By Kerk Higgins
California Cricket Academy (CCA) will be hosting its National Cricket Festival from June 26 to 29, 2016 in the Bay Area of California. The festival is being played in two age groups – Under-12 and Under-15. CCA is one of the few cricket academies around the US that is working tirelessly to introduce the sport at the grassroots level, to our future USA cricket stars. CCA is always trying to give their young cricketers the best chance to advance their skills by offering world class coaching programs. And most importantly, CCA works very hard to instill discipline and sportsmanship in the kids.
CCA was founded by Hemant and Kinjal Buch, who have been living in the California area for almost 30 years, and when having a conversation with the couple it is very evident how passionate they are about grassroots cricket in the USA. The Buch’s promise that the four-day event will be of a high quality and fun-filled for the kids.
In an invited comment, this what they said about the academy, “California Cricket Academy is a journey started in 2003 to promote the sport locally, over the years it has grown into a large platform enabling kids of various age groups to adapt and mature as individuals and players. None of this would have happened without the support, guidance, and participation of several corporations, Government agencies, school districts, and many other community organizations.
All of the efforts and support over the last 13 years have translated into a mega event and on a grand scale, where 16 teams assemble in the western part of US for four days of very competitive cricket, for both U-12 and U-15 age groups. This event is the single largest cricketing event for youth in the USA, and features a longer version of the sport. We feel humbled with the support we have received and we will strive to make this event a success this year, and beyond.”
As the founders said in their comment, this festival would not be possible without the support of the community and sponsors. The four-day festival will be blessed with two Platinum sponsors, Tech Mahindra, ThinkPalm Technologies, and two individual sponsors in John Thickett and Ashlesh Shah of VisitorsCoverage Inc.
Tech Mahindra is a technology company that represents the connected world, offering innovative and customer centric information technology services and solutions, enabling enterprises, associates and the society to rise. I had a chat with Anupam Bhatnagar, the Vice President of Tech Mahindra Americas, Inc. and when asked why he chose to sponsor this cricket festival, said, “Tech Mahindra is privileged to be the Platinum sponsor for the National Cricket Festival 2016 for U-12 and U-15 youths, and hosted by CCA to encourage youth cricket at the grassroots level. We are happy to facilitate competitive cricket in the USA among youngsters, especially with the exposure they will receive across the nation through the tournament. Such opportunities will help enable more players to build the competitive cricket talent needed in the USA. Tech Mahindra is very happy to continue its support for such efforts towards building cricket talent in the USA.”
The second Platinum sponsor, ThinkPalm Technologies is a new-age product engineering and enterprise IT services company that focuses on communications, enterprise and mobility technologies through a combination of in-house products, solutions and third-party services for its customers. Biju Nair, the Chairman of the Board of Directors spoke about his involvement in the CCA grassroots effort, stating, “I have a soft spot in my heart for grassroots cricket, not only because I have been playing in the League here for the past 10 plus years, but also because my son is a lover of the sport and I love what CCA is doing to bring the sport we love to mainstream America. It would not have felt right if I didn’t take this opportunity to give back to the sport that we all love.”
John Thickett, a former executive member of USACA also threw his support behind the CCA by being an individual sponsor, and here is what he had to say about sponsoring the event. “It is always a great privilege each year for my wife and me to support the annual youth cricket festival in California. As long-term supporters of this and other youth events, we do it because we are concerned that cricket may face extinction in the US, unless it is quickly transformed into a sport for all Americans – not just adult immigrants from cricket-playing countries. All of us who appreciate and value the game must do all we can to provide fun, learning and playing opportunities to the USA senior players of tomorrow.”
VisitorsCoverage Inc, an insurance company also stepped up to lend their support to CCA, the CEO and President, Rajeev Shrivastava had this to say about CCA, “VisitorsCoverage Inc., believes that engaging in sports plays a significant role in promoting health and wellness among children and adolescents. Its indeed gives us pleasure to be a part of National Cricket Festival 2016 hosted by California Cricket Association to encourage the youth of America to participate in a sport like cricket. The academy provides the framework and platform for cricket to be played in the Bay area by organizing games and activities not only for its members but also hosts a variety of visiting teams, con-stantly striving to promote the game. VisitorsCoverage is happy to extend its support to the academy that cultivates young cricketers in the USA. Wishing all the team, a very good luck for the upcoming matches and safe trip for the teams who are traveling.” You can get more information about VisitorsCoverage from their website; http://www.VisitorsCoverage.com.
In addition to the three previously mentioned sponsors, the tournament has a few more sponsors – the Premium Level sponsors are The Hills at Valco; The Main Street, Cupertino; Anandi and Dhiren Unadkat; Tusker Group and DNA; Kaiser Permanente; and Arkrit IT Services and Solutions. And the Plus Level sponsors are: Techvulcan Design Solutions and Services; New Inning Foundation; Rotary of Cupertino; Low Fare Travels; Chaat Bhavan; and Fusion Schools.
If you are in the Bay Area of California during this cricket festival, please come out and support our future cricketers. It will be four action-packed days of cricket with over 170 youngsters showcasing their skills on the cricket field. We are expecting 16 teams to play 32 games in the two age categories, with the U-12s competing in 25-over games and the older group playing 30 overs.
See you all on Sunday, June 26 for the opening set of matches. The matches will be played at four venues. The U-12s will play at Dilworth and Cupertino Library, while the U15s will be at Joseph George, Wilson, Fischer and Caroline Davis grounds. You can also follow all the action on the tournament’s website; http://www.calcricket.org/cricketfestival, also on twitter @#ccacricfest and @cca_calcricket.