Matrix Intero Cal-Coast NCCA-T20
The Northern California Cricket Association (NCCA) Women’s team is the first known women’s team across the US to participate in a competitive men’s league. The Matrix Intero Cal-Coast NCCA-T20 Summer League provides a full complement of 15 games for the NCCA Women’s team. The team opened its season in May and has since played 11 games, with 4 more to conclude the summer edition. Immediately following the summer edition is the winter edition of the NCCA -T20 League. Provided that the NCCA Women’s team registers for the winter edition, the team can expect to play another 12 games, bringing their match exposure to 27 games in less than 12 months.  In addition, some players get the opportunity to play alongside other men’s teams in the regular 45-over and NCCA-T20 League.

International women players in countries such as Netherlands, Ireland, and England play lower division men’s county cricket. NCCA provides a similar platform to play competitive cricket with the men, which would augur well for Team USA players and other aspiring players to be match-ready for any competitive tournament.

The Northern California Cricket Association (NCCA) Women’s team.

“It’s a great opportunity for both experienced and aspiring cricketers to play and improve their game. You are constantly watching and learning at the same time it’s competitive and fun. Sincere thanks to NCCA for providing us this platform to develop Women’s cricket in the Bay Area.” -Akshatha Rao (Team USA)

The NCCA Women’s team includes women of varying ages, a feature that supports a healthy environment for women’s cricket development. National team players Nadia Gruny and Akshatha Rao lead the pack, along with team USA probable Neha Sukhija. Teenagers Kavya Kowtha and Saisha Agrawal have added energy to the team with their eagerness to learn. Growing from strength to strength, NCCA is very excited to welcome star-player — 25 year-old Sindhu Ashok, a former India A and India Under 21 player. Sindhu Ashok made a strong debut for the NCCA Women’s team last weekend by putting together an unbeaten 100 runs opening wicket partnership with Nadia Gruny. Among the list of 25 registered players, some of our active players are Saisha Agarwal (9th Grader), Sanjana Chopra, Firdoze Kazi, Reena Katoch, Janaki Kowtha, and Syamala Sunil.

“Credit goes out to the youth players of the team. They are beginners who have been brave enough to get onto the field with men and a regular cricket ball. Without them we would not have an opportunity to play these matches. Of course, thanks to NCCA for such a great initiative. I can’t say enough how appreciative I am of the opportunity to play matches.”   – Nadia Gruny (Team USA)

The NCCA Women’s team has had an exciting summer so far, competing almost every weekend. At the start of the season, several beginners as well as senior players were fortunate to receive cricket tips from the number one ranked all-rounder in ODI and T20 cricket – Stafanie Taylor. The team has not yet registered a win but the players show promise and commitment in their abilities to take wickets, catches, and make runs.

“I am thankful to NCCA who has provided such a safe environment for players like me who took up our passion for cricket seriously after coming to US. One of the things we set our sight on when we started to plan a team was to provide a structure and opportunity to play every weekend. Thanks to NCCA who responded by having a Women’s team play in the competitive NCCA T-20 league. Cricket calls for focus, technique, practice and mental strength; I am glad that our team is steadily progressing in all aspects and delivering a promise.” – Marlene Thyagarajan

In line with NCCA’s vision to ensure all-round cricket development, Mr. Sunil Kumar, President of NCCA, with support from the NCCA Board and Executives, initiated the NCCA Women’s cricket program. Mr. Kumar received great support from Team USA players, Nadia Gruny and Akshatha Rao, along with local cricketer, Marlene Thyagarajan. Together, they dared to dream differently and took the bold initiative to build the team and participate in the NCCA-T20 league. The women’s team and its robust season have attracted the interest of players from distant cities in California to join for match practice. Collectively, we hope these demonstrations of commitment will inspire and motivate more women players of all ages to join our movement for women’s cricket development.

“To me playing cricket is a rewarding experience. The fear that I initially had before joining NCCA quickly turned into fun. I look forward to every practice and game. I am fortunate enough to learn from a number of wonderful international players from USA and Indian women’s team. I am also thankful that NCCA provided the opportunity for us especially women youth players to play league matches with other NCCA teams” – Kavya Kowtha (NCCA Women’s Youth Player, 9th Grade)

“Our vision is to provide a safe, fair and competitive platform for the NCCA players including the Women’s team to practice and play competitively and be ready to play in tournaments at the league, regional, national, or international level”, said Sunil Kumar, President of the NCCA. Thanks to our Board of Directors, Executives and Sponsors (Matrix Insurance Agency, Intero Real Estate Services and Cal Coast Financial Corp) for supporting our initiatives. What started as a small movement to encourage women’s cricket development is now a regular occurrence the women look forward to every weekend. We thank their families and spouses who not only support their playing of the game, but who also come to the grounds with their kids to encourage the players. Our sincere thanks to all the teams in the league who have played against the women teams and have supported this initiative and ensured its success”, said Sunil Kumar.

“I just moved into US and was looking out for opportunities to play here. I was called to play a match on a weekend and was surprised to see the turnout of girls and at the enthusiasm they displayed. It was serendipitous to hear that a women’s team was playing a league with the men. It thoroughly is commendable. I really appreciate all the hard work put in by NCCA to get this league up and running. It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to be a part of this spirited team.” – Sindhu Ashok (Former India A and India Under 21 player)

As a 120-year-old league, today NCCA ranks among the best and biggest under USACA. It is one of the few leagues which offers year-round cricket to its players.  With over 40 teams playing across various divisions and formats, NCCA remains confident that its investment and initiatives in Youth, Women and Men’s development programs are not only well aligned to USACA’s strategic plan but will also continue to yield productive results.

NCCA is reputed to be a well organized sporting body which is highly respected in the media and business communities in the Bay Area. In recognition of the value and quality of NCCA’s work, these businesses sponsor various NCCA initiatives on a consistent basis. Thanks to the generous support from business leaders such as Mr. Sunny Sethi of Matrix Insurance Agency, Mr. Roger Bakshi of Cal Coast Corp, and Mr. Rishi Bakshi of Intero Real Estate Services. Their investments enable NCCA to execute initiatives successfully.

“NCCA provides a platform for cricketers of all levels and strives for continuous improvement of its players. It has been both consistent and insistent in spreading the awareness and development of the game. I am totally impressed by their diligent efforts to ensure that the women players play every weekend as a team, in the NCCA T-20 league. I have already played 12 games in the summer edition and will be playing 3 more before we start the winter season, the opportunity to play cricket never stops – absolutely amazing” – Neha Anand (Team USA probable)

NCCA has a very vibrant presence in the social network through its Facebook fan page. We welcome you to like us on our Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/ncca4cricket) which today has grown to over 830 fans with the kind support of our fans, families and friends of NCCA.

For more information on NCCA or on our Youth, Women or Men’s League Program please write to Sunil Kumar, President NCCA at  president@ncalcricket.org or kindly call 510-730-0309.

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