By Balbir Singh
Indianapolis, IN: As many as twelve Physical Education undergraduate students at the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) recently attended a USA Center for Excellence in Cricket education program at IUPUI, with all participants in the practical field sessions qualifying and being awarded the American Cricket Federation (ACF) Level 1 Cricket Coaching certification.
Indianapolis based Jatin Patel; founder of the USA Center for Excellence in Cricket and a pioneer in cricket coaching education conducted the clinics this year during two sessions on different days. Coach Patel, who hails from Gujarat, India, is a certified international cricket coach, and many other coaching credentials in the USA.
IUPUI is the only college with a cricket education program in the USA. It’s primary goal is to train undergraduate students, that in turn help future Physical Education teachers, sports management or tourism professionals in the latest approaches to cricket education programs at the IUPUI, other undergraduate female students were also trained as part of the series of six batches of certified cricket coaches. Jatin Patel said, “These are our future Physical Education teachers and our goal is to give them the knowledge needed to carry with them for the rest of their teaching careers, and to make them capable of training many future scholars and youths in the years to come. It’s all about passing the game knowledge needed to help them learn the game as well as get ready to deliver game knowledge to others in the future through coaching.”
The first session started with the basics of physical fitness and an introduction to the game of cricket with its worldwide following. As it was an indoor session, tennis balls and blue training balls were used for teaching the correct throwing techniques and bowling actions. Some students already had softball and baseball backgrounds, and easily adjusted to the basic cricket skills and terminology.
The students were thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed the session. Active students asked a number of questions, as it was a new sport for them. Jatin explained each question in detail and to the satisfaction of students who attended the camps.
In the second session after a day off, the physical education students were introduced to an advanced training session. Jatin explained the importance of running between the wickets (22-yard strip), how many ways a batsman can get out, including hit-wicket, leg before wicket, catch, run outs, bowled etc., with reference to a batsman being allowed to hit the ball to any part of the field without any restriction.
While running between the wickets, Jatin cautioned that a batsman must reach the batting crease or touch the line with his bat or body. In the case where a batsman does not meet this requirement, the run in not counted. In the case of a no ball, the bowler is penalized and a run is awarded to the batting team. Jatin Patel demonstrated the correct bowling action and distinction between the proper bowling and throwing.
After the bowling and batting practice with the training balls and wickets session, the students had the feel of the actual batting equipment, and were shown the wooden bats, leather balls, safety equipment, including wicket keeping gloves, pads, and helmet, etc.
Some of the students had the firsthand experience of wearing the full kit and holding the actual bat (which most found heavy). They also tossed the leather ball to their colleagues to see and feel the weight of the ball.
Jatin Patel also distributed CDs with cricket education material to the physical education students. “If any student wants to enhance his or her cricket knowledge various websites are available and willing students can also attend various level of cricket coaching clinics,” said Jatin Patel, adding, “I am available to help and assist any student who wants to adopt cricket coaching as his or her career.”
Christopher Ray Rash, faculty instructor for physical education in the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University Physical Education & Tourism Management, was the instructor. He took over from Sandra Barnett who retired after completing the first five batches of training in the last six years.
Those who attended the year’s cricket coaching program for educators were: Tori Ball, Lucy Becker, Bryce Bennington, Zackary Harlan, Erica Hurt, Dymond Johnston, Katherine Lyons, Ethan Ogle, Emily Sauer, Rachel Saylor, Harley Sinders and Mat Wolfe.