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International Cricket Comes to Raleigh, N.C.

2018 Aug 24 by DreamCricket USA

With 75m boundaries all around and newly installed L.E.D. lighting, all is nearly in readiness for North Carolina’s first taste of international cricket.

Confirmation this week that the ICC Americas World T20 qualifiers will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina should come as welcome news to cricket fans around the country. Having another facility capable of hosting major international tournaments is exciting as much for the development of our local players, as it is for the opportunity to see more high level cricket played on these shores.


Whilst cricket fans around the country will be familiar with Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Moosa Stadium in Houston, the Woodley Park grounds in Los Angeles, and to a lesser extent World Sports Park in Indianapolis, the majority of folks will be forgiven for not knowing much about the Church Street Park facility in the Raleigh suburb of Morrisville.


The Morrisville City Council sanctioned the construction of the 5.2 Million dollar facility about 5 years ago, and construction was completed toward the end of 2015. The Triangle Cricket League played a full season on the ground in 2016, but unfortunately the 3 pitches on the original block all struggled with inconsistent bounce. Consequently a decision based on player safety was made to stop using the ground, and it effectively lay dormant for the entire 2017 season.


However, ICC officials including Tom Evans and Tim Anderson had earmarked the facility for bigger things since they had first visited the ground in 2015. In conjunction with the Morrisville City Council and the Triangle Cricket League they decided to invest further effort into resurrecting the facility, and to that end engaged the expert services of curator Mark Perham to oversee the project. Perham, the former head groundsman at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, previously oversaw all of the pitches for the 2015 ODI World Cup and has helped out with numerous other projects in the United States, including Indianapolis World Sports Park, and the drop-in pitches for the AllStars series.


A Triangle Cricket League demo match from July of 2018 to test the new L.E.D. lights
(A Triangle Cricket League exhibition match from July of 2018 to test the new L.E.D. lights)

One of the first changes to the center block at Church Street was to increase the number of strips from 3 to 4. Clay was also sourced from Waterloo, Illinois in an attempt to rectify the issues with the bounce. The majority of the onsite work has been handled by Perham’s Australian colleague ‘Dave’, with help from a number of volunteers from the Triangle Cricket League.


In March of this year USA Cricket hosted one of their selection combines at the ground, and by all accounts rapid progress had been made towards the decks becoming truly world class.


With 75m boundaries all around and newly installed L.E.D. lighting, all is nearly in readiness for North Carolina’s first taste of international cricket.


You can read further details on the tournament and the U.S. squad here.