Governor Hochul Signs Law to Promote, Expand Sport of Cricket in New York
Indian American New York state Senator Kevin Thomas sponsored the bill. (nysenate.gov photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
Governor Kathy Hochul on Dec. 20 signed legislation (S.146/A.479) that recognizes the sport of cricket as an important part of the social and cultural fabric of New York state, and expands the state’s capacity to officially promote the sport.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown), the first Indian American to serve in the New York State Legislature, and Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows), according to a press release.
Cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world, watched and played by billions, noted the release, adding that the state has a special place in the sport’s history: the first recorded game of cricket in North America took place in New York in 1751.
Today, cricket is rapidly gaining popularity across the United States and New York state in particular, thanks to the influence of immigrant communities from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and South Asia. In 2008, the New York State Department of Education created the country’s first competitive public school cricket program, which now has over 30 teams. For the first time in recent history, the U.S. is scheduled to host The International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup in June 2024.
Senator Thomas said, “The sport of cricket goes hand-in-hand with the diversity and multiculturalism of our state, which is home to a number of thriving immigrant communities who grew up playing and watching cricket. As one of the most popular sports in the world, cricket represents a major opportunity for New York State – culturally, socially, and economically. In fact, I believe that New York has a unique opportunity to become the official Cricket Capital of the USA. I thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the legitimacy and value of cricket to our State, and for signing this legislation into law.”
Ajith Bhaskar Shetty, USA Cricket Board member, said, “Senator Thomas’s bill not only promotes the game of cricket but also supports the thousands of players and fans here in New York.”
And Ashok Adikoppula, youth coordinater for USA Cricket, said, “As one of the Youth Cricket Coordinators of USA Cricket, I am very excited for the youth, now they will have an opportunity to pick another global sport as their career option and excel with the right support system through both USA Cricket and New York State Athletics Commission.”
The law goes into effect immediately.