Cricket, a sport that originated in England, is gaining popularity in the U.S., especially in the Midwest. The game and rules of cricket may not be widely known yet, but participating in the Summer Games is a great way to learn the sport.
Cricket sport director, Shesh Madhokar, has played cricket his entire life and helped grow cricket in Michigan. While Madhokar still plays for a the West Michigan Cricket Club, he admits his focus is on organizing and running tournaments for his club. Now the president of the West Michigan Cricket Club, Madhokar explains what the club does.
"We organize tournaments which include hard tennis ball, but our club is mainly for playing regulation ball cricket and we play with cricket gear. Hard tennis ball games are especially for people who cannot play regulation ball due to fear of injuries".
Madhokar wanted to form a cricket club for West Michigan cricket enthusiasts to put on tournaments and showcase local talent. That idea is how the West Michigan Cricket Club was founded. In 2016, Madhokar and his business partners created the West Michigan Cricket Club with intentions to grow the sport. The main goal of the club was to grow the popularity of cricket and develop athletes. There are currently 25 players in the club, but the club is always open to more athletes.
"A few years ago, we were organizing tournaments with 6 teams and now there are over 10 teams, so it's definitely growing and if someone's interested in cricket the Summer Games would connect the kids to so much opportunity."
Cricket can last for up to five days straight. This sport, similar to baseball, has rules that can keep the game going for extended periods of time. In a test cricket match, there are four innings with 11 players on each team. Innings keep going until 10 players are struck out on each team. In the U.S., popularity is growing towards T20 matches, which are condensed games of cricket that last for three hours. The cricket games at the Meijer State Games are shortened even further for entertainment purposes, but this also makes the Meijer State Games the perfect place to try cricket for the first time.
"I have played my share of cricket in the past and I'd like to get youngsters out there."
Madhokar has a passion for organizing cricket events, and the Summer Games are a great opportunity for people of all ages to come out and experience new sports, especially cricket.
For more information about the Meijer State Games’ cricket event, please visit https://www.stategamesofmichigan.com/.
Cover photo courtesy of Vra Photography and the West Michigan Cricket Club.