Help sought after vandals damage Oklahoma City cricket pitch
Vandals destroyed a cricket pitch at a city park in northeast Oklahoma City.
The damage was done between Thursday and 9:45 a.m. Sunday. Police have made no arrests in connection with the incident.
Carpet on portions of the pitch was peeled back and filled with concrete that was apparently prepared elsewhere. Players found the damage when a team from Wichita, Kan., arrived Sunday to play at Douglass Park, 900 Frederick Douglass Ave.
The cricket field is maintained by the Oklahoma City Strikers Cricket Club, but the park is owned by the city, according to a police report.
Players told police an unnamed team that has been banned from the league is suspected of the vandalism, the report states.
This is the second time in the past year the pitch has been vandalized, a team spokesman said.
"When the previous vandalism occurred in October 2015 we replaced certain portions of the torn carpet. The vandals who damaged the property this time left the newer section as a joke," Nash Kannan said.
"The guys who did it exactly knew what they were doing and quite possibly understand cricket. There is significant damage to the carpet, pad and concrete," he said.
Kannan said the pitch will cost about $8,000 to repair. The Strikers' home field also is being used as the Lawton Cricket Club until their pitch is constructed. A total of 13 teams play on the pitch in the Two-State Cricket League, which spans Oklahoma and Kansas, Kannan said.
The team is hoping instead of cash donations, local companies might be willing to donate materials and labor. The teams are more than willing to repay the favor with advertising on fields where they play and on their team jerseys, he said.
The pitch was opened in 2014, and the club does public outreach and teaches youth to play the bat-and-ball sport, which is the second most popular spectator sport in the world after soccer.
"The way I see our club, we give people a sense of belonging from India, England, South Africa and Australia," Kannan said.