By Kerk Higgins
The California Cricket Academy (CCA) successfully hosted their first National Cricket Festival, featuring sixteen teams from around the country, eight teams (CAUSA Atlanta; CCA Sharks; TCA Dallas; Cricmax NJ, Tigers; ACA St. Louis; Orange County, SCYCA; EYCA; CCA, Centurions) competed for the U12 crown, while the other eight teams (BPL Chicago; TCA Dallas; Seattle, NextGen; CAUSA Atlanta; CCA, Falcons; Orange County; SCCA, S. Cali; Cricmax, NJ, Warriors) battled it out at the U15 level. All the games were well attended by parents of the players and cricket lovers in the Bay Area.
All the kids, their parents, and the spectators had nothing but great things to say about the quality of cricket that was played among the young cricketers. Each and every venue you visited, you heard nothing but praise for the academy, and about the great job they have done and is currently doing to make such events possible. Every ground was well-prepared and ready at game time. The umpiring was professional, and the scorers were on point with every detail; the games were also scored live on CricHQ.
At the conclusion of the tournament, I had a chance to chat with some of the coaches and managers, and here are some of what they had to say.
Dr. Pore from Atlanta said, “I want to thank the entire team for the wonderful job they did of hosting the CCA festival. Thank you for taking care of the players, the parents, the grounds, the scoring, and all the other requests, with a smile. It was a very well-planned and executed event. You have set a very high bar of excellence for the game of cricket.”
Rajesh from Dallas remarked, “The CCA team of volunteers did a great job. You guys put in countless hours to help make this event possible. Hats off to each and every member who used their personal time to promote youth cricket. You have raised the bar so high that it will be difficult to emulate. Looking forward to next year.”
Murali from Atlanta commented, “Simply put, this is an awesome event. Very well organized, quality umpiring, I can’t ask for a better tournament for the youths than this. The kids are not too enthusiastic about playing T20 anymore after tasting what it’s like to play 30 and 40 over games. Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you, to each and every one who made this event possible. We eagerly await next year’s festival.”
Tariq Khan from South Cali said, “Thank you all, for your hospitality. South Cali had a great time.”
Shrey Patel added, “Thanks CCA for a very well-organized and wonderful tournament, the kids enjoyed it and learned a lot.”
Ajay from South Cali – “South Cali really enjoyed the hospitality and the experience for these young lads. We met up with some old friends and made some new ones. Very well-organized Hemant, Biju, and many others.”
Jignesh T., said, “Thank you CCA for hosting a wonderful tournament.”
With such wonderful compliments, Hemant and Kinjal Buch (CCA founders) assured me that they have already started planning next year’s festival. They also promised me that 2017 will be bigger and better than 2016. The founders would like to use this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the parents and non-parents that took time out of their busy schedules to volunteer throughout the event. They would also like to say thanks to the community the tournament sponsors. They also wish to give a big shout-out to those teams that made it to this year’s festival. It was great to see how hungry the kids were to get a chance to play organized cricket among their peers. Thanks must also go out to the team sponsors that made it possible for the individual teams to travel from their respective States. Without the help of all those individuals, the last four days would not have been possible.
When asked how he felt now that the festival was over, Hemant Buch said, “Our mission is to introduce cricket at the grassroots level in the USA, and to prepare competitive cricketers by offering world class coaching delivered by reputable coaches, while instilling the values of discipline and sportsmanship.” Well I must say that the academy is definitely headed in the right direction.
Finally, I must congratulate the two champions of the festival, CCA Falcons (U15) and Cricmax NJ (U12). Thanks must also go out to all the coaches from the different teams, for taking the time to work with the future of US cricket.
See you all again, next year.