Cricket in Northern California

CCA+players+walk+back+to+the+sidelines+after+losing+to+Australia+in+a+match.+The+match+was+this+past+summer+in+England.+Photo+used+with+permission+of+Sudhit+Rao.

CCA players walk back to the sidelines after losing to Australia in a match. The match was this past summer in England. Photo used with permission of Sudhit Rao.

Anish Vasudevan

Bowler. Century. Wicket. These words are all part of the daily language of some MVHS students who spend their time playing cricket, instead of sports that are considered more typically American, such as basketball or football. One of these students is freshman Daniel Amirtharaj who has been playing cricket for most of his life.

“My brother was really good at cricket so he tried out for the U.S. under 19 team but he got reserved,” Amirtharaj said. “I was like maybe I could make it if my brother got reserved, so I started playing cricket.”

Cricket is a sport that is played in India and was introduced by the British when they were a part of their empire. Indian immigrants that moved to California have introduced their kids to cricket. Freshman Sudhit Rao reflects on how his parents appreciated him playing.

“My parents were happy with me playing cricket,” Rao said. “They support my cricket endeavours.”

However, in the U.S., cricket is still not as common as other sports, as immigrants from India are still moving to the U.S. According to ESPN, the first cricket game played in the U.S. was in 1844, which means cricket has been played in the U.S. longer than basketball, which was invented in 1891.

Throughout America there are still very few cricket academies. However the biggest is in California: the California Cricket Academy (CCA), which was founded in 2003 and conducts their practices all around Northern California. CCA practices at Collins elementary school and plays their games on the field adjacent to Cupertino Library.

Just like every other sport, cricket teams practice a couple times a week. In cricket, they spend most of their time in drills instead of scrimaging against teammates.

“We practice every Friday and we do fitness practice on Monday,” Rao, a two year member of CCA, said. “At practice we do batting and bowling drills. We bat and bowl into nets in order to practice our fundamentals.”

CCA has experienced success in the past few years, performing well in tournaments around the world. They won the London Schools County Level Championship this year, and Rao has participated in foreign matches in England and played with the team.

CCA players walk back to the sidelines after losing to Australia in a match. The match was this past summer in England. Photo used with permission of Sudhit Rao.
CCA players walk back to the sidelines after losing to Australia in a match. The match was this past summer in England. Photo used with permission of Sudhit Rao.

“We formed an under-16 team at our academy and flew to England this summer where we played local teams,” Rao said. “However, we lost to Australia but still had a good time there.”

With CCA improving their game and participating in matches with the world best, California is starting to get recognition from the cricket world. In years to come, California might take cricket by storm. Sophomore Sanjay Gollapudi talked about his eagerness for the future of cricket.

“Because of the ever growing Indian population in the country and immigrants from countries that play cricket,” Gollapudi said. “I think that cricket will become huge in the US as well.”