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How to get to Nassau County by train, or bus

Written by on June 6, 2024

A loud roar erupts from the crowd at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium Saturday afternoon as India easily wins the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup warmup match against Bangladesh by 63 runs.

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

It was the capper for the first part of a long day this past weekend where I decided to make the long trip by public transit to the stadium in East Meadow, Long Island, to attend the practice match between two of the teams that will participate in the World Cup.

It was a strikingly sunny day, in the 80s, a little bit hot for a T20 match, but otherwise perfect. The crowd — the majority of them rooting for India and dressed in blue uniforms, waving the national flag — filled about a third of the seats, but they were as loud as a sellout audience. A small contingent of Bangladesh supporters were there, too, dressed in green and red country’s colors.

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

The ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup will be held throughout the month of 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 in Barbados on June 29.

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

Thinking of making the journey? Read on for a first-hand experience.

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

Early Saturday morning wakeup

6:15 a.m. June 1 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 venture out and do some on the ground reporting.

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

While on the bus, the operative word on the brain was “practice.” A practice trip to a practice match. And it would turn out, a practice run for the operations around this game.

6:55 a.m. 25-minute bus trip to Journal Square. 19 minutes before the train to 33rd Street departs. There was time to get a buttered roll to accompany a banana and bottled water for breakfast. Ate quickly, then jumped on the train. The trip into Manhattan, just like the Jersey City bus ride, afforded the opportunity to take notes for this story.

7:48 a.m. The PATH train arrives at the 33rd Street station. A walk out into the city streets going west towards Penn Station was again a moment to take in a gorgeous sunny day that would warm to 80 degrees by the 10:30 a.m. game time. Too beautiful a day to work. Then again, was this work?

Going to the match

Fans attending the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup warmup match between India and Bangladesh on June 1 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

8:13 a.m. 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. While waiting for info on the track from where the locomotive would disembark, the sticker shock of the $26 round-trip cost was a bit of a jolt after a $1.60 bus fare and $2.75 PATH train fare. Nobody’s fault but this writer.

The station was also where there was the first glimpse of cricket fans making their way to the same match. Many were attired in the blue Team India shirts.

On the train making several stops in Queens then Long Island, a trio of cricket enthusiasts dressed casually were seated in front of me.

Subhir Ghosh, 54, who works for the airline Air India and resides in India’s largest city, Mumbai, had a day off to travel with his son, Aryan, 20, to the U.S. where he is a student at University of Massachusetts. Ghosh, his son and Ghosh’s co-worker Pawal Singh, decided to trek out to see their favorite team. He had no time to stay in New York for the World Cup.

“It’s just this one because I need to go back tomorrow. I am pretty much a cricket fanatic, so I don’t miss opportunities when I get to see something in which India is playing, I try to make it,” Ghosh said.

Related:Before T20 World Cup arrives, check out famous NY and NJ sites from cricket history

He said he was surprised that the T20 World Cup had come to the United States as he felt that there was not a huge cricket following in here, beyond 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 U.S. when the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which is played in the ODI, or One Day International, format, was taking place last fall in his native India. Singh, who lives in New Delhi, said he felt “very lucky” to be attending.

9:03 a.m. The train arrives in Westbury. Attendees are ushered onto public transit buses that bring 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 colors, some others supporting Bangladesh in the green and red.

The match and afterward

The Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, Long Island.

2 p.m. India scored 182 runs while Bangladesh was held to 122. Indian star wicket keeper Rishabh Pant was leading 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, were waiting to see their favorite player, Virat Kohli, who gave them a wave before going to the dressing room. Both felt the 2.5-hour trip was worth it.

“Tough to come all the way out from New Jersey, but at the end of the day, we love cricket and we wanted to see our heroes,” Bhatt said.

Chawal called the warmup match “the best opportunity” to see their favorite team in action.

“Nothing beats it. We were sitting right near the players,” Chawal said. “We booked the tickets yesterday since we saw it was not selling and decided to go.”

They hope to see one match — the big one, India vs. Pakistan — but it is a lot of money.

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

Email: kaulessar@northjersey.com

Twitter: @ricardokaul

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