Pan-O-Prog Cricket Tournament Set for July 6

by | Jun 2024

About 150 cricket players, including men, women and children, participated in a tournament last year in Lakeville.

About 150 cricket players, including men, women and children, participated in a tournament last year in Lakeville. Photo: GM Murugan

There’s growing interest in Lakeville for India’s most popular sport.

It’s the second most popular spectator sport in the world (behind soccer)—and though it’s not quite mainstream in the United States, cricket is booming in Lakeville.

Cricket is played in multiuse fields in city parks; a tournament last year attracted more than 150 players to the city and a cricket tournament joins the line-up of community events in this year’s Pan-O-Prog festival. “The tournaments will attract more than 300 players, and most of the players come from Lakeville,” says Surya Ganesan, a Lakeville resident, lifelong cricket player and tournament organizer.

With 11 players per side, cricket resembles football. As a bat-and-ball sport, cricket mostly resembles baseball.

The strategy? Cricket is like chess.

One team bats the ball, and one team fields the ball, while playing on an oval field or pitch. The batting team is trying to score runs. The fielding team is trying to prevent runs.

Pitching, with a straight arm, is called bowling. A home run, with the ball leaving the field of play without ever touching the ground, is called a boundary six or six. In baseball, bats are round. In cricket, bats are flat. Baseball players bat with their bats facing up. Cricket players bat with their bats facing down.

Baseball games can last upwards of three hours. A test-cricket match lasts about eight hours. Matches are played over five days.

While this all sounds very confusing, Ganesan says it’s not. “Rules are easy,” he says. “Watch for 20 minutes, and you’ll understand.”

But don’t stop at spectating. “Everyone can play,” he says.

Ganesan himself has been playing for some 40 years. In his youth, he won lots of “cups,” he says. His passion for the sport runs so deep, he began coordinating tournaments in Lakeville. He organized a tournament last year in July during Lakeville’s Pan-O-Prog festival and invited city officials to come and watch.

This year’s cricket tournament is an official Pan-O-Prog event with three brackets, including a men’s field, women’s field and youth field. “Cricket is the perfect example of how Pan-O-Prog has evolved,” says Lakeville Chamber of Commerce president and Pan-O-Prog volunteer Krista Jech. “The city has a new cricket pitch, and interest in cricket is growing.”

Pan-O-Prog, also known by its official name, Panorama of Progress, began as a way to celebrate the success and development of Lakeville’s Airlake Industrial Park. That first celebration was held in 1967. Fifty-seven years later, the week-long, volunteer-run community festival, like Lakeville itself, is bigger, much bigger. “Pan-O-Prog has evolved,” Jech says. “There’s 45 to 50 events throughout the week, and there’s something for everyone.”

Events and activities include a variety of tournaments (pickleball, softball, volleyball, euchre, cribbage and fishing), a ping pong ball drop for children, a parade and Cruise Night, featuring classic cars. The Cruise Night attracts a crowd of about 30,000 to downtown Lakeville, and the parade typically draws 25,000 spectators.

Pan-O-Prog Cricket Tournament, July 6, Aronson Park, 8250 202nd St. W., Lakeville;


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