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Massachusetts Cricket
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 Dorchester Tom Dass 617-442-8499
Caribbean Cultural Center Dorchester Joyce Miller 617-773-6526
Caricom Sports & Cultural Lynn Everton Tull 617-773-6526
Combined Islands C.C Dorchester Ridley Harding 617-361-7010
Commonwealth Cricket Club Bedford Chico Khan 617-287-0452
Conway Cricket Club Dorchester Donovan Blake 617-282-2734
Melbourne Sports Club Mattapan Douglas Manning 617-325-3582
Middlesex Sports Club Dorchester Wesley McIntosh 617-364-8774
Quincy Cricket Club Quincy Ali Nazir 617-328-6995
Spartans Cricket Club Dorchester Andrew Christmas 617-288-5197
United Athletic Association Dorchester Myrna Weekes 617-436-4588
Unity Sports & Cultural Club Dorchester Grantley Headley 617-282-7364

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Date-stamped : 09 Jan2000 - 09:17