Cricket Gains Popularity in Illinois

Cricket is becoming more popular in Illinois. Despite the dominance of sports like baseball and basketball, cricket is carving out its niche in the hearts of Illinois residents. This growth is supported with recognition by state and local governments of the popularity of the sport in our communities.

State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro (Hanover Park) has played a key role in raising awareness about Cricket in Illinois. In 2023, she championed a resolution that urged the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) to recognize cricket as an official regulated sport in our high schools. Representing a vibrant community of cricket enthusiasts, she sees the sport as a way to unite communities and offer children a different kind of physical activity and competition. Sanalitro’s aim is to position Illinois as a leader in embracing cultural diversity through sports.

Oswego's New Cricket Stadium
In Oswego, plans are underway for a new cricket stadium that will have a larger capacity than Chicago's United Center. Developer Paresh Patel is leading this initiative, striving to establish Oswego as a cricketing landmark. The project, encompassing a stadium, hotel, and restaurants, has received approval despite concerns from some residents about potential traffic and noise issues. This approval underscores the growing acceptance and enthusiasm for cricket in Illinois.

Why Cricket Matters
The embrace of cricket in Illinois represents a wider shift in American sports culture to be more encompassing. The state's effort to integrate cricket into high school athletics, alongside ambitious economic development endeavors like the Oswego stadium, demonstrates a commitment to promoting this internationally popular sport, locally.

As cricket gains momentum in educational institutions, clubs, and potentially professional leagues, Illinois is set to become a pivotal presence in the U.S. cricket scene. With cricket's inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games, the outlook for the sport in Illinois and across the nation is promising.