The California Cricket Academy (CCA) is hosting a three-weekend-long festival in the SF Bay Area. The goal is to bring cricket to youth from diverse communities. The opening day of the festival, Feb 12th, 2011,  saw more than 50 young boys and girls participating in the event.  The festival will continue on Feb. 19th and Feb. 26th from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. Visit www.calcricket.org for more details.

Cupertino Mayor Mr. Gilbert Wong opened the festival reiterating the city’s strong commitment to the California Cricket Academy and its youth cricket league. He also invited the broader Cupertino community to attend the festival, including those who have never been exposed to cricket.  Speaking on the occasion, Cupertino Chamber of Commerce director and active volunteer Mr. Nihalani informed the participants about the fact that Cupertino Rotary is starting a cricket fellowship program in partnership with the CCA.  Cupertino City Manager Mr. David Knapp congratulated academy volunteers for a successful turnout at the event.

At the festival, young players were first exposed to basic cricketing skills such as batting, bowling, catching, and fielding by CCA volunteers (both children and adults). Then all kids used their newly-learned skills in cricket games for rest of the day.  The program was developed by Dr. Srikantan Nagarajan, Professor at UC San Francisco in the Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Cupertino Fresh Choice restaurant extendeditssupport by sponsoring free meals for every participant.

CCA President Ajay Athavale was delighted with the huge turnout at the festival. He informed attendees about CCA programs that occur year-round, including spring training programs that start in April. CCA focuses on overall development of youth cricket players.

“I believe that cricket festivals bring lots of energy, make it easy to involve city and school district officials, media partners, and provides opportunity to learn cricket while having fun,” said Hemant Buch, former chairman of the Western Region U.S.A Cricket Association and founder of the academy.

The entire festival is free for everyone. Snacks, special kanga kits, and incrediballs are all sponsored by the CCA.