Best Local Cricket Team: Keep an eye on your wickets

East Bay Cricket Club

How’s this for a Field of Dreams story: When the East Bay Cricket Club formed in 1995, its membership consisted of three people and its home field was located on a tennis court in Union City. “We had to play with a tennis ball,” recalls Sanju Chadha, the club’s president. “The ground was too hard and the dimensions too small.” Fast-forward three years, add 35 members, and introduce a little help from the Hayward Unified School District. Chadha’s crew adopted an abandoned ball field at Lorin Eden Elementary, dropped in some sprinklers, filled in the potholes, and badang-badoom: Cricket comes to Hayward. Now, visitors can take in a legitimate match on any given weekend, beneath seating tents, no less. “It was in pretty bad shape when we found it,” Chadha says, “but we’ve turned it into a pretty good ground.” Cricket teams have been sprouting up all over the Bay Area and Central Valley, Berkeley included, from just a dozen or so clubs a decade ago to the 64 that today make up the Northern California Cricket Association.

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