In the heart of East Meadow, Nassau County transforms for upcoming Cricket World Cup


The cricket world will have its eyes focused on Nassau County for the 2024 International Cricket Committee’s T20 World Cup in Eisenhower Park where, starting June 3, teams will play eight matches over 12 days attracting fans, and millions of viewers around the globe.

Since January, when the renderings for the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium were revealed, work to build and finalize the temporary, 34,000 seat venue in the heart of the county has been ongoing.

On May 15, the Herald, along with other media outlets in the New York-metro area, got a first look at the stadium, and heard from tournament leaders and ambassadors about what the community, and cricket fans, can expect during the tournament. Games will not only be played on Long Island through June 12, as teams will also take to the pitch in Texas, Florida, and various venues in the West Indies.

T20 chief executive Brett Jones, said it was a “special day” for everyone involved in the project over the last two years, but especially over the last fourth months in Nassau County.

“We’ve seen this incredible stadium literally grow out of the ground of where cricket has long been played here on Long Island, in Eisenhower Park,” he said.

The tournament breaks down teams into four groups, A through D. Only two teams from each group will advance to the second round of the tournament. Group A features Canada, Ireland, India, Pakistan, and the United States — all of which will play games at Eisenhower Park.

The most highly anticipated game is India facing Pakistan on June 9. These countries consistently field some of the best cricket players in the world.

“We’re going to see over 200 million people joining in on TV screens,” Jones said, “and we’re expecting over 1 billion eyeballs to be watching TV and video clips throughout the tournament.”

Jones added that cricket fans will see a stadium that is “truly out of this world.”

“We’ve seen really, really amazing buy in from the locals — nearly seeing five sellouts across the eight games,” he said. “The real message to everybody is we want to make sure that cricket in the U.S. makes a real statement through this tournament. We know that it’s one of our biggest markets in the world. We want to make sure that this tournament in particular really is a celebration of the people that have stayed involved in the game of cricket in the USA for many years now.”

Nassau County not only boasts a population of 1.5 million people, County Executive Bruce Blakeman said, but extremely diverse.

“We have every race, every religion, and every ethnic group,” Blakeman said. “And we get along here and live in peace and harmony because we respect each other. And I think that’s one of the reasons why this event came to Nassau County, because I knew that we had the political will to get this done quickly, but also that we have a community that loves cricket — and a community that’s accepting of people from all places.

“This is something that wasn’t here 90 days ago,” he added of the stadium, “and it could only happen in Nassau County, because we recognized the opportunity, and we took advantage of it.”

While games are played, road closures in and around Eisenhower Park will be in place. Games are expected to start at 10:30 a.m., and finish at 2:30 p.m. Park Boulevard and sections of Merrick Avenue and Charles Lindbergh Drive will be closed beginning at 6 a.m.

Fans will park in either the Nassau Coliseum’s lot in Uniondale, or at Nassau Community College in East Garden City. Shuttle buses will transport guests.

East Meadow High School backs up to Eisenhower Park, and several schools including W.T. Clarke Middle School and High School, and Bowling Green Elementary School are nearby, it was a concern for the East Meadow School District that the tournament and road closures could affect school activities.

In a letter shared with families on May 13, Superintendent Kenneth Rosner said the district has been working closely with the Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County Department of Homeland Security, local county legislators and the department of Parks, Recreation and Museums to ensure the tournament has minimal impact on the school day.

“All East Meadow schools will follow their regular daily schedules,” he wrote. “The potential road closures should not impact bus routes.”

T20 World Cup Ambassador, Usain Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica, considered the greatest sprinter of all time, is a huge cricket fan and has been spreading the word about the world’s most watched sporting event.

“Cricket has always been first love for me,” he said during the stadium tour. “It’s something I grew up watching.”

Bolt shared a personal anecdote — he loved cricket so much; it took him a while to turn to sprinting as the sport he mastered.

“I have the opportunity now to be an ambassador, and to spread the great word about cricket, and bring everyone together to watch this wonderful sport,” he said.

Tickets for certain games are still available at, Jones said. Because there is such anticipation for the India-Pakistan match, Blakeman said the county will hold a viewing party in Cedar Creek Park in Seaford on June 9. Attendees can expect large screens, food trucks, giveaways and more.

For updates as the event approaches, and to learn more about how Nassau County is immersing the community in the game of cricket, visit