No, this post isn’t about the reproductive systems of everyone’s favorite edible insect. If you came here for that, well, I’ll send you over here.
I made another detour on my drive from Spartanburg, S.C. back home last Sunday. Specifically, the small hamlet of Climax, N.C. Yes, I had a few juvenile chuckles at the name too, especially when driving down Woody Mill Lane to get there. But in all seriousness, my best guess is that Climax is kind of a play on the community being in the vicinity of High Point, NC. You’ve reached the climax…you’ve reached the high point…you get it my drift.
Anyway, because of road construction I wasn’t able to complete my trip from Woody Mill to Climax (guffaw, guffaw), and had to take a back entrance (har, har). My whole point was to visit a cricket field that had been showcased on one of my favorite blogs, twelvemilecircle.
The Hobson Cricket Grounds, founded by British expatriate Mark Hobson, is home to the High Point Cricket Club (you can read more on its history here). It’s one of many fields in the Carolina region and throughout the U.S., though it’s certainly not the most prominent. While the recently opened Central Broward Regional Park is the only true cricket stadium in the U.S., there are a few solid grounds including The Philadelphia Cricket Club, Staten Island Cricket Club and The Germantown Cricket Club (also in Philadelphia). However, after looking at that short list, the High Point Cricket Club certainly is close behind.
I drove into the small, rocky parking lot. Nobody was around save for a couple passing cars. The field itself is basically an open patch of grass. There was some asphalt laid down in the center where I assume carpet is laid over during a match for the bowlers and batters. Two “dugouts”, if you will, stand on opposing sides of the pitch. In the back is a “batting” cage, with three wickets. If you’ve lost me already, I don’t blame you. My weak sense of cricket terminology coupled with my deep knowledge of baseball doesn’t necessarily mean I know what I’m talking about.
The gem of the field is the clubhouse that overlooks play. On this beautiful little countryside home is a clock that I assume has some use in game (whether it’s to keep tabs on real time or have something to do with the actual game, I don’t know). If I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed someone was living there – it looks like a real, lived-in house – the whole time I felt I was treading on private property. Without any game being played it easily looks like a house with a huge front lawn.
I didn’t stop for long, maybe five minutes or so, but enough to snap a few pictures (including myself, with the camera situated on top of my car). It was fun to see a little piece of England in the U.S. (as I’d seen one cricket field on my visit to England in 2000). Here’s hoping supporters of the sport can keep up the good work in building it up in the U.S. Who knows, I might even try to make it out to an organized cricket match sometime…