September 21, 2011
Danbury Cricket Club was founded in 2001 with a vision not only to play cricket, but also to promote the game in the Danbury area. Many members had played only informal versions of cricket, such as tapeball, but had never played the more structured game of their heroes from Pakistan, India, England, Australia and other cricketing nations.
Starting with a small group of friends, brothers, uncles, and younger brothers, gradually the club grew until there were two full squads, of which the Senior club won the 2005 Championship. Throughout DCC's history, the club has had a handful of players from high school, and even a few from middle school, not to mention the many children playing on the sidelines, sons and daughters and family alike.
From the beginning, youngsters got involved with duties such as 12th man, scoring, ball boys, and simply helping in practice, and as they did, they were learning the sport. Many times DCC fielded 11 players of which more than half were under 21.
Danbury CC is committed to providing these opportunities for youth, which is what led them to join USYCA.
"For cricket to flourish in the US, we need youngsters that are homegrown to better their skills, and outperform their uncles, older brothers, and friends," said DCC President Adeel Syed. "The kids need to taste the thrill of victory when winning a hard fought cricket match, and also the agony of defeat when losing in the last over after a long day's play. They simply need the opportunity to experience this.
"Youth Cricket needs support from all the clubs in the US because without emotional, physical and most importantly financial support, youth cricket will only remain a pastime, as opposed to being in the spotlight," Syed said. "Matches need to be scheduled so that youth teams are traveling to other cities and regions to play each other, just as school sports teams travel around for major sporting events. Kids need to feel their sport of cricket is just as advanced and popular and has the same facilities as other sports do, such as travelling on a team bus and enjoying the company of teammates.
Syed said, "Having fundraisers, charity games, and exhibitions where professionals can teach and train the kids - these are all aspects that require coordination, financial resources, and time given by the current cricketers today. We need to support these functions otherwise we will become old and gray and watch our kids continue to play the more common US sports, and the sport of cricket will wither away."
"USYCA is really excited to have Danbury Cricket Club become a member of our organization," President Jamie Harrison said. "Adeel's team has a great vision for the future of cricket development, and we're committed to helping them fulfill that vision."