June 17, 2015
USYCA is delighted to welcome the Lexington Cricket League (LCL) of Massachusetts to our team! LCL is off to a very strong start, and looks ready for rapid growth. LCL's Vivek Gupta said, "We are very excited about the opportunity of being part of a larger parent group that will help sustain the interest in cricket amongst the youth. USYCA is the precise parent organization with its leadership and focus that we had hoped for in guiding and leading us when we had initiated our efforts locally."
Here is some background on LCL and its mission:
What is LCL, when was it founded and what is its mission?
The Lexington Cricket League (LCL) was founded in 2014 with one team and 14 children. Only one year later in 2015, we have 4 teams with 70 children, indicating growing interest in the sport.
LCL's mission statement:
LCL aspires to be an outstanding athletic youth-focused organization that provides a high-quality experience to every cricketer. A high-quality experience is one in which every cricketer:
- Is coached using the principles of Positive Coaching,
- Has fun at practices and games,
- Feels like an important part of the team regardless of performance,
- Learns "life lessons", team spirit, and kinship that have value beyond the playing field, and
- Learns the skills, tactics and strategies of the game and improves as a player.
Who are the teams that participate and what is the schedule?
LCL currently has 4 teams: 1) Blue Sox 2) Green Hound 3) Lynx 4) Ninja
Spring clinics are in progress in Lexington every Sunday from 3 to 5 pm.
How do youngsters growing up with baseball and basketball respond to cricket?
We have done quite a bit to promote the sport of cricket, and its awareness. Recently, we held demo sessions in an elementary school and educated the children about the similarities and differences between cricket and baseball. We spoke to them about about familiar sports figures, such as Tom Brady and Big Papi, and discussed how they might bowl or bat if they were to play cricket. When we played a few tapes of the IPL T20 Championships, they were astonished by the passionate fan base, and the fast pace of the game. The children also watched a recording of Shane Warne, a spin bowler from the Australian Cricket Team, and arguably, one of the best players of his kind. The recording showed how Warne effectively spun the ball around the opposing batsmen, in great detail. This was slowed down for the children to observe the complex and deft movement of his fingers, focusing more on the strategy, than the speed or intensity of the ball.
Finally, what left the greatest impact was giving the kids a chance to actually play the game. They quickly realized the bat was wider, thus giving them more opportunity to connect with the ball. In these demo events, we chose to use a tennis ball (softer), instead of the regular cricket ball, to avoid the fear of being hit by the harder ball.
Overall, the feedback received from the demo sessions was that the children were left with excitement and enthusiasm about the sport. We hope that translates into the growth of this sport in our community, with more children signing up as each season progresses.
What do you hope to achieve with LCL?
Cricket in the United States is still a relatively unknown sport. Given the busy sporting calendar of any town, and overall schedules nowadays, there is a small margin for any new activity introduced to these children. LCL's primary aim is to impart cricketing skills and the love for the game to everyone, with possibility for greater focus on the young impressionable minds in the Boston metro region. We would like to see cricket become a recognized / mainstream sport that the children can grow up to enjoy playing and participating in among a larger fan base. Sport generally brings together family, and community. We would love to see cricket become one among the beloved sports of Boston, given the fabulous sports town it is.
Additionally, our goal is to provide children with adequate structured training and a platform from which they could become skilled enough to participate in the most competitive form of the game (potentially at a state of national level).
With our grass-root efforts, we hope that the T20 format of cricket becomes a national level game in USA by 2020. By increasing awareness and equipping our children with a basic love for a fabulous game, as well as the actual skills needed to play it, we hope this goal becomes a reality. The road to that goal starts here and now.
We hope to continue creating awareness of the game through media exposure and social outreach. Any and all are welcome!