By Carter Fulhorst, Photos courtesy of Hemant Buch
Cricket is currently played at several fields around Santa Clara. Wilson High School and Luther Elementary School fields host practice and games.
California Cricket Academy hosted their 17th National tournament and 7th California Cricket Festival for U10, U12 and U15 leagues in June at nine South Bay sites.
The youth leagues have seen a dramatic increase in participation as interest in the sport has been increasing. The festival took place at nine sites across the South Bay, showcasing the increasing popularity of cricket and the need for a professional stadium that can host larger cricket events.
A proposed stadium capable of holding 15,000 people is part of a larger proposed redevelopment of the 150-acre Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, and would be home to Major League Cricket’s Bay Area franchise as well as a potential host venue for international tournaments.
“Cricket is a sport that’s increasing in popularity in the U.S. and Santa Clara County,” says Otto Lee, County of Santa Clara District 3 Supervisor. “The addition of an international cricket venue to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds would help attract large numbers of visitors from around the world to the region. We look forward to finalizing plans with Major League Cricket to move forward with this exciting development for Santa Clara County.”
While the potential creation of a professional stadium is just gaining traction, Santa Clara’s ties to cricket date back to the Santa Clara Cricket Club’s membership with the Northern California Cricket Association beginning in 1987. Started by Stan Kent and fellow cricket enthusiasts playing on a matting wicket, the club has quickly grown into one of the largest and most active clubs in the NCCA.
While public awareness of cricket pales when compared to mainstream sports like baseball and football, regional interest is growing. Hopes are that plans to build the $50 million dollar cricket stadium will be approved within the near future, further helping to bolster interest in cricket and securing Santa Clara’s ties to the growing sport.
Carter Fulhorst is an enterprising journalist and tech-marketing specialist, focused on how developing business trends create need for expansion of security software capabilities. He currently works with the City of Santa Clara where he grew up, and in addition to working with the citizens of Santa Clara on a daily basis, hopes to reinvigorate the historic downtown and re-establish a city community.