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Howard County's only regulation cricket field opened Monday, May 13 at the renovated Schooley Mill Park in Highland.

County Executive Ken Ulman was on hand to celebrate the opening of the new field, a project done through the county's Department of Recreation and Parks.

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"Our county's Recreation and Parks programs need to reflect our diverse population in Howard County and the surrounding area, so why wouldn't we make room for the No. 2 international sport?" Ulman said in a news release. "After careful review of the needs and options, Schooley Mill presented the best opportunity for this large field without losing or adding county facilities. Since the previous fields needed maintenance to remain usable, this solution allowed us to improve the facility and include more community interests at the same time."

The new field is about 300 feet in diameter and overlays two existing multi-purpose fields that were formerly in disrepair, county officials said. Through the project, those two fields were re-graded to a single level to create a 22-yard-long cricket pitch between the fields. The work was done in the off-season to minimize disruption to other programs at Schooley Mill. The project also included improvements to sidewalks and storm drains.

The new field also means the Howard County Cricket League — established last year — can double its team capacity for the spring season. This spring, the league has 20 teams and nearly 600 players. Previously, the league was using non-regulation fields at Meadowbrook Park. The county is also starting a youth cricket instructional league which has already registered 40 players ages 5 five to 14.

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