In response to resident concerns, the San Ramon Recreation commissioners modified the Cricket hours at Monarch Park to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. once the school is opened for play in August and stipulated that the 240-member association strictly adhere to the time constraints. The league will play cricket on Saturdays at Windemere Ranch Middle School, while league play on Sundays would remain at Monarch.
Noise, traffic and not being able to use the park when they want are just some of the complaints that neighbors of Monarch Park on North Monarch Road have about organized games of the sport made popular in Britain, India, Pakistan, Australia and other countries.
The San Ramon Cricket Association rents the Monarch Park cricket pitch — the only one in the city — to host its league games on weekends from March through November. For about the past two years, games have taken place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Monarch Park.
As of Aug. 1, the commission would permit league cricket play on Saturdays at Windemere Ranch Middle School, while league play on Sundays would remain at Monarch.
The parks staff is also asking that the cricket pitch — the only one in the city — remain at Monarch Park and be rented to sports organizations for group play. Parks staff would also like to look at possibly adding a cricket pitch to the yet-to-be built Rancho San Ramon Community Park. The 35-acre Dougherty Valley park is not expected to be built for a few years.
“We love playing cricket,” said Zeeshan Khan, a 12-year resident of Gale Ranch, the subdivision where Monarch Park is located. “We’re as much as privileged to live in San Ramon as our neighbors are.”
The vast majority of the association members, composed of about 70 percent of San Ramon residents, hail from countries including India and Pakistan, where the sport, played on a 360-degree field, is hugely popular and part of the heritage.
Following the vote, which Commissioner David Ernest opposed, league leaders said they were pleased.
“This is a very positive outcome for the SRCA,” said Sridhar Verose, association president. “We are happy the city commission is supporting us.”
But some neighbors said the decision failed to address several issues.
Stephen Moy said the small neighborhood park on North Monarch Road was never intended for adult league play — of any sport — and that cricket players deserve a more suitable location.
Samantha Finnegan, a mother to children ages 2 and 4, said she remains concerned about safety after seeing the cricket ball fly into the playground area and cannot use the park on weekends when she is off work because the fields are occupied.
“It has nothing to do with cricket as a sport,” she said. “To me, it’s 100 percent about the use of the park as a neighborhood park for my family.”
Although the commission’s decision will stand unless appealed to the City Council, the location issue will be revisited when the Parks and Community Services Department updates its master plan, said Director Karen McNamara.
One potential site for a permanent cricket field is the 35-acre Rancho San Ramon Community Park slated to be built in the next five or six years by Dougherty Valley developers.
http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_15094592 By Rebecca F. Johnson Correspondent Posted: 05/15/2010 05:24:32 PM PDT
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15063841 By Sophia Kazmi Contra Costa Times Posted: 05/11/2010 03:56:48 PM PDT