Who would have thought that New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is a cricket fan? Or at least he appears to be.
Kelly has thrown his full support to help launch the NYPD's official Twenty20 Youth Cricket Tournament, a program under the department's New Immigrant Outreach initiative which hopes to establish a positive relationship with New York's multiple ethnic groups.
Does that includes Australians and Kiwis?
An NYPD media release attributed the following quote to the Commissioner, "New York today is home field for new immigrant and American-born players alike, many of whom excel at sports that local leagues don't traditionally offer, with our help, young enthusiasts from Bangladesh to Brooklyn now can expect to play them here." He added, "The NYPD has long provided programs for youth while promoting positive police-community relations. Our Twenty20 Cricket Cup combines the best of both worlds, so to speak."
With all six representative teams in attendance and dressed in their teams' colors and standing shoulder to shoulder with several NYPD top-brass officials, Commissioner Kelly officiated in the coin toss for the first match which got underway immediately following the Commissioner's remarks. The two opening teams Punjab and Cosmos took to the field while Commissioner Kelly answered questions posed by the throng of media present. Although the questions centered primarily on issues involving crime, cut backs in the department's funding, and current safety issues in the city, it was done against a backdrop of NYPD Cricket banners, helping to reinforce the main reason for the Commissionerâ€™s presence at Gateway Cricket Ground.
The tournament is on as we speak. About 100 players from all five boroughs are participating in the tournament. Read the Daily News story here. (Note the quite impressive graphic to explain how cricket is played)
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