Sticky Wicket: Will Indy Get On Board with Cricket?

Editor’s Note: On May 30, 2014, Mayor Greg Ballard’s office announced that Indianapolis was canceling its contract to host the U.S. Cricket National Championships, which had been scheduled for August. “Factors outside of the city’s control were putting our ability to host a successful tournament at risk,” Ballard said in a statement.

Last spring, Mayor Greg Ballard announced plans to build a cricket complex in Indianapolis, a $6 million idea that didn’t exactly bowl over taxpayers facing a $50 million budget deficit. The city signed a deal to host tourneys starting this summer, and tickets just went on sale for the U.S. Cricket National Championships in August. But wondering (aloud) what we might have paid for instead has already made for compelling sport.

#copsnotcricket —popular Twitter hashtag from fall 2013

“Black kids … lose their swimming pools, but the elite get cricket fields.” —Amos Brown, Indianapolis Recorder

“Indy is investing in cricket while Carmel lures … concerts and arts programs.” —Matthew Tully, The Indianapolis Star

“A comprehensive poverty eradication plan … outweighs any potential benefits of a professional cricket presence.” —Derrick Braziel, NUVO

“Good idea; Indy is all about sports: 25%. We need that money for infrastructure: 75%.” —Indianapolis Business Journal online reader poll

U.S. Cricket National Championships, Aug. 21–24. Single-day pass $10; event pass $32. Indianapolis World Sports Park, 1313 S. Post Rd., 317-327-7145, indycricket.us

This article appeared in the January 2014 issue. More Hot-Button topics here.

Since first joining Indianapolis Monthly in 2000, West has written about a wide range of subjects including crime, history, arts and entertainment, pop culture, politics, and food. His feature stories have twice been noted in the Best American Sports Writing anthology and have received top honors from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The Collapse,” West’s account of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, was a 2013 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalist in the category of Best Reporting. He lives on the near-east side.