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Promoting the game of cricket in America by Abhiram Kalvakuntla, GA

I am passionate about cricket because I enjoy it more than any other sport. I was first introduced to it at a young age by my family in India who are passionate cricket fans, but I was never interested until other kids in my school started playing as well. Eventually I was playing every day after school for hours and watching professional tournaments on television with my friends.

Growing up in Chicago, I was playing cricket with a tennis ball on the street with a cheap bat because there was no professional cricket in Illinois. After I moved to the Atlanta area, I joined the Atlanta Cricket Academy and started playing professional cricket with proper equipment. In just my first month, I was selected to play for the Southeast Region of the United States in a National U-13 tournament. In the following years, I represented Atlanta in various domestic and international youth tournaments across the world.

In 2017 I moved to a very large neighborhood in Alpharetta, Georgia. There were a handful of Indian kids who were interested in playing cricket, so I created and advertised a youth cricket league in the summer to give them a proper platform to learn and enjoy the sport. I received a massive response of thirty to forty kids in just my neighborhood for the initial season. As the years passed, more kids from other neighborhoods began participating as well. A few of them developed a passion for the game and joined the Atlanta Cricket Academy to take their game to the next level, even representing our state in National Youth Cricket tournaments across the country.

In terms of global cricket viewership, America ranks second among all countries, second only to India. Because of this recent increase in viewership, many wealthy cricket franchises around the world have invested money in USA’s Major League Cricket, which is set to have it’s inaugural edition in 2022. This league is expected to slowly become more popular in the coming years and eventually rival Major League Baseball’s popularity in the United States.

Thank you!

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