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Cricket is calling

photo of family in home

Shiva, Advait, Roopa and Anirudh Swaminathan at their home in the City of Castle Pines.

The Swaminathan family enjoys sports, particularly cricket.  After living in Castle Pines for two years, Advait (15) will be a sophomore at Rock Canyon High School this fall, and Anirudh (11) will begin sixth grade at American Academy in Castle Pines.  Both boys are becoming quite accomplished cricket players.

When asked if cricket is comparable to baseball, their dad, Shiva Swaminathan, responded, “The only similarity that baseball has to cricket is that there is a batsman (batter), a bowler (pitcher) and fieldsmen (catchers).  The equipment used is different; the bat is wider in cricket and there are different balls used to play the game.  At a competitive level, only the leather ball is used.”

An interesting fact about cricket is that multiple formats are used.  A game can last a few hours, a day, or multiple days.  Another noteworthy distinction is that a batsman in cricket only gets one chance to bat.  Once a player is out, that player is out for the remainder of the game.

Shiva reflected, “My older son was playing flag football for a couple of seasons until 2019 when the injuries were becoming frequent.  We were searching for an alternate sport that he could enjoy and not experience as many injuries.  This was when the pandemic hit, and we all came indoors.  We purchased a cricket kit for kids from Amazon and had playing sessions in our basement to keep the boys engaged.  Interest crept in along with watching matches on television. There was no looking back after this.”

photo of teen holding cricket ball

Advait Swaminathan (15) was the first youth player ever in the state of Colorado to be recognized as the “Player of the Week” among 20 different adult cricket clubs this spring.

The Swaminathan boys were first exposed to organized cricket when an English traveling coach was passing through Colorado and had an online ad to a mini-camp session.  Shiva, originally from India, had grown up playing cricket himself, as it is a very popular sport in India.

“We noticed several kids showing an intent to play, and a few parents came together in an informal way to have basic skill sessions and offer game time.  They initially started off playing with a tennis ball and then graduated to playing with synthetic balls.  It was only in the spring of 2021 that both of them started formally playing with a regular cricket ball used by professionals,” Shiva explained.

Advait plays for Littleton Cricket Club, an adult cricket league that promotes youth cricket.  Anirudh practices with his older brother and plays youth games when they are available locally.  Both boys have played in the youth cricket circuit nationally, representing various teams for the past two years.  While there is currently no affiliation offered through Colorado schools, several states such as California, Texas and New Jersey have made great strides to promote the sport at a youth level.

Advait and Anirudh have played at the Major League Cricket (MLC) Jr. national tournament, Independence Cup tournament in Dallas, and other youth tournaments organized by youth clubs in Houston and Dallas.  Advait won the man-of-the-match for his adult cricket club this spring and had the distinction of being the first youth player in the state of Colorado to be recognized as the “Player of the Week” among 20 different adult clubs.  He has consistently remained in the top five percent in national tournaments in bowling and fielding.

Anirudh won two man-of-the-match awards for leading his team to victory with bowling at the Independence Cup in Dallas last year.  Overall, he was judged the best bowler of the tournament in the under-11 category.  This year at the MLC Jr. tournament in Atlanta, Anirudh finished on top as the best bowler in the under-11 category.

photo of young boy holding cricket trophy

Anirudh Swaminathan (11), pictured with his trophy from the Thanksgiving National Tournament in Houston last year, was the MVP of the cricket match playing for St. Louis against Austin.

In addition to playing cricket, Advait enjoys cross country and plays piano.  Anirudh will start cross country in the fall and enjoys building things as well as watching good movies.  The boys enjoy playing cricket the most because of their team contributions with batting, bowling and fielding.  They also enjoy the special moments of success for themselves and their teammates.

Shiva concluded, “These experiences teach them very valuable life lessons like discipline, concentration and taking wins and losses in stride.”

By Kathy Fallert;  photos courtesy of the Swaminathan family




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