Last name Patel is very common in Gujarat, India and known as middle class community built on their traditional skills in agriculture and farming for more than 800 years. After world war two many Patel families settled abroad to do businesses & Since 1960’s they started to move in North America mainly USA & Canada to prosper their better living style and to provide better foundation for the next generation.

Monali Patel (center) with Jatin Patel (left) and Mathew Betsey, Global Program Manager of Education and Training at Cricket Australia.

Few Patels made their notable contributions in business and many other trends but rarely found in International sport Cricket. When it comes to USA and Canada, Cricket is their least interest with none priority sport. Even though few notables like Timil Patel who lead the USA team recently and Hiral Patel playing for Canada for last few years.

When it comes to Coaching & Administration in International cricket (mainly in North America) there are just few notables. Ashok Patel, founder of USA Cricket Academy, who lead the USA under 19 team as a coach and Manager for few years and Jatin Patel, founder of USA center for excellence in cricket and Vice president for US Youth cricket Association. Who also leads the school cricket program in Indiana, USA with the vision to train teachers and students in school to support youth cricket in USA.

Patel community in International  cricket is mostly male dominant players/coaches and Administrators  till Monali Patel selected for Canadian Team as One of the youngest members of Canada’s current crop, Monali Patel was born and raised in Kenya and got her first taste of cricket there. She made her Canadian debut at aged 18 in 2007, since then she established herself as an opening bat, and played an important and memorable role in Canada’s Twenty20 win over USA in the Women’s Americas Championship in 2010. She has maintained her position in the National team since 2007.

Recently, She became the first female cricket coach in North America with the cricket Australia level 3. As cricket coaches in the ICC Americas are benefiting from the experience from recently concluded a level 3 Course in the region (Florida, USA). Where new coaches are exposed to the higher standards and latest coaching methodologies. Cricket Australia leads the cricket world in coaches education with the concept of practice coaching based on researches and demand of the game at present time.

Monali Patel said, “I am quite thrilled to have the level 3 Cricket Australia Cricket accreditation and proud to be first and only female in North America to reach this achievement.  The course went well as expected and networking with many experienced and high qualified coaches in North America was a great experience.  Coming into a very male dominated sport cricket has brought a fair number of challenges, but with it, also support from some great friends I have made over time.  I’m hoping this brings more opportunities to my way in terms of cricket coaching and I hope I can bring a positive change to women’s cricket here in North America and beyond!  I feel that my journey is just beginning, and while not every girl grows up dreaming of becoming a successful high performance cricket coach, I know I have it in me to be just that!”

“Monali Patel will be a great asset for Cricket in North America and specifically for women’s cricket, where it is on the rise. Monali is wonderful young lady with a high level of interest in cricket coaching and is also a talented player in her own right. Monali is now working towards her Cricket Australia High Performance Coach accreditation that will help many young players in North America by helping provide a high quality experience through a game sense approach based on fundamentals. Monali has the potential to make big difference for the game as she continues to develop her effectiveness through her playing experience and now gaining more knowledge of coaching through the Cricket Australia course that challenged coaches to be leaders in their region. We also focus on planning, teaching and learning styles with skill acquisition methodology that is used in various sports and in the Australian cricket system,” said Mathew Betsey, Global Program Manager of Education and Training at Cricket Australia.

While Cricket Australia provide their top notch coaching program here in North America, their time and effort is very important for the foundation & development of cricket in the North America region. Cricket Australia brings professional and experience coaches to train new coaches, which will make great difference in coaching skills for many years to come. I am impressed with the Monali Patel’s ambition to advance cricket coaching skills to help others, I will say she is in right spot for the cricket as women from USA and Canada leads in many world sports. Cricket world lacks women cricket coaches and players all over the world. No doubt she is the first women coach at this level and hope many other women cricketers can join similar mission as women’s cricket in North America needs extensive help to expand and they have bright future with such coaching education, Jatin Patel said.

“I have always maintained that we should support young players from competing here in USA & Canada. The future is in these youngsters. We have to motivate them,” he said. “Sponsors will come only if you develop youth cricketers.” Monali Patel is now young talented International Cricket player and coach is pure indication as Cricket is positively expected to move forward here in North America. Monali will be great asset for North American cricket where her expertise on game skills in addition to her coaching knowledge will help many youngsters and women in the region, said Ashok Patel, former USA U19 coach and manager also founder of USA Cricket Academy.

Complied by Reggie, Pictures provided by Jatin Patel