October 7, 2015
Founded in mid 2015, CKR (California Knight Riders) is the youngest youth cricket startup, an academy catered to the development of cricket at the grassroots level, focussed on children 6-13 years of age. A cricket academy has been a distant dream of founder and president AC (Anshuman Chowdhury), an extremely passionate, active cricket league player. The catalyst to the quick launch of this youth academy howeve, was a few parents who requested for him to coach their children, after seeing him practice and also coach his son. He was moved and humbled by these fervent requests from the local community, with some of the parents looking for him week after week, saying his way of teaching was very different and effective, that the children enjoyed the sessions immensely and wanted to come back. He soon realized there is significant interest (and need) amongst local kids to learn the game. There is also a need to provide proper opportunities to small children, to take this sport to the proper level in USA, and only the next generation of youth can make that dream possible for the nation. There are pain points in US cricket at the moment, but there is huge potential and a lot of wasted talent. Investments in grassroots cricket, a proper vision, roadmap and honest efforts can only help the fortunes of the game in this part of the world. These thoughts prompted the formation of California Knight Riders Youth Cricket Academy (CKRYCA).
The family, having three small school aged children, understands the needs of the local community very well. The training sessions are customized to suit local development and needs. AC had previously launched two sports clubs, and the primary focus has always been on developing youth. By profession, AC is a Director of Product Management and is a huge proponent of innovation and believes in driving growth with local development. There is big focus on all round personality development, discipline, and respect with a constant focus on getting the basics right, apart from fun activities like crocodile games, a trademark innovative game that the CKR kids enjoy. CKR has a unique value proposition with technology-enabled training for the players which is the first of its kind at an academy level in the USA. There are American children who gave up baseball to continue in season two with CKR this fall, which was not only surprising, but extremely motivating and encouraging for the team, and definitely augurs well for the future of cricket in USA.
CKR has made some giant progress in a record time of three months, starting from absolutely zero. Led by a visionary leader and coach, CKR has already expanded the program to local schools, the district and runs a full fledged camp with a bunch of talented children who are driving the leather with confidence and are looking good to participate in age group games. CKR has the support and guidance of renowned international players and experienced coaches apart from current grade players who will be the backbone of the coaching/mentoring staff. The CKR children had sessions with living legends Sir Abid Ali and Sir Alvin Kalicharan recently, which has been an amazing experience for the little stars.
AC thanks his wife Pallabi, his three cute children, the CKR parent community and few good friends and well wishers who supported and stood by through tough times to make the journey possible so far. It hasn't been easy, CKR has faced many obstacles, but has overcome them in quick time, fingers crossed. Lots of hard work and sacrifices in the background happened to make this possible.
CKRYCA is on a growth mode, and has been ecstatic to find an able partner in USYCA which shares a similar vision and is well equipped to guide them to take further strides with their nationwide experience. The words of encouragement from USYCA President Jamie Harrison means a lot to the CKR team. Together with USYCA, CKRYCA now plans to take the local community far and wide to national and international levels in future.