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New Hoffman Estates cricket field slated for August
By Ashok Selvam | Daily Herald Staff

A line drawing of plan for Canterbury Fields Park in Hoffman Estates which could have the cricket field portion of the project finished by August. The soccer fields could be completed in 2010.

 

Courtesy Hoffman Estates Park District

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Published: 3/17/2009 12:02 AM

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The Hoffman Estates Park District's long-awaited Canterbury Fields Park project should have its first phase completed by August.

The village board on Monday approved a change to the site plan which once included a softball field, but now features a cricket field.

While the thought of a professional American cricket league may sound strange, the park district's Executive Director Dean Bostrom points to a growing South Asian population - including Indians and Pakistanis - who have a need for the facility.

Census data from 2000 lists Hoffman Estates' overall Asian population as 18.6 percent; Bostrom estimates the village's South Asian population may be as high as 16 percent.

Cricket is gaining popularity in the United States. New York City public schools have even started to offer the sport to some students. Bostrom said the sport has a chance to grow like lacrosse.

"Who would have thought cricket in Hoffman Estates?" Bostrom said.

Plans have been in the works since 2000, when the park district first approached the village with the proposal.

The 10-acre undeveloped parcel near Shoe Factory Road and Maureen Drive near Elgin was originally part of the University Place subdivision, but the park district needed to wait for homes to be built and residents to move to the village's growing western side before going forward with the project. There were also infrastructure concerns including power lines and stormwater drainage.

The project also includes two soccer fields, a playground, restroom facility and parking lot. The park district will wait until spring 2010 to finish the soccer fields, giving grass a chance to better take root, Bostrom said. He estimates the project's cost at $800,000.

The park district has been working with two groups on the project - the American Cricket Conference and Midwest Cricket Conference. The park district did have a cricket field at Eisenhower Park, but it wasn't large enough to accommodate the international standard for cricket.

The park district could even offer residents introductory cricket programs in the future, Bostrom said, because residents of South Asian descent have told park district officials they'd like to expose their children to the game at a young age, just like they were.