Continued from page 1

“Sometimes we have an issue with the baseball guys. They tend to have the same permits as we do, and they don’t realize that this is our field as well as theirs,” Gill said. “Last week the baseball guys called the cops on us, and the cops told them they had to leave because they had the wrong permit.”

Members of the Cal team said they saw outfielders from another softball team taunting the cricket players with racial slurs during a recent match. But for the most part relations remain smooth.

“Washington, D.C., is a very vibrant and diverse community, and the National Park Service is happy, delighted and pleased that the National Mall offers such a wide variety of diverse recreational setting for many types of people,” said Bill Line, spokesman for NPS, which oversees West Potomac Park. “I think that the [Washington] Cricket League supports this notion.”

For Gill, Nanda and the rest of the Potomac contingent, cricket in West Potomac Park is a familiar reminder of home in their new environment.

“It’s my connection to the past — I used to play a lot of cricket growing up in India, and so when I came here and I found this league, I was very thrilled to be a part of it,” said Passey, the captain.

Pathak, fielding grounders nearby, added: “I didn’t know a lot of people when I first moved here, so cricket helped me make really good friends.”

As for the many who stop to watch these men in white with wonder, the action on the pitch provides an international element on their National Mall tour.

“This is so interesting,” said Pat Rouse, who happened upon the match during her and her grandchildren’s visit to the park from Cheltenham, Md. “I have always heard about cricket, but I have never seen it played before.”