June 21, 2012
From the Massachusetts Youth Cricket Association:
It was a dream years in the making, as two Shrewsbury residents, Saqib Syed and Fazal Alam, built Shrewsbury's first cricket pitch at Municipal Field last September. With it's huge population of cricket fans, the idea of building an actual cricket pitch here in Shrewsbury seemed like a natural winner for everyone. For Saqib and Fazal, it was just the beginning.
The ultimate goal was to attract the youth to the world's second most popular sport and make the sport popular amongst the local schools. How would the local kids pick up the sport without actually watching it and experiencing it? That was one of the reasons that Massachusetts State Cricket League (MSCL) games are hosted in Shrewsbury throughout the summer as this has given western Massachusetts residents an opportunity to watch and experience some good competitive cricket.
The ultimate goal was to attract local talent and encourage them to take up the sport. Saqib and Fazal along with Angela Snell, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Shrewsbury, launched a coaching clinic this summer for children seven years of age and up to encourage the taking up of the sport. The coaching clinic will run throughout the summer and will consist of six sessions. Adrian Jordan, ICC Level 2 certified coach and former US national cricketer, will be the chief coach. The goal of this clinic is to teach the children the basics of cricket. Participants who show promise will be encouraged to participate in advanced coaching clinics and MSCL club cricket.
The clinic was launched on June 18 with a large turnout of players and parents. The clinic was made possible with the help and support of the Shrewsbury Parks and Recreation Department, the Board of Selectmen in Shrewsbury, SELCO, other generous sponsors, and more than a few passionate local players such as Girish Navani, Rakesh Kallem, Vasu Ram, and Kalyan - and we couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous day to kick it all off.
Saqib and Fazal are trying to replicate this model with different towns in Massachusetts. They look forward to working with USYCA in the future.
In addition, Vasu Ram was among the volunteers manning the USYCA station and demonstrating cricket at the Lynn Food and Fitness Festival on June 16. Most of the visitors to the USYCA display did not know what cricket is and found the demonstration both fun and educational.