. 9 and running for four weekends, in which 10 teams are expected to compete.
“We never expected that this would come out so fast. Usually it takes a few years to get it done, so it’s really quick and we’re really grateful for all the supports we got from the town,” he said.
Dhaval Patel, also an executive committee member, emphasized how open and accepting council were of the idea.
“We just met with the mayor and deputy mayor and they made it happen here. They helped us a lot. This beautiful cricket pitch, we never had it in the north area where we don’t get this type of pitch,” he said, noting that the nearest cricket facility of the same quality is all the way in Brampton.
The space includes a 12-foot by 174-foot (3.5-metres by 53-metres) cricket pitch, with a reinforced concrete slab covered in a synthetic turf surface and two stump boxes.
Construction began on June 22 of this year and at 100 m by 90 m, the oval field is smaller than a regulation cricket field, which usually measure 140 m by 150 m.
That means hardball cricket games won’t be permitted, but it is appropriate for softball cricket games.
Staff initially estimated the project would cost $93,000, but the winning tender from Latitude 67 Ltd., came in about 7.5 per cent more expensive at $99,780.77.
Anyone wishing to rent the new pitch can contact the town’s booking clerk at 905-775-5366, ext. 5202.