South Bay parents, kids call for CIF to recognize cricket as an official sport

Cricket is the second most played sport on the planet. though less than a quarter of a million people play in the U.S., the country could be the sport's next frontier.

According to the California Cricket Association, hundreds of kids and their parents in the South Bay want cricket to be recognized by the California Interscholastic Federation, the official governing body of high school sports in California, as a way to help grow the game they and so many love.

Right now, some students in the South Bay are introduced to the game as part of the physical education classes in middle school, but once they reach high school, those opportunities vanish.

"High school brings its demands and you have to sacrifice," said Chandra Shekar Chetput, the father of a high school student who plays cricket. 

Chetput said many kids end up quitting cricket because they don't want to dedicate time to the sport outside of high school sports and academics. 

Something that will hurt the growth cricket in the U.S. 

But now may be the group's golden opportunity. 

The sport is booming. Team USA is fresh off one of the biggest upsets in the history of cricket, beating the Pakistani national team in the world cup just last week, and for the first time in more than 120 years the sport will be featured at the 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles. 

Years after the group started working to get the sport recognized, state Assemblyman Ash Kalra joined the fight. 

He officially drafted a resolution or official request that the CIF recognize the sport. 

"We will have to work with the department of education with the administration and leadership because there would obviously be some cost involved in getting that up and going," Kalra said. 

But even with Kalra's help, getting a sport recognized by the CIF is no easy process.

Hamant Buch, the founder of the California Cricket Association said there is still a lot of convincing to do. 

"I think its all about us proving that there are enough players and there’s enough momentum," Buch said. 


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