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Blakeman Welcomes Cricket World Cup to Nassau

By Rupert Deedes



This week the United States is co-hosting the Cricket World Cup, with eight of the games to be played in a specially built cricket stadium in Eisenhower Park.


The competition starts on June 4th, with the last game to be played on June 12th.  In addition to the eight games played on Long Island, some games will be played in Dallas, Texas, and Fort Lauderdale.


Here are a few interesting facts about cricket and about the World Cup.


Three Cricket Formats: This week’s competition is the cricket Twenty20, or T20, World Cup. Cricket can be played in three different formats:


1) Test cricket: This is the traditional format, with games at times taking five days to play, and in which the players take breaks for sandwiches and tea. Sometimes games do not even have a winner. The world championship of this form of cricket is called World Test Championship.


2) One-day cricket: The game is played over the course of a day. This competition has its own World Cup, taking place every four years, with the next one scheduled for 2027.


3) Tewnty-20 (T20) cricket: In the early 2000s, cricket executives began to worry that young people no longer had the patience to sit through a day-long game, let alone a 5-day game. So they created the Twenty20 format, which is the shortest form of top-level cricket, with games usually lasting around three hours.


This week’s World Cup is the Twenty20 World Cup (marketed as the T20 World Cup).  The introduction of T20 cricket had two consequences. On the negative side, it has accelerated the decline in popularity of test cricket. On the positive side, T20 has grown massively (the Indian T20 cricket league, for example, is the 13th most lucrative sports league in the world).


Traditionalists criticize T20 cricket, saying that players, who now need to score runs as quickly as possible, emphasize raw power over subtlety and craft.


Facility: The current T20 World Cup is co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies -- a confederation of a dozen or so Caribbean nations which compete as one team in cricket.


The eight games will be played in a 34,000-seat stadium, with grandstands reaching 75 feet high.


The stadium – officially called the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium -- is a temporary structure: it will be dismantled at the end of the competition.


It is made of rented components, each of which has been used in other big sport events, such as F1 Vegas Grand Prix and pro golf and tennis tournaments.But while temporary stands have been put in place for other big sporting events before, Eisenhower Park will be the first international cricket ground to be completely modular – even the playing field was built from scratch.


Note that we use the word “field” rather than “pitch”: In cricket, the pitch sits between the bowler and batter and requires a firmer surface than the rest of the field, because the bowler’s 90 mph pitches bounce and must do so consistently.


The stadium will be broken down after the tournament, but the playing field will remain, providing Long Island and its recreational cricketers with a world-class playing surface.


Security: Nassau County is taking all threats seriously:


Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said that "When you've got a game and a crowd as big as this, everything is credible. We will go through every fine detail when it comes to the security and safety of the residents here in Nassau County."


"I think it's almost to be expected at an event of this magnitude, ISIS trying to find some way to disrupt it mainly by propaganda by creating a sense of panic," added retired Congressman Peter King, the former US House Homeland Security chair.


Ryder and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman highlighted the following safety protocols:

· Eisenhower Park will be closed from 6:30AM to roughly 6PM. Police will reopen the area once fans leave for the day.

·  Spectators will have to go through metal detectors to enter the stadium grounds.

·  No bags or drones are allowed inside or overhead.

·  Parking at Eisenhower Park will be limited to VIP ticket holders. Other spectators should park near the Nassau Coliseum, about a half mile away. There will also be designated ride-share drop-off and pick-up locations.


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