September 13, 2010
For most clubs in the United States, it's all they can do to
successfully manage another season of cricket. From organizational
meetings to chasing down late dues payments to scheduling practices, the
typical cricket club has plenty to do, long before they ever see the
pitch. For this reason, very little focus is usually given to events
outside the club, such as youth development or charitable work. On this
front, however, the Charleston, South Carolina-based U.S. Tigers are a
different breed of cat.
Founded by Sunju and Anil Patel, the
Tigers seek to be a club with a truly national- and even global -
vision.Â This focus is evident upon visiting the club's website
(http://www.ustigers.org), where "Community Relations and Outreach"
occupies a prominent place among the menu tabs. On this page, the Tigers
lay out their plans to make America, and the world, a better place. In
February, the Tigers organized the 'Cricket for a Cause' tournament, which raised money for Haitian relief efforts, and a
partnership to promote the conservation of Bengal tigers is on the
horizon. The Tigers are also open to public suggestions when it comes to
their charitable work.
USYCA President Jamie Harrison and US Tigers Captain Sunju Patel
Another area where the Tigers are equally active is with youth
cricket development. Partnering with the World Cricket Academy
(http://www.worldcricketacademy.com), the Tigers plan to offer children
the opportunity to receive first-class cricket coaching, regardless of
their age or level of experience. They also seek to work with USACA,
local academies and clinics to spread the joy of cricket across America.
For the U.S. Tigers, being goodwill ambassadors for the game just comes
with the territory.
Sunju Patel said, "Our mission is to venture cricket deeper into the
fabric of American communities and make it sustainable. USACA
stewardship is going to play a very critical role in guiding
organizations like ours."
An important part of this mission is, of course, playing cricket. The
Tigers recently placed second in the DC T20, where they narrowly lost
in the Final to a team that featured former West Indian fast bowler Adam
Sanford. Before the match, USYCA President Jamie Harrison spoke to the
Tigers about the important role they have to play in promoting and
developing youth cricket in America. The team now looks forward to the
U.S. Cricket Open to be played December 3-5, 2010 at the Central
Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida.
Professionalism is a key aspect of the Tigers' game plan, too. Their
Board of Directors is a wonderful mix of young "go-getters" and
"old-hands," designed to bring multiple viewpoints to the club's
management. One of the club's coaching advisors is Monty Desai, an
assistant coach with the Rajasthan Royals of the Indian Premier League
(IPL). The club also retains a medical professional, Bhavin Patel, as
team physiotherapist. For the U.S. Tigers, everything is top quality.
Roster: Sunju Patel (Captain), Niraj Shah (V. Captain), Amit Sood,
Japen Patel, Devin Hariiccha, Keyur Patel, Ricky Nayar, Sai Ramesh, Zain
Sayyed, Ankit Mehta, Umesh Patel, Charan Gowda, Jibran Gul, Sunny
Desai, Montu Patel, Alay Patel and Pramod Poojary.
For more information about the Tigers, or to schedule a match, contact Sunju Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org.