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Amidst the St. Patrick's Day revelers and snow flurries in the city of Morristown, NJ, 21 women from around the country converged at Indoor Cricket USA to participate in a four-day camp led by Robin Singh, Technical Advisor of the Worldwide Cricket Academy (WWCA), and coach of the USA national men's team as well as Mumbai Indians.
Players from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, and California participated in the March 13-16 camp. Among USA national players and probables, three were exciting teenage prospects for the future.
The injection of youth signals a shift in the US women's cricket scene and a promising future, WWCA noted in a media release. For the first time in US women’s cricket history, more than 18 women were documented on video executing their respective skills. These videos will help to provide the basis upon which the progress of their skill development can be measured.
On the eve of the camp, USA Cricket Association President Gladstone Dainty expressed his support, stating, "Women's cricket development is long overdue and I congratulate you guys at the academy for such an initiative. I hope the women really take advantage of this opportunity."
Calling the camp a success, WWCA's Robin Singh said: "I am pleasantly surprised by the effort and enthusiasm of the women. They trained six hours on the trot for four days. Based on their skill levels I will be giving them a program of things to work on so their development is in their hands. The next time we meet they should have taken their games to another level. But to really improve they need to play 20-30 games per year whether with women, under 15 or under 17 boys."
Over the coming weeks, the women would begin their training. WWCA Elite Women's Program Director, Nadia Gruny, thinks the timing would augur well for the upcoming T20 women tournaments in Georgia and New York on Memorial Day weekend. "Our intention is to execute this program around current women's cricket activities. In the near future we can take it a step further by collaborating with local women's clubs to find ways to supplement what they are doing. I believe a more combined effort across clubs in the US can help our cricket. Collectively, we can begin filling the women's cricket calendar and the net result would be an improved standard of women's cricket," said Gruny.
Veteran and former USA national player, Joan Alexander-Serrano, participated in the camp as a player as well as lent a supporting hand to Robin Singh. "It was an awesome weekend watching this passionate group of women learn from one of the best coaches in the world. In my days I was never coached; but these girls have a golden opportunity here and I hope they don't take this for granted. I watched Robin get to everyone and give each his focus. Overall, it was a very successful camp and a fun time getting together with players we don't usually see often," said Serrano.
WWCA has decided to cast a wider net by having a greater number of women follow a training program before filtering down to elite players. Ricky Toolsie, President of WWCA believes in giving more women the opportunity to benefit from this program and demonstrate commitment to their development.
"A major part of the success of this program depends on the women's commitment. With Robin's advice, we will make adjustments along the way to ensure that we take the appropriate steps for their development and nothing is done prematurely. I am very pleased with the camp and we're looking forward to planning the next one which would entail mostly practice matches. Special thanks to Lalta Persaud, president of Indoor Cricket USA, for his hospitality and support during the camp. USA under-19 player Ryan Persaud was also very helpful to Robin and the women, and I'm sure from a coaching perspective, he learned a lot this past weekend," said Toolsie.
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Source: WWCA Media Release; Pictures Credit WWCA.