August 1, 2013
USYCA is very happy to welcome the Yuva Cricket Club to its ranks.
Yuva Cricket Club was formed in the summer of 2011 by two volunteers, Manesh Gunalan and Salim Bootwala, with the intent to introduce and promote cricket to children in the Philadelphia suburbs. YCC is really more like an academy than a club, though.
For the first two years, cricket was introduced using tennis balls. During this year, YCC introduced its players to hardball cricket ball with proper cricket gear, and the players have progressed to the point where they have played a 25-over match against an experienced team.
The program now boasts over thirty youngsters between 5 and 14 years old. Players practice regularly every Friday, including indoors in winter. The dedicated coaching staff consists of Gunalan and Bootwala, who focus on teaching children the necessary cricketing skills and game mechanics, while focusing on team dynamics, discipline and leadership also.
Yuva Cricket is run totally free of cost with no external sponsorship. Parents contribute a few dollars for team cricket gear and other essentials. Coaches volunteer their hours every week and a few parents assist when needed. In the coming months, YCC will be working on fundraising, so that they can keep running the program for low or no cost.
An immediate goal for YCC is to secure a proper cricket ground with a proper pitch. Work is also in progress to provide more competitive games for Yuva players. They are also working on scheduling training sessions with certified coaches and conducting camps to take their players' skills to the next level. Next year, YCC is hoping to participate in nearby youth leagues as well.
USYCA President Jamie Harrison said, "It's exciting to see youth cricket taking off in Philadelphia, where so much of American cricket history is centered. Yuva Cricket Club is a wonderful example of what can be done when individuals are determined to give back to the game they love, and we are excited to be a part of their future."
YCC's Manesh Gunalan said, "Yuva Cricket is excited at the prospect of connecting with USYCA's philosophy to promote cricket to young children. We are also excited about the fact that USYCA enables us to connect with other youth teams in nearby areas. Yuva's association with USYCA opens up many ideas for Yuva Cricket to grow further and enable proper platform for younger kids. Most of all, we are extremely excited that USYCA will potentially assist us to build a cricket pitch in a proper ground."