From Chicago to Painswick: U.S. Youth Star Plays in W.G. Country

One of America’s best youth cricketers, rising star Abhijit Joshi, has temporarily forsaken the Midwest to play for Painswick C. C. in the Gloucestershire Division of the West of England Premier League. Abhijit, who last played in an MCA tournament in 2007 (at 14 he was one of the stars of the U-16 bracket and MVP for MWCA), has since gone on to bigger things – last year he was one of the youngest members of the USA U-19 World Cup squad that played in New Zealand, and he has also been at training camps with the national senior squad. But this summer Abhijit has decided not to play on Astroturf, but on grass, and not in Illinois, but in Gloucestershire, the county of W. G. Grace. At Painswick (between Gloucester and Stroud) he plays alongside men with first-class experience, in a club-cricket environment very different from suburban Chicago. And English conditions in the first half of the season are notoriously difficult for home-grown batsmen, never mind young overseas players. Yet Abhijit has starred (again) for his new club, as the ECB’s statistics page for him reveals: over various formats he has scored approximately one quarter of his team’s runs, and has averaged nearly 50 in his league matches. Reports in the Gloucestershire media make it clear how pleased the Painswick captain was to sign Abhijit, and we hear that the young American batsman is equally happy to play in one of the most beautiful parts of the game’s homeland. Perhaps the route taken by the pioneering Abhijit will be followed by other ambitious young Americans? MCA awaits sequels to the young Chicagoan’s story with great interest.

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