Katy Youth Cricket
It all started with coaching of the basics of cricket with four kids in November 2013, and less than a year later Katy Youth Cricket (KYC) – a non-profit 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization has grown to more than 50 kids, who are actively learning cricket through various coaching programs as well as playing competitive tournament cricket.
KYC’s strong foundation was laid by Dhaval Mehta and Sudheer Kannantha, who both had a dream to provide a platform for children to continue the legacy of the gentleman’s game.
Triggers Colts Cricket League (TCCL), the only youth league in the greater Houston area is amazed by the progress and the impact on the community, by the Katy organization. TCCL Director Surya Saladi said “KYC is a very well-organized and well managed youth cricket club in the greater Houston area, and sets an example for any youth sports organization.”
In 2014, KYC’s team “KYC Super Kings” proved their metal by winning the first ever Youth Tournament held in Houston. KYC youngsters won the runners-up trophy in the Smart Choice Cricket Cup Tournament, held along with Houston Cricket League (HCL) final last August.
The KYC Eagles (U-12) and KYC Falcons (U-10) teams secured berths in the finals of the 2014 TCCL Winter League, and won the runner-up trophies in their respective age groups. Apart from the successful tournaments, KYC also organized various coaching camps that included well known international cricketers like former Indian Women’s Cricket player Rajeshwari Antani, and former West Indies all-rounder Ricardo Powell.
Speaking about its future plans, KYC’s President Sudheer Kannantha said “We are focused on creating unique learning programs, a sound value system, and an environment for participants to develop into compassionate cricketers of tomorrow, and who are proud of the game, its heritage, culture, history, and are ready to play in the big leagues…”
KYC aims at building a strong foundation through various coaching programs and preparing the kids for the next level of challenge at US Central West Region and US National cricket championships. KYC has launched three different programs to encourage youth cricket and cater to its member skill set, through Leather Ball, Taped Ball, and Rookie programs. The goal of these coaching programs is for children to learn basic cricket skills in a structured but fun and enjoyable atmosphere.
The Leather Ball program is headed by Sushil Nadkarni, former USA national cricket team captain. Nadkarni is an Indian born American cricketer and a left-handed opening batsman and off-spin bowler. He has played for the United States national cricket team from 2006 until 2015. He retired from cricket in February this year, and now spends his time coaching cricket to Katy youth.
When asked about the secret behind its success, KYC’s Vice President Dhaval Mehta was quick to say, “All these things could not have been achieved and sustained without the support of our parent volunteers, TCCL, HCL, and our community partners Neoage Services, Subhlaxmi Grocers, and Kurry Walah restaurant, their contributions and embracing of the KYC philosophy.”