by Steve Devaux
Cricket has been played at an organized level in Massachusetts since
the Massachusetts State Cricket League was originally founded in 1902.
After a period of dormancy from the 1940's, the league was re-established
in the 1960's and has since grown from four teams in 1968 to fourteen
teams as the 1994 season gets underway. Even today, most of the cricket
played in the state is under the auspices of the M.S.C.L. With every
team in the league playing each other once during the regular season,
plus a knock-out competition and the playoffs, there are enough games
being played in the Boston area to satisfy even the most ardent fan.
But the M.S.C.L is not the only game in town. Most of the major
Universities in the state have their own cricket teams and
generally play a full list of fixtures against other universities
or friendly games against league teams. There is also a thriving
soft-ball cricket league in the suburbs where the game is played
with a tennis ball.
The skill level runs the same gamut that one might observe among
the amateurs of an English county league: from tyro to top notch.
There are a handful of former first class players, and at least
two international players, supported by a larger group who have
played top level club cricket in the tough West Indian cricket
associations. There they honed their skills against such all-
time greats as Sir Garfield Sobers, Joel Garner, and Richie
Richardson. Since immigrating, some have been selected for the
U.S. in international matches. Overall, the League can field an
eleven that is competitive with any area of North America.
The League's weakness is not on the field, but in its resources,
financial and otherwise. The requirement of a roomy playing
field with a carefully prepared wicket in the middle are not
always understood or supported by local communities. When the
support is there communities find their fields the site of good-
natured competition and spectator curiosity. Yet the hopes for a
primary field with seating facilities, such as could be used to
attract a major international competitor, seem far off.
Mass. State Cricket League Teams
|Boston Sports Club
|Caribbean Cultural Center
|Caricom Sports & Cultural
|Combined Islands C.C
|Commonwealth Cricket Club
|Conway Cricket Club
|Melbourne Sports Club
|Middlesex Sports Club
|Quincy Cricket Club
|Spartans Cricket Club
|United Athletic Association
|Unity Sports & Cultural Club