Fans of cricket call it a "gentleman's game." But cricket players in Brooklyn say they don't feel much like gentlemen when they are forced to play on a field that doesn't come equipped with a men's room (or women's room either for that matter).
The language of cricket can be bewildering to Americans: It is played on what's called a pitch, with wickets and creases. The guy throwing the ball is a bowler and the guy trying to hit it is a batsman. It is played in more than 100 countries with historical connections to the former British Empire and, next to soccer, cricket is the most popular sport in the world.
But players out at Spring Creek Park in Brooklyn say they feel like they're getting no respect.
When the developer of the nearby Gateway Mall constructed the cricket field back in 2003, there was one critcal item not included in the plans: a bathroom.
As one player put it, "That's stupid."
So, for seven years, during the five months of the cricket season, the players have been renting a portable toilet for $150.00.
But the manager of one cricket team says, "Sometimes when there's a big game one that one Porta-Potty is not enough, so therefore people have to wait, or whatever."
And then there is the issue of players not having a place to change into their uniforms before the game. Their current choice is either in their cars or under a tree.
The captain of one of the teams that plays on the field says, "In Jamaica we have a bathroom, a changing room, a lunch room, everything to make you comfortable."
A spokesperson for the New York City Parks Department says the developer was only required to construct the field and the department was supposed to put in the bathroom. But the bathroom never materialized because their wasn't enough money in the Parks Department budget to build the kind of comfort station the players wanted, which would cost $2 million
So now the Parks Department is going to go with something that's never been tried before: A prefabricated building will be installed next to the field -- costing $250,000. It will have a men's and women's bathrooms, but still no place to change.
Work on the new bathroom will begin this summer and is set to be ready for next year's cricket season.