San Diego Cricket Club is believed to have been formed in 1990 (although some would argue that it was 1989). It was founded at the University of California, San Diego by a group of faculty. However, it grew into a very powerful team in the mid-1990s and remains one of the best clubs in Southern California. Much of its success is attributed to the influx of top players from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the West Indies. SDCC is honored to have two former international players (Raj Ghai of India and Joseph Guiste of the West Indies) among its squad.

From its modest beginnings on the campus of UCSD, it is now a vibrant organization with a very complicated strategy, organizational structure, processes, people, and rewards. Above all, it is administered by a group of volunteers, who have built a community around cricket.

Highlights of SDCC include:

Grounds: It was displaced from UCSD (not enough faculty/students) in 2007. An immediate need was to secure grounds. Senior members of the Club engaged local politicians and volunteered their services on the local recreational council to cooperate with baseball, soccer, and football to promote cricket. The City of San Diego has awarded two grounds for cricket.

Teams in SCCA: With this base, SDCC was able to provide the opportunity for 3 teams (until 2010) to compete in Southern California Cricket Association. Based on its seniority, SDCC was offered playing status at the premier facilities at Woodley. SDCC turned down the opportunity simply because it felt that it was important to “spread” cricket. In 2011, we decided to enter only 2 teams (Div 1 and Div 2) and drop the Div 3 team. This was done in an attempt to recollect our dedicated members and continue to build a strong base.

Growth in popularity of cricket in San Diego: With a large influx of “technology workers,” the demand for cricket in San Diego grew significantly. Hungry cricketers roamed around the City on weekends in search of an empty space to play tape ball (later leather ball) on any acceptable surface.

SDCC responded to this demand by sponsoring a “winter league.” Cricket in San Diego is now organized around 6-9 teams competing in the winter (and for two years in a row a summer league) in the 20/20 format. With close to 150 cricketers playing in the T20 league, SDCC was very well able to take cricket outside the “expatriate community.” The San Diego Cricket Association, which was formed in March 2010 now runs the local T20 league whereas the longer version (40/45 over format) of the game remains SDCC’s primary focus.

Junior cricket: SDCC collaborated with the YMCA to introduce cricket to a wider/younger cohort. It first conducted a 2-hour cricket clinic. With 32 kids and a few Kanga sets, a whole new generation was introduced to the game. SDCC now runs regular 6-week session, with 16-20 kids per session.  A recent event at Park Village Elementary School hosted SDCC, where over 80 children between the ages of 3-15 were introduced to the game.

Naturally, the parents of many of these kids have become interested in cricket. An Over 35 (SD Vintage) team was formed. The objective of this initiative is to motivate parent/child interaction and fitness. It is fun too!

Community outreach: Each year, for the last five years, SDCC was invited by the San Diego Padres (Major League Baseball) to demonstrate cricket at PETCO Park just before a major league game.

We believe that our success was derived from a vision to promote the game and a set of dedicated volunteers. It was a love for the game and the vision to see it prosper which provided the energy for the volunteers.

A disaggregation of the responsibilities and a centralization of coordination provided the structure to accomplish the strategy. A fair and transparent process on and off the field provided the culture of “giving back to the game.”

Rewards (recognition) for those who contribute to the game was at the root of motivation. Together, a clear strategy, structure, processes, people, and rewards resulted in the desired behavior, which has fostered a culture of giving back and a code of high performance.

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