Coppell adapting to city’s culture by building cricket field at Wagon Wheel


Minori Kunte

On Tuesday, Wagon Wheel Park Coppell residents can view the new addition of a cricket pitch. Last summer, the City of Coppell approved the construction of a cricket field after years of citizens’ requests.

By Ainsley Dwyer, Coppell High School

On June 6, the Coppell Parks and Recreation Board met and announced that the design of a new cricket field for Wagon Wheel Park was complete and the construction would begin at the end of summer. The field will be located on Field No. 6, off of Northpoint Drive and Royal Lane.

“[The City of Coppell] has had citizen requests to build a cricket field in Coppell for many years,” Director of Coppell community experiences Jessica Carpenter said. “Cricket is one of the most popular sports played all across the world, and it is also gaining popularity in our region. We are happy to finally add a cricket field to the many amenities that our community can enjoy.”

As of January, the cricket field is nearly complete and is set to open in late March once the sod has greened up. The field will be open for open play and programmed by the YMCA for youth cricket. The YMCA spring season is set to take place from March 4 to April 29.

“[The YMCA] decided to add youth cricket to expand our offerings to the Coppell youth,” YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Rodney Black associate branch executive said. “Cricket is one of the most played games in the world and attracts participants from all different backgrounds.”

Last summer, the City of Coppell approved the building of a cricket field at Wagon Wheel Park after years of citizens’ requests. The Sidekick staff writer Ainsley Dwyer explores the popularity of cricket around the world and the importance of a cricket field addition to Coppell. (Ainsley Dwyer)

The YMCA’s addition of youth cricket gives residents the opportunity to branch out to new communities and activities. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, and bringing a world-wide sport to Coppell caters to the diversity of the community.

“The building of a cricket pitch in Coppell signifies that the City of Coppell and the YMCA is interested in serving all communities,” Black said.

The Coppell YMCA youth cricket coach will be International Cricket Council accredited Cricket Coach Jaafar Shahabuddin. Shahabuddin served as a professional player and coach in North America and abroad. He grew up in Coppell and played various levels of competitive cricket across North America.

Summer registration for the YMCA youth cricket team is available for $80 for members and $120 for non-members of the YMCA starting March 1 through April 29.

Cricket is played between two teams each made up of 11 players. The game consists of at least one inning where each team takes turns in batting and fielding/bowling.

The batsmen defends the wicket using a cricket bat to hit the ball away and runs between the wickets to score runs before getting out. The fielding team tries to get the batsmen out by hitting the wickets with the ball when bowling, catching a batsman’s shot on the full, hitting the batsman’s leg in front of the wicket, or hitting them before they can run to the other end of the pitch.

The aim of the game is to score as many runs as possible before the fielding team takes 10 wickets. The team with the most runs wins.

“Coppell benefits from the new cricket field and many people who have moved here from other countries get to play their favorite sport in a professional manner,” sophomore Coppell High School Cricket Club member Sai Cherukuri said. “Since it is a public field many casual players can play in a professional manner whereas, before, professional cricket fields were only available for players playing with professional teams in the area. It will also be very beneficial to the CHS Cricket Club as now we can have access to a professional field that is purpose built for cricket.”

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on March 8, 2023.