A peek back in time
First was the lack of proper playing facilities. Dilapidated tennis courts were sought out; and to much displeasure of the local soccer leagues, soccer fields were also commandeered on Saturdays.
Due to a lack of a permament home, the club had to make do with playing on a grass "wicket" which was a gamble to play on: uneven bounce or sometimes, no bounce at all. A roller was finally purchased in 2000, which was filled with water and the pitch rolled, after it was mowed. A week later it was stolen. Nevertheless, the team showed up for practice every wednesday during the summer months, and put in the hard yards. Most of us were happy to be playing any cricket in Iowa!
In 2001, when the club gathered to play its first preseason game, they arrived at the ground (part of an elementary school, which had given the Knights permission to use the ground), only to find massive construction on the square. The school was building an extension. It was back to square one.
The team then decided to hit the road, 120 miles to Omaha (which had a concerete strip with matting), every Saturday to sqaure against the Omaha and Nebraska Cricket Clubs, often playing doubleheaders in oppressive heat and humidity. The sheer team spirit and skill fetched us a championship victory that very same year in a tournament held at Omaha. Thus, started a bitter rivalry between the two clubs, which had its ugly moments. But, almost always a fantastic game of hard fought cricket: a battle waged in body and mind.
Finally, in 2003, after five years of perseverence and numerous city council and mayoral meetings, the city of West Des Moines Parks & Recreation agrred to let us play at Holiday Park. Through the staunch support of Mr.Gary Scott, Parks & Rec Director, the Knights finally had a place to call home. We built a concrete wicket, with outdoor carpet, the first of its kind in the midwest. Since then the Knights haven't looked back. They were the founding member of the Cricket League of Iowa (now known as The Heartland Crikcet League).
League champs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013 & 2014 and winners of a few tournaments along the way, the Knights have been a force to reckon with since 2003.
We are very proud of our traditions and we play the game as it should be played: hard, with dignity, pride, and sportsmanship. We never compromise on that.