Abhijit Joshi batting against Cayman Island in the ICC Under-19 Americas Cup, Canada last year. (Photo by Shiek Mohamed)

By John L. Aaron
USA Cricket’s Under-19 player Abhijit Chidambar Joshi, recently signed with the United Kingdom’s Painswick Cricket Club in the Gloucestershire Division, and has already established himself as the club’s top scorer. Joshi, who will turn 18 this October, is a right-handed batsman and right-arm off-break bowler. He scored a massive 147 runs (18x4s, 7x6s) against Gloucester Harlequins last Wednesday, June 16. Painswick went on to win the match by 77 runs.

The Bangalore, India-born USA batsman is the son of Chidambar Joshi, Youth Cricket Coordinator of the Central East region of USA Cricket.

An All-America cricketer, Joshi has represented the USA at the Under-15 and Under-19 levels. Earlier this year he was part of the USA’s Under-19 World Cup squad in New Zealand. According to Painswick’s skipper Wayne Neville, commenting soon after Joshi signed with the club, “I read about him on a website where he said he was keen to play as much cricket as possible, so we contributed to his air fare to bring him over. He’s certainly got pedigree, having played for the USA in the Under-19 World Cup, so it will be interesting to see how he goes. Apparently he’s a useful spin bowler as well as an opening batsman. It could be an exciting signing.”

And exciting it has been. In nine innings so for Painswick, Abhijit Joshi has scored 440 runs at an average of 48.89, recording 24.93% of his teams total run tally, an excellent contribution indeed. The youngster has two half-centuries and a couple of innings where he fell just shy of a 50 or another century.

In Joshi’s top five innings for Painswick Cricket Club, he has recorded scores of 147 (18x4s, 7x6s) vs. Gloucester Harlequins CC Midweek XI, 85 (6x4s, 1×6) vs. Frocester – Friendly XI, 55 vs. Old Down CC’s Under-17, 49 (7x4s) vs. Walls Crescent CC Midweek XI, and 48 vs. Redmarley CC – 1st XI. With a batting strike rate of over 200% Joshi also ranks in Painswick’s bowling line-up at number eight, with figures of 26.1-2-131-9 at an average of 14.56 per and best bowling figures of 3 for 9.

No stranger to big innings, Joshi struck 122 in an inning last July against Naper United in the Central East Region of USA Cricket, and has match figures of 5 for 7 at the Under-15 level bowling for the Central East Region vs. New York Region in a USA Cricket inter-regional national tournament.

The aspiring business engineering student and cricketer has been accepted at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom; however, a decision has not yet been made regarding whether he will attend college in the USA or the UK.

The Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, IL graduate admires Test cricket star Rahul Dravid, and states, “Family is very important to me. They are the ones that will be with me for the rest of my life. I can do anything for them.”

The senior Joshi, said his son was enjoying cricket in a caring and nurturing environment in the UK, adding “There is a lot of competition there (UK) too, but a very healthy one. Abhijit says he is learning a lot from all of his teammates, coach and hosts both about the culture, people, pitches and the game.”

The experience being gained in the UK by the young cricketer should prove invaluable because he has been playing on all-turf wickets, many of them first-class pitches. Abhijit’s dad said “Now that he has played on turf wickets in the UK, West Indies, Bermuda, India, New Zealand, and Canada, as well as turf, Astroturf and matting in the USA, I am sure it is enriching his experience as a cricketer and a human being. I hope that he gets his due chance to serve US cricket under a similar nurturing and caring atmosphere.”