Gambold Prep team with Coach Matt and Jatin Patel at a practice session.

United States Youth Cricket Association

American cricket fans have long pined for concrete evidence that our great game is taking root in the indigenous population, and another recent example of that can be seen in Indiana, where American school cricket teams, coached by American-born teachers, prepare to face each other in competition.

Recently, Jatin Patel of USYCA and Indiana Youth cricket visited Gambold Preparatory Magnet High School of Indianapolis to assist in Gambold’s preparation for interschool games during 2013. Here’s video from that sesssion.

Mathew Shirk is one of 43 Indiana YCA certified cricket coaches with Jatin Patel.

Gambold Prep Physical Education instructor Matt Shirk spent six years teaching in the Illinois and Colorado school systems before relocating to Indiana, and is a certified (Basic and Advance levels completed) cricket coach in Indiana. Gambold Prep is an international baccalaureate school dedicated to exposing its youth to different cultures around the world.

Working with the Indiana Youth Cricket Association, Gambold Prep hopes to become a pioneer for the sport at the high school level. Taking cricket beyond the physical education curriculum, Gambold hopes to develop a competitive club team that will compete against other schools from Indiana, and across the USA. Shirk hopes that by bringing cricket to Gambold, he will help develop the sport’s popularity not only in Indianapolis, but all over Indiana and eventually the rest of the United States.

“Working with Mr. Patel has been great,” said Shirk. “Not only have I learned the game of cricket, but I have also learned how to teach the game of cricket. I feel very confident in my skills as an instructor to pass along this knowledge to my students.”

Shirk said, “Mr. Patel teaches the fundamentals first and builds from there. I thought cricket was a very complicated game, but once you break cricket down to its basics, it is fairly easy to grasp the game’s concepts and skills. After only a couple of clinics, any teacher could incorporate cricket into their curriculum.

“The students love cricket. Cricket involves throwing, catching, and striking skills that all students can learn no matter their ability levels. None of my students have played cricket before so everyone was on an equal playing field and that kept everyone motivated to work hard and learn this awesome sport.”

Indiana YCA President Jatin Patel said, “It’s just awesome to see Coach Mathew to prepare two school teams for the interschool competition. Coach Matt and Gambold Prep are also helping us to create coaching videos, which will benefit many teachers around the country. We are looking forward to seeing the interschool games in Indiana later this year.”