May 07, 2018
Maryland Youth Cricket Completes Development Cycle, Three 16U Players Capped
On May 10, 1869 a golden spike completed America’s first transcontinental railroad line, marking the connection of the east and west coasts, and the country was changed forever. Last month, a similar event occurred for junior cricket in Maryland.
On April 21, Maryland Youth Cricket completed its development pathway by seeing three of its junior players placed on an adult club side. Raja and Kiran Herman of Lutherville-Timonium-Cockeysville and Bowie’s Nihal Osman received their caps from Maryland Cricket Club captain Husnain Bashir. The Maryland Cricket Club plays in the Washington Cricket League’s Division 2.
“I was quite pleased with the performances of these young men,” Bashir said. “With the proper discipline, inner motivation, and nutritional diet, the sky is the limit for these three lads.”
The MCC is made up of mostly college-age players, with a few senior players to help guide them. The boys have developed good chemistry with the young team and they have been accepted with open arms. Nihal has been serving as 12th man, but Raja and Kiran have played in all the games so far.
Not only have Raja and Kiran been in the starting XI, but in fact, they open the bowling. In the first game, Kiran took three wickets in four overs and was awarded the Man of the Match ball. Raja had two wickets in the next game. So far, Raja has eight wickets in the five games they have played and Kiran has four wickets, plus two catches.
Raja is currently the 5thranked bowler in Division 2; he's the highest ranked bowler for his team. Kiran is 34th, second highest on the MCC team. Well done, guys!
Raja and Kiran have a long history with MYCA, taking part in the first-ever match between MYCA organizations on July 28, 2012 when their Lutherville-Timonium team hosted Bowie. Group photos from that day show both of the boys wearing USYCA Summer Cricket Program tee shirts. Nihal is in his third year with the Bowie Boys & Girls Club 16U team.
“These Maryland youth league tournaments developed a solid foundation for me and numerous other talented players to move up to WCL and I can say with confidence that it’s been a smooth transition,” said Raja, who still captains his MYCA 16U side. “Ultimately, cricket in Maryland has been an unforgettable experience and I believe others who play the sport in this state will agree that the sport is getting more and more competitive every year.”
As Maryland junior players begin to reach maturity, it can be expected that this initial breakthrough will become a steady stream of players - and then a flood. The Maryland example shows how a development pathway can take children from learning to play cricket all the way to opening the bowling in a major adult league.
So, what’s the next milestone? That would be when a Maryland junior player gets capped on a national side, which can’t be too far away now.