An Italian city has banned cricket in parks after a two-year-old boy was struck by a ball while he was on the balcony of his home, dealing a blow to the cricket-loving Afghan and Pakistani migrants, PTI reported on Wednesday.
The mayor of Bolzano in northern Italy banned the game in the city’s parks after the ball struck the boy in the head, according to BBC.
The boy, who was on the balcony of his home overlooking a park, recovered from the concussion. He was about 100 metres away from the cricket game. Bolzano is now restricting cricket to tennis courts and a baseball field.
Mayor Renzo Caramaschi said the ban was prompted by an email he had received from the boy’s parents about the cricket ball having hit their son. Italy’s Afghan and Pakistani migrant communities are keen on cricket, but very few Italians play the game.
“We will soon make an assessment with representatives of the Pakistani community,” said Caramaschi.
Italy’s Corriere della Sera daily reported that Brescia, another northern Italian city, banned cricket in public spaces in 2009.
Bolzano is in the mainly German-speaking Alto Adige region, called South Tyrol by German speakers, which has a mountainous border with Austria. In October 2015, the regional Alto Adige website reported that Bolzano was home to 900 Pakistanis, with another 3,000 in the whole region. The figures for Afghans were 100 and 300, respectively.