On a gorgeous spring day Queens Borough President Helen Marshall opened the newly upgraded Baisley Pond Park cricket field in Queens NY – one of the most beautiful grounds in the USA.
Attending the opening ceremony were City Councilman Ruben Wills,Commanding Officer Marmara of the 113th Precinct, American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah, USA Cricket Secretary John Aaron, PSAL’s Bassett Thompson (Commissioner of the NYC high school cricket league) and top brass from the NYC Parks & Recreation Dept : NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lowandowski, Chief of Operations Phillip Sparacio, Chief of Staff Joanne Amangrande, Chief of Permits Joanne Colorudo.
In 2009 Baisley Pond Park was the site of the first college cricket matches in NYC when the first national Champions Montgomery College visited from Maryland and played 3 games. It will be one of the grounds used for the Northeast Championship.
Much earlier, in the ice age perhaps,mastodons played in the area as the remains of a mastodon was found here in the 1800s !
Glynne Hurley spoke of when the area was a garbage dump, before he and some cricketers started playing there in 1975. Cricket, he informed the crowd, rejuvenated the neighborhood, and a grateful community expressed support for the cricket field and its cricketers, from the Melbourne Cricket Club.
Then followed NYC high school cricket, and American College Cricket. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall allocated $ 650,000 of her Budget whilst NYC provided the rest to complete a $ 4 million renovation of the Park, that includes a “green” drainage system.
Manu George of the newly formed Vaughn College cricket team was among the players who played a friendly game.
Joe Siewharack and his wife Shirley Khan and Glynne Hurley have been great longterm “caretakers” of the field. On opening day they also provided a feast, kind of a Caribbean brunch, which everyone lingered to eat, in this beautiful cricket field nestled on a pond.
Another Helen Marshall,and NYC Parks Dept gift to cricket. Hopefully Helen Marshall remains Queens Borough President for many more years !
USA Cricket Sect John Aaron,Councilman Ruben Wills & Lloyd Jodah,