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Northville Township welcomes new pitch (and, no, it’s not for soccer)

 Northville Township welcomes new pitch (and, no, it’s not for soccer)

The opening game on the new cricket pitch is set for Sept. 30 just after 11 a.m.

Northville Township may now host games of cricket at Millennium Park.

Northville Township Board of Trustees and the Northville Parks & Recreation Commission separately approved the construction of a cricket pitch between fields 1 and 2 at Millennium Park.

The work was completed this week.

Northville Cricket Club, under the umbrella of the Michigan Cricket Association, will host a grand opening of the pitch Saturday, Sept. 30 at 11 am followed by the opening game. It’s between two youth teams from Michigan and Ohio.

Narrow pitch, oval field

The pitch is about 10 feet wide by 102 feet long. Construction consisted of excavation, and installation of a concrete pad and approved turf on an oval-shaped field.

Cricket is similar to baseball PHOTO BY PEXELS
Cricket is similar to baseball PHOTO BY PEXELS

Cricket was believed to have originated in southeast England and became an established sport in the country in the 18th century before developing globally in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Local players have been requesting a pitch in Northville Township for about five years, said Derek O. Smith, Director of Northville Parks & Recreation.

“We have some devoted cricket fans in this area and Northville Parks & Recreation is happy to bring the sport closer to their homes,” he said.

Baseball-esque sport

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game often compared to baseball.

Two teams of 11 players compete and at the center of the field is a pitch that has a wicket at each end. The team that’s at bat strikes the ball that’s bowled at one of the wickets and runs between the wickets. The fielding team tries to prevent this by getting the ball to either wicket to dismiss the batter (or get the player out).

When 10 batters are dismissed, the inning ends.

Because of regular use, the condition of the pitch changes over the course of a match, but the pitch cannot be repaired or altered except in extreme circumstances.

The changing conditions impact the game and add to the game’s drama.

“We used artificial turf on our pitch because we expect it to be used frequently,” Director Smith said. “This will require less maintenance over time and that will help to contain costs.”

Another fun amenity

Northville Parks & Recreation received three bids for the project and awarded the $34,000 contract to the lowest bidder, JSS Macomb.

“This is another unique amenity we are excited to introduce to our region,” said Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo.

“Not only does it show we are focusing on improving the quality of life for our residents, but also that we pay attention to the wants and needs of our residents. With this addition, along with Unity Skatepark which opens in late fall, we are really creating something special at Millennium Park.”

Millennium Park is located at 45769 Six Mile Road.

Thank you to Northville Township Communications & Grants Manager Rene Wisely for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com.

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Ed Wright

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