Batter up: Why South Barrington could get two more cricket fields

With cricket's popularity growing in the Northwest suburbs, the South Barrington Park District wants to get into the game.

District officials have proposed creating two cricket pitches for young players on land south of Community Park, off Bridges Drive.

The park district has been working with the Chicago Youth Cricket Academy on a plan for more than a year, documents indicate.

"We're very excited to be able to bring youth cricket (to town)," Park District Executive Director Jay Morgan said.

A public presentation is scheduled for Thursday night's village board meeting. Board approval is needed.

Cricket is a centuries-old, bat-and-ball game developed in England. The sport spread globally over the past 200 years or so as the British Empire expanded; it's especially popular in South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan.

The game is played on a grassy field between two teams of 11 players. A rectangular pitch in which batters face off against bowlers is at the center of the field.

Matches can take days.

The 12-acre site being eyed in South Barrington is known within the park district as "Area C." It has been undeveloped since the district bought it in 2004, Morgan said.

In addition to the two fields, batting lanes for practice are planned, Morgan said.

Although the pitches would be the first on park district property, they wouldn't be the first in town.

A pitch exists on village-owned property off Studio Drive, north of the parking lot for the AMC South Barrington movie theaters and near the South Barrington Club.

Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates are among the other suburbs with cricket pitches.

Thursday's village board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at village hall, 30 S. Barrington Road. Officials anticipate referring the proposal to the village's plan commission for review before it comes back to the board for approval.

Morgan hopes the fields will be ready this summer.

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