By Jeff Arnold, Contributing Writer
Region – Westborough now has a new cricket pitch.
Spearheaded by Nishit Mehta, the idea for the pitch was conceived out of necessity for the Westborough Cricket Club, an adult cricket team that competes in a 32 team league against other groups from around the state.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a cricket field, at the center of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a target called the wicket (a set of three wooden stumps topped by two bails) at each end. Each phase of play is called an innings during which one team bats, attempting to score as many runs as possible, whilst their opponents field. It is considered England’s national summer sport, and is popular in many places including Australia, India, Pakistan, the West Indies, and the British Isles.
“The biggest struggle for the league is getting field space,” said Mehta, “So, after years of being faced with that problem we decided to try to solve it.”
With that goal in mind Mehta set out to make this dream a reality. Needing a level field with at least 45 yards of clear space in every direction, finding a place that was both available and fit the criteria, Mehta thought, might be challenging. Luckily for him, Westborough Recreation’s Alan Grady, someone who Mehta highly praises for his efforts with the construction, offered a solution in Hennessy Field.
According to a fundraising page Mehta set up (www.youcaring.com/westboroughtown-785743) Phase 1 required an investment of $12,500, with the town agreeing to fund $5,000.
Typically used for youth soccer, Hennessey Field, located at 1 Upton Road, fit the requirements, and with that decision, Mehta set out fundraising last year. Donations from cricket lovers across the state helped Mehta quickly reach his fundraising goal and construction began early this year.
There are still other improvements that Mehta and the cricket club plan to make as they intend to level off the entire field and add bleachers. For now, however, the turf strip with wickets, or stubs, on either end fit the need for the club. The club is hoping to start a cricket clinic this fall and have a youth and adult club next spring.
For more information visit the club’s Facebook page.