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By Balbir Singh
Indiana University introduced “Basics of Cricket” coaching with game education for undergraduate students with Physical Education as major to become future cricket coaches. It is designed for a 10-week home/online study work, followed by two 90 minutes each coaching and basic skill acquisition sessions for practical skill coaching.
[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article erroneously noted that this was the first such class offered by an American university. We apologize for this error. Earlier this year, Boston University introduced a one-credit class - PDP GS 150 - taught by Hayat Khan. That class, developed in consultation with Lloyd Jodah of ACC, focused on the history and rules of cricket as well as basic skills. Also, University of Minnesota's Kinesiology Department has offered a one credit cricket class, PE1071 ‘Beginning Cricket’, every semester, since Fall of 2005. Over 225 students have taken the course and the University continually receives requests to field a second class.]
The first batch of Certified Cricket Coaches from newly designed program are Mason Hazelwood, Spencer Heron, Matt Higdon, Alyssa Holder, Dawn Iannarelli, Cameron Johnson, Tanna Jones, Erin Rowland, Nathan Schrock, Kylie Someson, Alex Taylor and Rodney Weather.
Lecturer /Instructor Barnett Sandra S and Associate Professor, Dr Brian Culp of IU Department of Kinesiology were also present on the occasion as well as attended entire coaching clinics. At the end of the session, they were also certified for the ‘Basics of Cricket ‘and become Super trainers for the future student coaches.
United States Youth Cricket Association 2nd Vice-President Jatin Patel (USA Center for Excellence in Cricket Founder & Member of USYCA & ACF joint committee for the youth cricket development) who recently visited Antigua with cricket education exploration explained the basic technique of cricket to the coaches. After initial cricket introduction, Jatin Patel explained how to properly stand at the crease, hold (grip) the bat, bowling action, catching, throwing, removing bails if the batsman is out of crease, running between the wickets etc.
The basics were later translated into action by playing the game. Initially the players were seen getting hit wickets. Jatin Patel, ICC Certified and Cricket Australia Accredited coach explained the reasons and suggested corrective measures. As the session progressed, the coaches started understanding the concept of the game and were enjoying batting, bowling and fielding as the game itself teaches them from the errors they make and doing so they learn important rules of the game at the right time.
Jatin Patel, pioneer in introducing cricket training and Cricket Study Guide for Physical Education teachers in Indiana, displayed the wooden bats and leather balls and helmet and many other cricket equipment used in international games The coaches had the feel of the bats, leather balls, pads, helmet etc. where they can sense real game challenges ahead.
In the question-answer session, replying to a question whether cricket can be played during rain, Jatin Patel’s answer was in the negative. “Like tennis cannot be played in rain, so is the case of cricket,” the renowned coach said.
To another question, he said the ball is changed during a match only it goes out of shape and does not pass through ‘the ring.” “However, a new ball is not given it is an advantage to the bowlers. The umpires select a used ball.”
Jatin Patel disclosed that cricket has been played in USA since 1709, 1st game played in USA during 1844 etc. and keep continue as cricket is not American sport. That’s going to change soon in Indiana and our coaches/players and teachers are modifying this game to fit with many other North American sports style/demand/ environment etc. “ After we played historic T10 scrimmage game on May 16 here in Indianapolis we continue to break historical records to lead USA cricket History.”
Explaining importance of training the physical education coaches, Jatin Patel said “My view is that trained lecturers and professors at the University will teach cricket to many Undergraduate students with PE major for many years to come. In future those PE teachers may be working at one or more schools but cricket will go with them and expected to help to grow sport cricket. In simple terms, as we are establishing most productive scheme to explore cricket with the concept of Lecturer(s) & Instructor(s) will train PE teachers and they will train many students every year for many year at one or more schools during their working life span.
“That’s simplest, fastest and best way to educate more people in short time for the sport cricket in North America. This is just one step ahead of our education process as we started teacher’s education two years back and now training them in advance before they even start their real career as a PE Teachers,” said Jatin Patel, Inaugural Volunteer Award recipient for the American Cricket Federation.
Impressed with the learning of basics of cricket, Dr. Brian Culp said “Cricket is wonderful. I have seen it few times on TV. Today was a good opportunity for student to see how to learn skills. It was a pretty good job. “
Regarding the future of this game, he said “a lot of international people come to the United States and it will be a big success one day.”