Cricket gaining ground in North Texas

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

For many Texans, the only sport that matters is football. Between high school, college and professional, and the off-season workouts, it can last nearly the entire year.

But in spots across the Metroplex, it isn’t football that is drawing attention. It’s cricket.

Teams from Fort Worth, Southlake and Watagua are among those competing in the North Texas Cricket Association. The Dallas Cricket League began in 2000, when a few men would meet and play with a tennis ball. Now, the league has 60 teams and is still growing.

The league hosted a national tournament during the July Fourth weekend at the seven cricket grounds at Russell Creek Park in Plano.

“We are blessed to have a city like Plano and the facilities here,” Jag Poosarla, executive secretary of Dallas Cricket League, said. “Everybody who has come from California, New Jersey, anywhere, nobody has seven cricket grounds in the same park with so much shade.”

Most of the sport’s growth is in the youth league.

“The way I’m seeing it, I think there will be some future, future kids,” said Dharmesh Rana, a member of Blue Star CC, a DCL team. “I’m pretty sure that Dallas is going to have some future and bright kids playing cricket. It can be better and something to look forward to as we grow.”

Shrey Patel, who coaches an under-12 team from New Jersey, said the tournament in Plano gave his players their first taste of competition.

But it wasn’t all about cricket for the kids.

“Do you know what the highest amount of requests I got from my kids? ‘Can we go to Cowboys Stadium?’ ” Patel said.

In a familiar sight at youth league games, parents were coaching from the sidelines and coaches argued calls. Kids are competitive, but Patel doesn’t want them to be too competitive.

“One of the other things this tournament helps do is it helps teach kids how to play the game in a spirit so that is also helping because when they play competitive cricket with other teams and all that,” Patel said.

The next step for the Dallas league is getting cricket into schools, either as an organized sport or in PE.

“These kids, they really need a platform,” DCL president Kuljit-Singh Nijjar said. “They need more games. This has to be promoted in schools, and the way this game is going to be properly recognized [is] once we start [in] local schools.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
Indiana «88Final | Box
Charlotte79
Philadelphia103Final | Box
Detroit «109
Dallas85Final | Box
New Orleans «88
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders «3Final | Box
Boston2
Pittsburgh3Final(OT) | Box
Detroit «4
Vancouver «4Final | Box
St. Louis1
Chicago2Final | Box
Nashville «3
Arizona0Final | Box
Minnesota «2
Carolina0Final | Box
Calgary «5
Buffalo0Final | Box
Los Angeles «2
Columbus «5Final | Box
San Jose4
Full Scoreboard