Crick in the Park

It’s no exaggeration to say Broward County owns the nicest cricket facility in the United States. That may not seem much of a distinction, given that, in most of this country, cricket’s rank among pastimes is somewhere between ’shroom-fueled lawn darts and watching the spin cycle at the Laundromat. Broward, though, poured $70 million into a park featuring a 5,000-seat cricket pitch, then set it amid a largely Caribbean immigrant population that grew up playing the British forerunner to baseball.

Despite cricket’s inclusion in a recent Esquire fashion spread of “obscure sports,” only soccer is played more widely, and test matches take on all the geopolitical baggage of FIFA World Cup games. Matters may not be that acrimonious at the MAQ 20 tournament this Memorial Day weekend. Among the four “All Star” teams – Pakistan, Canada, the West Indies, and the catch-all World – there just isn’t the rancor of, say, the Pakistan-India matches that serve as proxies for nuclear skirmishes. Still, the melting pot talent pool will make for a healthy backyard cultural exchange; likewise, stick around for Cricket Nights to Remember, an eclectic musical lineup headlined by Ky-mani Marley (Bob’s boy), Michelle Riu, Marcia Griffiths and Alison Hinds. Matches begin early on Friday (1 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.) and run until about midnight; on Sunday, the final two matches will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the concert, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Before 5 p.m. that day, admission to the matches and concert costs $10, but $20 after 5. Tickets are available at the gates of Central Broward Regional Park (3700 NW 11th Pl., Lauderhill), or in advance from www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 954-523-3309. For more details, check out www.cricketcouncilusa.com.
Fri., May 23, 2008

 
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