As sport's popularity grows, Vernon Township is building a cricket pitch in Buffalo Grove

The sport of cricket is bowling over residents in the Buffalo Grove area.

Vernon Township announced Monday that it plans to build a cricket pitch this spring in the midst of the baseball and softball fields next to its administrative building, 3050 N. Main St. in Buffalo Grove.

Officials hope the 792-square-foot pitch is ready for play by midsummer.

Township Supervisor Jonathan Altenberg initiated plans for the field, which recently was approved by the Buffalo Grove village board.

"There has been a tremendous demand for high-quality cricket facilities in Vernon Township. Residents have been asking us to build this pitch for some time," he said.

Cricket, which has its roots stretching back to 17th-century England, features 11 players on each side, with one known as a bowler pitching to batters. Matches can be played over multiple days. The sport is particularly popular today in South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

"Over the last decade, there have been many cultural changes in Buffalo Grove, and this includes many individuals who desire to have a place to play cricket," Buffalo Grove Trustee Andy Stein said. "This addition to our recreational offerings will serve our community well."

Vernon Township worked with SportCourt Midwest on the pitch design, which will include a concrete pad built on compacted stone and covered with thick artificial turf. Its orientation will allow unimpeded use of the existing baseball and softball fields, though a mound on the baseball field at the southwest corner of the property will be removed.

"The village is very excited that the township is taking lead on this project, in order to help meet the needs and desires of so many of our residents," Buffalo Grove Village President-elect Eric Smith said.

It will become the second cricket pitch in the village, joining one at the Buffalo Grove Park District's Reiner Park.

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