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USA Cricket: NCCA Women push boundaries

2013 Sep 27 by DreamCricket USA

NCCA Women's team, which has the unique distinction of being the only team in the country to play in a men's league, will also have played the most matches by any USA women's team (27) in a single year.

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Northern California Cricket Association (NCCA) announced that the league's Women’s team, which completed 11 games in the league's men's T20 league, will have the opportunity to participate in the men's winter league once the summer season ends.  

In this manner, the NCCA Women's team, which has the unique distinction of being the only team in the country to play in a men's league, will also have played the most matches by any USA women's team (27) in a single year.   In addition, some NCCA women have also played alongside men in the regular 45-over and NCCA-T20 League.

This augurs well for 'aspiring players to be match-ready for any competitive tournament,' NCCA noted in a media release.  The NCCA Women’s team includes USA national team players Nadia Gruny and Akshatha Rao and Team USA probable Neha Sukhija.   Teenagers Kavya Kowtha and Saisha Agrawal have added energy to the team with their eagerness to learn.   More recently, the team was joined by 25 year-old Sindhu Ashok, a former India A and India Under 21 player.

The team has not yet registered a win but the players have shown promise and commitment in their abilities to take wickets, catches, and make runs.

Sindhu Ashok made a strong debut for the NCCA Women’s team last weekend by putting together an unbeaten 100 runs opening wicket partnership with Nadia Gruny.   The team also includes Saisha Agarwal (9th Grader), Sanjana Chopra, Firdoze Kazi, Reena Katoch, Janaki Kowtha, and Syamala Sunil.

“It’s a great opportunity for both experienced and aspiring cricketers to play and improve their game. You are constantly watching and learning at the same time it’s competitive and fun. Sincere thanks to NCCA for providing us this platform to develop Women’s cricket in the Bay Area," Akshatha Rao of the USA women's team said.

“Credit goes out to the youth players of the team. They are beginners who have been brave enough to get onto the field with men and a regular cricket ball. Without them we would not have an opportunity to play these matches. Of course, thanks to NCCA for such a great initiative. I can’t say enough how appreciative I am of the opportunity to play matches,” Nadia Gruny, also of Team USA, said.

“I am thankful to NCCA who has provided such a safe environment for players like me who took up our passion for cricket seriously after coming to US. One of the things we set our sight on when we started to plan a team was to provide a structure and opportunity to play every weekend. Thanks to NCCA who responded by having a Women’s team play in the competitive NCCA T-20 league. Cricket calls for focus, technique, practice and mental strength; I am glad that our team is steadily progressing in all aspects and delivering a promise,"  Marlene Thyagarajan is quoted as saying in the media release.

Sunil Kumar, President of NCCA, initiated the program with support from the NCCA Board and Executives.  “Our vision is to provide a safe, fair and competitive platform for the NCCA players including the Women’s team to practice and play competitively and be ready to play in tournaments at the league, regional, national, or international level,” he said.