The batting cages in the Idlewild Cricket Complex in New York. Photo by Hugh Pitter

The batting cages in the Idlewild Cricket Complex in New York. Photo by Hugh Pitter

By Sam Sooppersaud
In order for mainstream America to adopt another summer pastime (cricket), the cricket fraternity must concentrate its efforts on harnessing the interest of the youngsters. The New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is currently doing a great job at this, and it is hoped that other organizations will join the bandwagon.

In an effort to create an interest in cricket amongst youngsters, and at the same time teach them the techniques of the game, the Queens United Cricket Academy (QUCA) of the Queens United Cricket Club, in May of this year started coaching kids between the ages of 5 and 15 years, at the Idlewild Cricket Complex facility at 147th Avenue and 223rd Street in Rosedale, NY.  The academy’s motto is aptly, “Inspiring Tomorrow’s Cricketers Today.”

Over the past few months QUCA has been working hard at constructing two batting cages at the complex. The project is now completed and was recently declared officially open by some visiting West Indies cricket legends who also conducted coaching sessions for youths at the picturesque Idlewild cricket facility. West Indies cricket legends participating in the coaching sessions included Gus Logie, Pedro Collins, Carlisle Best, Mervyn Dillion, Larry Gomes and Adam Sandford, among others.

The two batting cages, one with a concrete pitch and the other with a matting pitch, complete with safety nets, are located in the northwestern corner of the park and to the immediate right upon entering the facility.

The academy has enlisted the assistance of some of the most experienced cricketers and former cricketers in the area, and the response from the youngsters and their parents has been very encouraging.

The coaching program is ongoing every Saturday between 9:00-11:30am and Mondays and Fridays from 4:00-6:00pm. There is a nominal registration fee of $75 per child, and the registration fee includes a uniformed shirt for each child and clinics by certified coaches. The sessions will last until the end of the summer.

To register your child(ren) or to obtain more information contact Director/Coach George Samuel at (917) 805-5290 or via e-mail at [email protected]