Thursday, May 30, 2013
Geoff Hawes is out to make the sport of cricket popular in South Carolina, starting with Summerville.
Hawes has joined forces with other cricket enthusiasts in the area to form the Summerville Cricket Club. They are in the process of drumming up support for their beloved sport and searching for a field where they can play.
“We have a group that plays in my back garden, but that is just not the same as playing on a regular-size field,” Hawes said. “I think the timing is right. Cricket is popular in a lot of countries and in parts of the U.S. but not really in South Carolina so we want to introduce people in the Lowcountry to the sport. We are asking anyone who might have an interest in playing, coaching or being an umpire to contact us.”
Anyone interested should contact him or Shanna at 375-2424 or Geoff@catfivehouses.com.
The group may have found a place for a cricket field, but needs approval from Town of Summerville officials. Hawes is scheduled to address the Town’s Parks and Recreation Committee at its meeting June 5 and plans to request the club be allowed to play at the Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan Park.
“There is some land in the back corner of the complex past all the fields that isn’t used for anything other than for teams to practice on from time to time,” Doyle Best, the town’s park and recreation manager, said. “It is just in the planning phase but we have talked with them about letting them use that area. It would require a minimal effort on our part and we would still be able to use that area for other things.”
The club is hoping to attract enough players to field two adult cricket teams that will play the Twenty20 version of the game.
“It is a shorter (form) of the game that is more appealing to a lot of people,” Hawes said. “It has become highly popular around the world. Ideally we would like to get 30 or 40 people to split between the teams.”
The Lowcountry does already support one cricket organization, the U.S. Tigers Cricket Club based in Charleston. If Lowcountry cricket takes off like Hawes anticipates, the Summerville Cricket Club could eventually host travel teams from across the U.S. as well as from other countries.
He says he would also like to develop youth cricket programs in the area, but not until the adult programs are established.
“We look forward to bringing this great game to Summerville,” he said.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org