By Mona Persaud
Malika Frank has been appointed the manager for the Tri-State Women’s Cricket Team. The Tri-State Women’s cricket team has been in existence since 2010 and is the undefeated women’s cricket team in the United States.
This team was founded by their coach, former Guyana national player Linden Fraser and renowned trainer Basil Butcher Jr. The Tri-State Women’s cricket team is home to prominent U.S.A. and international cricketers such as Indomattie Goordial-John, Candacy Atkins, Shondell Ward, Monique Mathee, Melissa Sandy, Karen Bayles and Triholder Marshall.
Malika Frank describes herself as a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, marriage and family therapist, educator, cricket umpire and coach. She was born in Lusaka, Zambia to Guyanese parents and currently resides in New Jersey. She is employed as a Program Director at a Mental Health Agency.
Her professional accreditations include a M.S., M.H.S., Eds and EdD. She is also a Therapist, Certified Nurtured Heart Instructor and a Certified Anger Management Facilitator. Her cricket credentials include being a West Indies Cricket Board Level 1 Coach, ICC Trainer, Cricket Umpire and Manager. Ms. Frank was the manager for the U.S. National Women’s cricket team in the 2012 America’s championship held in the Cayman Island.
When asked how she got involved in cricket, Ms. Frank responded, “I have always loved the game. I have played recreational (back yard) cricket. I started coaching in 2005 and started a Girls program at Star Sports in 2013. I currently teach Physical Education at an Islamic School in Burlington, New Jersey. I also have a Girls Cricket Program that will start in the spring of 2014.” Her area of expertise in cricket includes speciality skills drills, mental strengthening and team management.
Other than managing the US National Women’s team in 2012, Ms. Frank managed several youth teams such as the Under 13 and the Under 15 boys’ team. She managed cricket tours to Michigan, California, Florida and the gold winning AAU Junior Olympics Team. It was the first time ever Cricket was played in AAU Junior Olympics in Michigan in 2013.
Some of the major challenges for women’s cricket according to Ms. Frank are no structured program in place for the development of the women’s game as well as the lack of funding and exposure for women cricketers. Ms. Frank went on to say that the future of women’s cricket rests upon the shoulders of seasoned veterans who are willing to mentor, coach and teach young girls the sport, knowing that they will one day be replaced by a much younger generation.
“Women’s cricket is the best kept secret in the US and needs to be taught in the schools. It is imperative for the growth of women’s cricket in the US for these players to be respected both on and off the field. Women cricketers are also mothers, daughters, wives, educators, business women, lawyers, doctors and the list goes on. Collectively we are powerful and have tremendous economic and political power that is not being utilized for the betterment of the game.”
Ms. Frank first major duty will be to help the Tri-State women’s team prepare for an upcoming International Women’s T20 tournament. This tournament is sanctioned by the New York Cricket Region and is being put together by the New York Tristate Executive Director, Mr. Clifford Hinds and Coach Mr. Fraser. Five teams will be participating in this tournament on Memorial Day weekend in New York City. A team each from India, Grenada, Canada, New Jersey and the Tri-State Women will showcase the best of women’s cricket. Ms. Frank thinks this is a wonderful exposure for women’s cricket and is looking forward to this tournament.
The players and the entire Tri-State organization thank Ms. Frank for taking on the offer and looks forward to working with her. They are certain that her contribution will help the development of their women’s program tremendously.