March 30, 2011
Staten Island Cricket Club, with 139 successful seasons under its
belt, is America's oldest continuously operating cricket club. The
club's original members were recently emigrated officers of the British
Armed Forces, and their exploits are first recorded in the New York
Times of July 28, 1872.
During the World Wars, the club, working with the British Consul
General's Office, would recruit from those soldiers and sailors
temporarily in New York and thus managed to keep cricket going under the
toughest of conditions. The current club is also notable for being the
home of Joe O'Neill, author of the best-selling novel Netherland, which is a favorite of many American cricket lovers.
With all of this rich history, the SICC only instituted a youth
program in 2010, after a number of years of preparation. This
preparation began in 2009, when club members founded the Staten Island
Cricket Club Walker Park Foundation to mark 125 years of the club at
Walker Park. The Foundation then instituted a youth cricket program for
the club, led by Earl Daley as coach and Dr. Kumar Balakrishnan and
Mohan Radakrishnan as chief organizers.
In 2010, the SICC youth team played a number of fixtures with great
success. In 2011, a more intensive fixture list has been prepared;
notably, they are planning a youth cricket festival in commemoration of
the 350th anniversary of the founding of Staten Island (the borough, not
the cricket club!).
"The club is delighted to be affiliated to USYCA," said Second Vice
President Joe O’Neill. "New York youth cricket has, in recent years,
with the support of Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Parks
Department and Board of Education, become a high school sport. We look
forward to playing an important role in the development of the sport
regionally and nationally, and to giving USYCA our full support."
"Having the storied and esteemed Staten Island Cricket Club join
USYCA gives me particular pride," USYCA President Jamie Harrison said.
"To be associated not only with such an accomplished organization, but
also with such quality individuals as President Clarence Modeste and his
team, can only bring new luster to youth cricket in America. We look
forward to assisting SICC in every way possible to grow the game among
young people in New York."