close
close

How to Get to Nassau County by Train or Bus?

play

A loud roar erupted from the crowd at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Saturday afternoon as India easily won the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup warm-up match against Bangladesh by 63 runs.

Another big roar comes when they catch a glimpse of the team’s superstar, Virat Kohli, who didn’t play but joined the team on the field for handshakes at the end of the match.

It capped off the first part of a long day last weekend, when I decided to make the long journey by public transportation to the stadium in East Meadow, Long Island, to attend the exhibition match between two of the teams that will participate in the world cup.

It was a remarkably sunny day, in the 80s, a little warm for a T20 match, but otherwise perfect. The crowd – the majority of whom were longing for India and dressed in blue uniforms and waving the national flag – filled about a third of the seats, but they were as loud as a sold-out crowd. There was also a small contingent of Bangladeshi supporters present, dressed in the country’s green and red colours.

Related: What NJ fans need to know before the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup starts

The ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup will be held throughout June, with matches in the Caribbean and – for the first time – in the United States. Eight of the 55 matches of the world’s second most popular sport will take place between Monday and June 12 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium. The finals will take place on June 29 in Barbados.

But to get to East Meadow by public transportation? It might as well be Barbados, but without the blue water and sandy beaches. The journey takes almost as long as a flight to the Caribbean.

Are you thinking about making the trip? Read on for a first-hand experience.

This is a travelogue of my experiences traveling to the competition.

Waking up early Saturday morning

6:15 am 1 June After writing several articles about the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup coming to the United States for the first time on a laptop in the comfort of a home office, the moment of truth has arrived: it was actually time to head out and what to do the ground reporting.

After waking up at 5 a.m., over an hour later I was out the door of my Jersey City home and walking to the bus stop to catch the NJ Transit No. 80 bus to the Journal Square Transportation Station to catch the Take the PATH train to Manhattan. According to Google Maps, the journey to the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, which will host several T20 World Cup matches, takes more than three hours. Traveling by car would be easier, but what’s the fun in that?

While we were on the bus, the key word in the brain was “practice.” A practice trip to a practice match. And it would turn out to be a practice run for the operations surrounding this game.

6:55 am 25 minute bus ride to Journal Square. 19 minutes before the train leaves for 33rd Street. There was time to get a buttered roll, with a banana and mineral water for breakfast. Had a quick meal and then jumped on the train. The trip to Manhattan, like the bus ride to Jersey City, provided an opportunity to take notes for this story.

7:48 am The PATH train arrives at the 33rd Street station. A walk through the city streets west toward Penn Station was another time to enjoy a beautiful sunny day that would warm to 80 degrees by 10:30 game time. Too nice a day to work. But then again, was this work?

Going to the game

8:13 am The Long Island Railroad Penn Station to Huntington train departs from track 17. This is the third leg of the journey to the cricket match with a stop in Westbury. As we waited for information on which track the locomotive would be disembarking from, the shock of the $26 return fare was a bit of a shock after a $1.60 bus ticket and a $2.75 PATH train ticket. No one but this writer is to blame.

The station was also where the first glimpse of cricket fans heading to the same match was seen. Many were dressed in the blue Team India shirts.

On the train that made several stops in Queens and then Long Island, a trio of cricket enthusiasts sat casually dressed in front of me.

Subhir Ghosh, 54, who works for the airline Air India and lives in India’s largest city, Mumbai, had the day off to travel with his son, Aryan, 20, to the US, where he is studying at the University of Massachusetts. Ghosh, his son and Ghosh’s colleague Pawal Singh, decided to head out to see their favorite team. He didn’t have time to stay in New York for the World Cup.

“It’s just this one because I have to go back tomorrow. I’m actually a cricket fanatic so I don’t miss any opportunities when I get to see something where India is playing, I try to make it,” Ghosh said.

Related: Before T20 World Cup arrives, visit famous locations from cricket history in New York and New Jersey

He said he was surprised the T20 World Cup had come to the United States because he felt there wasn’t a big cricket following here, outside the South Asian communities where they are most popular. He sees India, Australia, England and South Africa as the four finalists, with India winning it all.

Aryan Ghosh said he wanted to go to a Cricket World Cup match because he had been studying in the US when the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which is played in the ODI or One Day International format, took place in his native India last fall. Singh, who lives in New Delhi, said he felt “very lucky” to be able to attend.

9:03 am The train arrives in Westbury. Visitors are accompanied by public transport buses that take them to the stadium after a 20-minute ride. Men and women, young and old, mostly Indian fans in blue waving the country’s national flag and others painted in the official colours, while others support Bangladesh in green and red.

The match and afterwards

14.00 hours India scored 182 runs while Bangladesh were held to 122. India’s star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant led the run-getter with 53 runs, while Bangladesh’s Mohammad Mahmudullah led with 40.

After the match, Deep Bhatt and his neighbor Mahendra Chawal, who came all the way from Edison in Central Jersey, waited for their favorite player, Virat Kohli, to give them a wave before heading to the dressing room. Both found the 2.5 hour journey worth it.

“It’s tough coming all the way from New Jersey, but at the end of the day we love cricket and wanted to see our heroes,” Bhatt said.

Chawal called the warm-up match “the best chance” to see their favorite team in action.

“There’s nothing like it. We were right next to the players,” Chawal said. “We booked the tickets yesterday because we saw it wasn’t selling and decided to go.”

They hope to see one match – the big one, India versus Pakistan – but it’s a lot of money.

Ricardo Kaulessar covers race, immigration and culture for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the top news from your local community, subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ricardokaul

Back To Top