November 27, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, NOV 26 - In a historic moment for North American cricket, Indiana University today earned the distinction of becoming the first university to introduce a "Basics of Cricket" course for the undergraduate students who are Physical Education majors, designed to prepare them to become future cricket coaches. It includes 10 weeks of home/online study, followed by two 90-minutes coaching and basic skill acquisition sessions.
The first batch of Certified Cricket Coaches from the newly minted program are Mason Hazelwood, Spencer Heron, Matt Higdon, Alyssa Holder, Dawn Iannarelli, Cameron Johnson, Tanna Jones, Erin Rowland, Nathan Schrock, Kylie Someson, Alex Taylor and Rodney Weather.
The IU Department of Kinesiology's Sandra Barnett and Dr. Brian Culp attended the entire coaching clinic. At the end of the session, they were also certified for the Basics of Cricket and will become 'Super Trainers' for future student coaches.
United States Youth Cricket Association 2nd Vice-President Jatin Patel (USA Center for Excellence in Cricket Founder & a member of the USYCA & ACF Joint Committee for Youth Cricket Development) explained the basic techniques of cricket to the coaches. After the initial cricket introduction, Patel explained how to properly stand at the crease, grip the bat, bowling action, catching, throwing, removing bails if the batsman is out of crease, running between the wickets etc.
These basics were later translated into action by playing the game. Initially the players were seen getting hit wickets. Patel, an ICC Certified and Cricket Australia Accredited coach, explained the reasons and suggested corrective measures. As the session progressed, the coaches started understanding the concept of the game and were enjoying batting, bowling and fielding, as the game itself teaches them from the errors they make, and in doing so, they learn important rules of the game at the right time.
Jatin Patel, a pioneer in introducing cricket training and a 'Cricket Study Guide for Physical Education Teachers' in Indiana, displayed the wooden bats, leather balls, a helmet and other cricket equipment used in international games. The coaches had a chance to feel of the bats, leather balls, pads, helmet etc. where they could sense the real game challenges ahead.
Patel noted that cricket has been played in America since 1709, and that the first international match was played in the USA during 1844, combating the notion that cricket is not an American sport.
"That's going to change soon in Indiana, as coaches, players and teachers are modifying this game to fit with many other North American sports environments. After we played historic T10 scrimmage game on May 16 here in Indianapolis, we continue to break historical records to lead USA cricket history," Patel said.
Explaining the importance of training to the physical education coaches, Patel said "My view is that trained lecturers and professors at the University will teach cricket to many undergraduate students with the PE major for many years to come. In the future, those PE teachers may be working at one or more schools, but cricket will go with them and this is expected to help to grow the sport. In simple terms, as we are establishing the most productive scheme with which to explore cricket, with the concept of lecturers and instructors training PE teachers, and then they will train many students every year for many years at one or more schools during their working life span.
"That's the simplest, fastest and best way to educate more people in a short time for cricket in North America. This is just one more step ahead for our education process as we started teacher's education two years back and now are training them in advance, before they even start their careers as a PE teachers," said Patel.
Impressed with learning the basics of cricket, Dr. Culp said, "Cricket is wonderful. I have seen it few times on TV. Today was a good opportunity for students to see how to learn skills. It was a pretty good job."
Regarding the future of this game, he said, "A lot of international people come to the United States and it will be a big success one day."