Darpan Patel of Atlanta Param Veers was the second-highest run-getter in the recently held Minor League Cricket (MiLC) exhibition matches organized by USA Cricket. He had a tally of 347 runs from six innings with two centuries and an average of 57.83.
USAcricketers.com asked him a few questions regarding MiLC and below are his responses.
What was your most memorable moment during the recent Minor League Cricket exhibition matches?
Being part of a professional league is a big thing. And being the first person to hit a century in Minor League Cricket is one of my most memorable achievements.
How was your overall performance in the matches? Would you do anything differently if given a chance to replay any one of the 2020 exhibition matches?
I am happy with my tournament performance, having scored two centuries and two fifties in the first four games. I definitely would like to have a turf wicket in Atlanta. We need more practice on turf wickets to perform better on such wickets, which was not the case in the last two games.
How different was the experience playing for a franchise team from your usual club or team?
As I said, it was a great experience to be a part of a professional team, and I am looking forward to playing with my team for a long time.
How did you prepare for the matches during the current COVID-19 pandemic?
As all of us are in the middle of a pandemic, and we played less cricket during the season. We had some practice sessions with the team while maintaining social distancing as much as we could. But overall, it’s a challenging year for cricket. Hopefully, we will overcome it very soon.
What improvements, if any, would you like to see implemented during the upcoming 2021 Minor League Cricket season?
Making stricter rules for the teams who drop out from playing the games and having clear and more robust rules in the team selection process will help.
Is there any particular area that team owners of Minor League Cricket need to improve that would benefit the league?
Maybe giving some more money to the players will help.
Should more under-21 players be added to the roster of each franchise?
I don’t think so, just having a mandatory number of under-21 players will make some teams weaker. In some parts of the country, there are excellent under-21 players, and in other parts, they are not. If you make it mandatory that teams play under-21 players, then the teams without good under-21 players will be weaker. If an under-21 player is good, he will play on the team anyway, but making it mandatory won’t help. Forcing someone who is not good enough to play doesn’t make any sense.
What would attract more fans to any matches of the franchise to which you belong?
Making the games available on TV will help, and more advertising in the local communities also will help.
What is one positive non-cricket experience you took away from your participation in the exhibition matches?
Being involved in a professional team. Being disciplined and understanding how it works will help a lot in my daily life.