Today is a landmark day for cricket in the United States with the launch of the Rookie League National Entry Level Program which aims to get more cricket bats and balls in the hands of more young Americans.
ICC Americas’ USA Project Manager Eric Parthen said the Rookie League will strengthen the cricket pathway and attract more players and fans to our great sport. “We see this as a huge part of our strategy to grow cricket in the United States at the grassroots level,” said Parthen. “The Rookie League is the culmination of 18 months of work creating the uniquely American content and we hope this will pique the interest of sports fans and generate more awareness and further cricket engagement.”
The Rookie League resources and activities were created in conjunction with Cricket Australia with support by the Participation Advisory Group and based off the many years of research, both in cricket and the U.S. sports landscape. “As a friend of cricket in the USA, and a partner in the development of the Rookie League initiative, Cricket Australia would like to congratulate USA Cricket on the development of a world class program for coaches and teachers to deliver a fantastic cricket experience for young Americans. This is a significant milestone for the future of Cricket in the USA and across the globe” said Matthew Betsey, Head of Coaching – Cricket Australia.
The program features 36 branded activities across the disciplines of batting, bowling, fielding, warm up and modified games with the underlying principle to have fun. The vision is that leagues, clubs, academies and schools can use these resources to start or improve entry level cricket programs with consistent drills and strategies that makes cricket fun for kids while also teaching basic skills to create a solid cricket foundation.
Jamie Lloyd, a member of the Participation Advisory Group who were instrumental in the creation of the Rookie League, said: “This is significant step in exposing cricket to the mainstream which is unprecedented in cricket in the United States. I am proud to be involved with this project and cultivate the next generation of American cricketers.”
More information on the Rookie League program can be found by visiting the USA Cricket website here: https://www.usacricket.org/rookie-league/.