It was a sunny day with blue skies and puffy white clouds clear in the sky, the taste of hot samosas and chai , and the sound of a crisp wooden bat hitting a white taped tennis cricket ball! Even though cricket was introduced to North America when the English colonies were established in the 17th century. and only made its way to the West Indies and India in the 18th century, today In the 21st century, India’s favorite sport is making a come back to Philadelphia, the original home of cricket in the U.S. Each year many small cricket leagues come together to play a tournament. This tradition continues to grow and attract people from many backgrounds. It is very enjoyable for those involved, many who have played cricket in their youth.
On September 17th, 2022 the annual TCSL One Day Taped Tennis Ball Cricket Tournament took place in Lukens Park. The event was a great success as always with a day of food, family, friends, and of course, cricket. Although this year not only was there great matches to watch, but there was also a clinic for young people who wanted to learn and play the game themselves. This clinic was hosted by the Major League Cricket Academy, and about 25 youth ranging in ages from 6-20, participated. First they warmed up, then they practiced batting, then bowling, then they played in small groups, and finally did a full group game which everyone enjoyed. The clinic players even got a ball signed by Mario, one of the coaches and a past player for the big leagues, and from the world famous Liam Plunkett.
Cricket is a sport that should be recognized for its unique nature and incredible players all across the globe. It requires both individual skill and nerve, as well as selfless teamwork, good cricket has a combination of courage, patience, aggression, flair, imagination, expertise, and fierce defiance that is unrivaled in other sports. In this sport it is not only about fitness and strength, but also delicacy of touch, superb reflexes, and close attention to detail and footwork. Although it can seem intimidating it is a beautiful sport that anybody can learn and enjoy, despite age or gender.
I cannot wait to see cricket attain the same levels of attention that other sports in the US have attained. We can see a path to a career in cricket in the U.S. and it is exciting that the World Cup of Cricket will be co-hosted by the United States in 2024. What is even more exciting is that in my own neck of the woods, at Horsham, PA, it will soon be possible to continue to play recreational cricket throughout the year and gain professional coaching from the Major League Cricket Academy!