Opinion: No Cricket Pitch in Northlake

A cricket pitch is proposed to be installed in the large area marked “programmable turf.”

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

The Northlake community was recently informed by Councilmember Lisa Kaplan that Northlake Community Park would soon be the site of a new cricket pitch.

Many homeowners have since expressed their concerns regarding the installation of a cricket pitch.

Safety concerns:

Cricket involves hard balls and bats, which can be dangerous if not properly controlled. Community parks are often frequented by families, children, and individuals engaging in various recreational activities. The risk of injury from stray balls or mishandled equipment may pose a safety hazard. The site of the pitch will likely be adjacent to Highway 99 and without a proper dividing wall, there is risk of stray cricket balls hitting cars traveling on the highway.

Noise and Disturbance:

Cricket matches can generate significant noise levels, including cheering, shouting, and the sound of the ball hitting the bat. While this may be expected during a match, it can disrupt the tranquility of a community park and disturb those seeking a peaceful environment. It will also be a continued nuisance to the already existing houses as well as those being built within walking distance to the park.

Limited Space for Parking:

Installing a cricket pitch in a community park may attract visitors from outside the community which would otherwise be welcomed if Northlake Community Park had a designated parking area. Those who wish to enjoy the park for other activities but have to drive, would have a hard time finding parking along the street creating overcrowding in an already congested area.

Community Cohesion and Inclusion:

While cricket can be a unifying sport within specific communities, it is important to consider the inclusivity and cohesion of the overall community. If a cricket pitch is introduced in a park predominantly used by a specific ethnic or cultural group and because cricket is considered to be a male dominated sport, it may unintentionally exclude other community members who may not share the same interest in the sport or would not otherwise be invited to participate.

Furthermore, there is great concern regarding the proposal and acceptance of the cricket pitch occurring exclusively behind the scenes as it was reportedly initiated by a Northlake Homeowners Association board member who is an active member of a cricket league.

There was clearly a conflict of interest and impropriety in the manner by which the proposal was made and ultimately approved without input from the Northlake community as a whole.

Owners and residents of Northlake have started a petition to revoke the approval and scrap the plans for the cricket pitch and have already collected more than 200 signatures. An alternative location that is already home to a sports arena, such as a baseball field, would be a more appropriate site for this sport.

Please take a moment to sign the petition below to support your community and to have a voice in any future changes to our community parks at https://chng.it/pPCzcdRRnm.

Jennifer Saleem Chawla has lived in Natomas since 2011. In 2022, her family moved from Regency Park to Northlake. She is a nominee for the Northlake Homeowners Association.


  1. Sardar Habib says

    Cricket is a favorite game for every 1 person out of 4 lives on the planet earth and played and understand in every single continent from UNited states to all the way to Australia. With a huge migration of Bay Area community during and after Covid 19 to greater sacramento area, cricket is flourishing at a pace never seen before. Not to mention that USA is hosting Cricket World Cup in year 2024 in NewYork, Florida and Texas. A reply to few concerns mentioned in an article are;

    Safety Concern:
    Cricket pitch is around 70 yards long and most of the action happens between the ground. Just like baseball one team field in the pitch and second team bat. Incidence like if families are around, batting side players can safeguard that area if balls once in a while can come around that area. Cricket ball weight is 5 and a half OZ and baseball ball weigh 5 and 5 1/4 so almost the same.

    Noise and Disturbance:
    We all go to our kids soccer ball, baseball or football matches and get involved so much that it’s get a lot noisy then we actually realize. Our kids games are usually over the weekends and in the day time. Sometimes in the evenings. Cricket community is only limited to players only and we don’t attract audience so chances of getting noisy while playing cricket is out of question. Nearest houses from the center of pitch are more than 300 yards away. I don’t see a valid point of getting loud or noisy while playing cricket.

    Limited spaces for parking:
    Cricket games only played over the weekend and in the morning between 10-1pm
    Usually community or residents doesn’t comes to the park in the day time especially during summer. Park will be wide open in the late afternoon and in the evenings. Most of the players carpool and it’s a huge park so parking is not the issue at all. Just like when we go out kids game, we all know that it’s for few hours and once the game is over everybody leaves. If parking is still consider the issue then River Cats baseball home ground in West Sacramento and Sacramento kings Basket ball arena on K and 5th st should be out of town because they draw alot of traffic issues when there is a game.

    Community Cohesion and Inclusion:
    Natomas community is very diversify. People from Asia are the second largest ethnicity with over 30K residents. Trust me, they all loves cricket along with other sports and they don’t find a place where they can play. 10-15 years ago Soccer was not so popular and today every zip code has numerous soccer fields. Cricket is getting popular but unfortunately there are only 4 approved Cricket fields more then 40 zip codes of greater sacramento and adjacent cities like Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin, Rancho cordova, Elk Grove and West Sacramento.
    If any other sports lover have a right to play their sport then why not cricket. There is a major and minor league playing in Texas and in Florida and california is a home of subcontinent Asian people who can play in Los Angeles and in the Bay Area and now there is a huge demand in greater sacramento and we are lacking infrastructure. There is sacramento cricket association who organize cricket matches and league in greater sacramento and there are 13 teams who participate in these matches. This ground is a hope which can provide teen age kids and adults a chance to play their favorite game that they love. For the favor of cricket pitch petition already gets over 650 signatures. Every single community gets a soccer ground. Every 2nd or 3rd ground is a baseball ground. The ratio of cricket ground is not even 1 out of 50, it’s more then that.
    Besides weekend matches in the morning which usually finish around noon, this ground will be open and available for community to use it the way they want it. As a community after all, we believe in sharing.

    These are few facts that I would like to bring to the community. We do respect other side of the opinion but we also aspect to given a fair chance to play a sport that we love and understand and played by thousands of other community members.

    Sardar Habib

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