By Waleed Nayab Siddiqui
Cricket is a sport millions of people around the world play every single day, and several individuals and organizations have shaped cricket to bring it to where it is today. Such organizations not only improve the cricketing conditions for current players, but they also play a paramount role in inspiring the youth and taking them step-by-step to thrive in the sport and perhaps be the next Virat Kohli or Babar Azam. The California Cricket Academy (CCA) located in the San Franciso Bay Area has emerged as one such organization that fulfills the dreams of young cricketers. CCA is a non-profit organization located in the San Francisco Bay area. It is also the first cricket academy and youth league for children 6 to 17 years of age in the United States.
CCA recently developed the first turf cricket field in the Bay area. It is a huge milestone not only for CCA but also for cricket in America. The cricketing youth in America will now have a world-class facility to play the sport they love. The academy raised $200,000 to build the new facility. Sam Plummer, a renowned Florida cricket pitch curator, oversaw the project.
As Leslie Mains of the Cupertino school district put it, “This is a sport that is loved by many members of our community and such facilities allow youths and others an opportunity to learn the game while being coached on fields designated for such a purpose. It is a value-added resource to the growing number of players in our community.”
Every CCA player is over the moon and optimistic about playing on the newly developed cricket pitch. Aarav Bhat, a right-handed fast bowler, and right-handed batsman said, “This new field is the road to accomplish my dreams.” It shows how CCA’s efforts have paid off and increased the passion and confidence of the players.
The new facility is also a delight for the many coaches who worked very hard in helping the youth improve their skills and teaching them the fundamentals of the sport. Coach Tushar of CCA proclaimed, “Our turf pitch has come up very good, never expected this sort of bounce on the pitch, if you ask me from the point of view of a cricketer, it’s a true pitch, which means it’s good for batting and bowling.
Nosheen Taskeen, a parent, had this to say, “This pitch will carve the way for first-class cricketers in the future.” It shows how dramatic an effect this pitch will have on the bright future ahead for these players.
One specific person who has worked extremely hard for the production of the new cricket field is Kinjal Buch, President of CCA. She said, “We are extremely excited as we now have a proper cricket facility to host international youth teams from all over the world. We have always had world-class coaches, and now this facility fills the quality infrastructure gap.”
The cricket pitch located at the site of the former Luther Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA, is indicative of the strength of the growth of cricket in the United States and will motivate other cities to spread the positivity that is present in this beautiful game.
Waleed Nayab Siddiqui is a CCA Player, and Lynbrook High School student.