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The oft-repeated line that cricket is played from coast to coast in the USA is beginning to sound a bit faded. Truth is that it is now played well beyond the coasts - cricketers can now be found on fields and gyms in the southermost, easternmost, westernmost and northernmost territories of USA.
In Hawaii, the southernmost state of USA, the Maui Cricket Club (pictured right) plays at the Baldwin Beach Park off the ultra-scenic road to Hana. Elsewhere, Honolulu Cricket Club has been playing cricket since 1893. The club's home ground is in the Kapiolani Park in the beautiful Waikiki. Cricket is not alien to USA's northernmost state of Alaska either. Some years ago, DreamCricket came across an invitation to play cricket at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
Farther away, in the American territory of Guam, the Guam Cricket Club has been conducting cricket matches since 1992 at the Ypao Beach Park. The University of Guam also conducts matches on campus at the Fieldhouse. Guam is easily the westernmost point in all of USA territory where cricket is played.
The easternmost US territory where cricket is played is in the US Virgin Islands. Technically, USVI is a member of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association and its players are eligible to play for West Indies. In fact, the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School Ground located in Charlotte Amalie is a first class cricket ground that has hosted five first class matches for the Leeward Islands and has registered eight first class centuries.
On the mainland, cricket is played all along the east coast from Maine to Florida. University of Maine Cricket Club (UMCC) has an established cricket club which plays at the Memorial Gym Field House on the Orono campus. According to UMCC's web page, it also plays friendlies against a side from the university's Farmington campus.
More recently, cricket has been making an appearance in some really interesting locations in the 48 states. These places may not be the most extreme points on the map, but they are fascinating nevertheless. Cricketers were spotted at Central Park (they were there for a photo shoot) in New York City. A cricketer attempting a cover drive in Times Square (during the DirecTV Cricket Ticket event) is just as fascinating.
Manhattanites also found out recently about the efforts of David Shillingford, Gareth Jones, Gerry Siller and Whitney Browne, who took cricket to Shelter Island.
The island is on the eastern tip of Long Island and is only reachable by ferry from North Haven in The Hamptons. A ferry connection is also available from Greenport.
From the very beginning, the Shelter Island Cricket Club was not merely content with playing the occasional friendly in this eastern corner of America. Among its objectives - to raise money for charity, to encourage people to visit Shelter Island.
The Shelter Island Cricket Club, established in 2012, set out to raise money for the town's ambulance corps.
According to The Shelter Island Reporter, the town took over the Ambulance Corps from the American Red Cross on January 1, 2012 and is estimated to costs about $100,000 a year to operate. The club's founder, Mr. Shillingford hoped to add about $10,000 more to the pot from the charity match.
Labeled 'The Big Game', the club played against a visiting side from London - the St. James Cricket Club on August 18th of 2012. Despite heavy rain in the morning, over 200 people came to watch and the club raised $12,000.
The club's audacious effort earned it a place on Manhattan magazine's 2012 bucket list in its inaugural year (pictured right - courtesy Manhattan Magazine).
The 2013 game will take place on the large field next to the Island Boat Yard on July 27. The game will commence at 11.00 AM. A second game will commence at 2.00 PM with a traditional English fete and children’s games and activities. A junior cricket game will take place from 12.30 to 2.00.
There is no admission fee but donations are encouraged. As one club official said last year: "don't leave your wallets at home." All proceeds will go to the Shelter Island Ambulance Corps.
More information is available on the Shelter Island Cricket Club website at www.SIcricket.com. SICC can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShelterIslandCricketClub.