On May 27, 2021, the New York State Senate approved legislation to promote and expand cricket in New York. Passed by the State House, S.146 is on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk, ready to become law, which will then require that cricket be included within the purview of the New York State Athletic Commission.
The mover and shaker behind this is New York State Sen. Kevin Thomas, the first Indian-American to be elected to the state’s upper house.
“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,” Senator said in a press release after the bill was passed. ”I believe that New York has a unique opportunity to become the official Cricket Capitol of the U.S.A, which is why I introduced this legislation to recognize the legitimacy and value of cricket to our State.”
Thomas said he was thrilled to sponsor the legislation, “especially because so many members of the South Asian community share a love and passion for this sport.”
The USA Cricket Director for New York Ajith Bhaskar called it great news for the Empire State’s cricket ommunity. “New York already has a place in cricket history for having hosted the sport’s first international match in 1844. I am thankful to Senator Kevin Thomas for putting the spotlight on this exciting and popular sport, which will help us take the game to the next level here in New York State.”
Globally, cricket is the second most popular game after soccer with an estimated following of 2.5 billion people.