24 September, 2020

The "Foreign" League

After computers and infotech, South Asians have another claim to fame—teaching cricket to the Yankees

Gauri Gill
The "Foreign" League
It's a balmy Sunday morning at a Santa Clara playground and men in flannels are playing an unusual ball game that is vexing the few American spectators. This is a cricket match between the Santa Clara Cricket Club A and the United 1 from East Bay. And going by the passion with which the game is being played in the heart of Silicon Valley, it certainly doesn't look like an alien game for the "foreign" spectators.

But then, cricket matches are no longer a rare sight on the verdant parks and playgrounds in Silicon Valley. The influx of immigrants, mostly infotech professionals of South Asian origin, has seen the game's popularity, and visibility, in the Bay Area grow in leaps and bounds. There has been a veritable explosion of players who periodically leave their computers and cubicles and can be seen playing cricket religiously on weekends. Says former Indian Test player Abid Ali, who migrated to California in the early '80s: "The game has come a long way here in the past 20 years. Those days, we didn't even have proper grounds or equipment."

Indeed. And it's not only...


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