I played cricket once. I was in New Zealand, and my host family decided to show it to me in the backyard. All I remember is: 1) I sucked, 2) Holy crap! Is that a wooden ball? Why are they throwing it at me so hard?! 3) I sucked.
Compared to a lot of Brooklynites – or Americans, for that matter – this amount of cricket knowledge makes me an expert by comparison. Outside of specific immigrant communities, the sport is merely an exotic staple of places like Marine Park.
Well, thank goodness our children will be better educated. Kingsborough Community College has launched a cricket program for their College For Kids offerings. College For Kids is a daytime program for kids ages 6 to 12. (It’s fun. I did it one year as a kid, and learned useful skills like how to draw cartoons and make deformed vases…)
Here’s some useful information from NewYorkCricket.com that’s more relevant than my blathering:
Now, cricket stands alongside baseball, soccer, tennis, and swimming, as part of the college’s CFK active programming. The cricket program has attracted 31 girls and 49 boys between the ages of 8 and 13 years old. Some 95% of the boys and girls have never played cricket, while 50% have never even seen or heard of the sport. Coached by USA national cricket coach Linden Fraser and USA national female cricket player Triholder Marshall, the program is gaining traction in popularity among the young players and is expected to be included in the college’s fall CFK programming, on weekends only.
Coaching sessions are conducted indoors and outdoors, using cricket safety sport equipment designed for the age group in attendance. From all reports, the enthusiasm of the young athletes has been very encouraging, more so when the similarity between baseball and cricket is pointed out to the students.
Coach Fraser, who has extensive experience coaching players from youth to the under-19 levels and beyond, said it was a bit challenging at first getting some of the athletes to resist the baseball approach to swinging the cricket bat, as well as the motion of pitching as opposed to bowling. He however stated, “…one would be surprised at how well most of the participants have adapted to the rudimentary techniques of the “new” sport of cricket.”