IAGB Spotlight-The Chickadees of Massachusetts

To say that Indians love cricket is an understatement. No matter where on earth Indian diaspora exists we find places and opportunities to play cricket. However it takes another level of effort to play the game in its authentic format. Playing authentic hardball cricket for women – that is perhaps the highest level of difficulty one has to face anywhere. Chickadees of MA have took it upon themselves to face that under Meera Subramaniam’s leadership for the love and joy of cricket.

Chickadees (1)

Chickadees is the first and the only women’s leather ball cricket team in Massachusetts.  Meera Subramaniam devotes her time as the manager and coach of this team. She grew up playing baseball in Bangalore, but switched to cricket at Shantha Rangaswamy’s suggestion. Shantha is the pioneer of women’s cricket in India – she was the first woman to lead an Indian cricket team and also the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the BCCI. Such great motivating factor coupled with her own abilities, discipline, and hard work, Meera soon found herself playing India National level cricket. Her dedication, and sheer joy of playing team sport with likeminded people turned the sport of cricket from hobby to passion. And that passion she carried in her heart came to US along with her when she moved here.

Contrary to a general misconception, cricket has a long history in the USA. The sport was being played here even before it became the United States and historical records as early as 1709 have chronicled its existence. It mainly fell victim to the Civil War and its popularity was overtaken by baseball. Today cricket is once again thriving in the USA and its growth & development is governed by organizations like the USA Cricket and National Women’s Cricket League (NWCL). There is a clear structure based on separate zones and clusters within, which provide a pathway for development of the sport. Massachusetts State Cricket League carries out the governing role on the state level. In fact, MSCL President Dilip Chavan once asked Meera Subramaniam to develop a women’s team when he saw her coaching a few kids.

She also got to meet another set of passionate players during a regional tournament three years ago and that’s when Chickadees started to take shape. Meera had never stopped playing cricket and was perfectly positioned to be their coach. She is also the assistant coach for the USA Cricket (East Zone). Chickadees meet regularly on weekends and toil through the strict physical regime Meera has set for them. Their hard work has started bearing fruit. At a recent intra-regional tournament organized for quality players, Chickadees had an impressive performance. That exposure and experience has inspired them for further growth. The women from the age group of 15 – 55 are bonding together through their love for the sport and in search of a platform for their talent and efforts. And because there existed none, they are creating it themselves. 

Meera and Chickadees are inviting passionate cricket lovers to get involved and make cricket an actual part of their life. If you’re one of them, feel free to send an email to msiyer07@yahoo.com 

We wish Chickadees all the best for their future plans!