ACF Press Release
ACF‘s constitution provides for inclusive representation on its governing bodies to allow cricket stakeholders to build the future of cricket. “Our constitution is built on the bedrock principle of inclusion. The goal is to allow each individual, team, club, and league to be a part of this vision,” Professor Gangaram Singh, Convener of the Constitution sub-committee said.
ACF recognizes the contribution of heavy tennis ball and tapeball leagues, social cricket leagues, indoor arenas, parks and recreation leagues, school based clubs, academies, cricket festival organizations, community organizations that organize tournaments and seasonal camps, and many other organizations that are involved in nurturing and promoting the game in cities across the American continent.
Expressing support for ACF, Avi Gaje, President of NJSBCL said, “NJSBCL supports American Cricket Federation’s vision and guiding principles. All these years, leagues such as NJSBCL have been on the outside looking in. Today’s ACF announcement recognizes that at the grassroots – recreational, social and other vibrant cricket organizations – all have a role to play in popularizing the sport of cricket,” Avi Gaje said.
New Jersey Softball Cricket League (NJSBCL) was established in year 2000 with the objective of promoting weekend cricket and enabling cricket lovers to play cricket with minimum barriers. Over the last 12 years this league has grown astronomically and the league now has 2500 active players representing over 120 teams. NJSBCL matches last 3 hours and provide a physical workout through the sport of cricket.
It is estimated that non-conventional cricket leagues exist in over 25 cities on a regular basis and these leagues comprise roughly 3,000 teams representing over 20,000 active participants. In New Jersey and California, three leagues account for over 350 cricket teams and over 8,000 registered members.
Heavy tennis ball cricket events are also an important element of fundraising by non-profit organizations such as Vibha, Sewa and Asha. In June 2012, Sewa International’s 34-team heavy tennis ball event in Jersey City raised $30,000 for underprivileged kids in India. By some estimates, some 5,000 came to watch this event and Sahara One TV sent its TV crew – an achievement not even the biggest hardball leagues can claim.
Avi Gaje of New Jersey Soft Ball Cricket League also joined ACF’s Steering Committee and will head a sub-committee that will seek ways to expand growth of cricket using heavy tennis ball cricket. The first task for this sub-committee is to plan a national heavy tennis ball tournament and make it operational.
“At the younger age-groups and for the vast majority of recreational cricketers who want to enjoy cricket, tennis ball or a soft ball version of the game is a friendlier and more inviting option. The first cricket lesson can start with tennis ball cricket, like it’s done in Mumbai, India. Talented individuals can gradually move to leather ball cricket. We recognize that hard ball cricket is still the ultimate dream for aspiring young cricketers. Together, we can take cricket to unseen heights,” Gaje said.