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Intraregionals: The First Step In The USA Women’s Cricket Pathway

By: Simran Bhogle 

Hearing the ferocious sounds of the audience and feeling the anticipation of every game, many cricketers dream of representing their country at the national level. Taking the first steps towards this goal may seem daunting, but they are truly filled with excitement and camaraderie. Local Intraregional tournaments are the first stop for any women cricketer looking to play at a higher level or simply find a cricket-loving community. As games are held in many regions of the United States, location can not stop anyone from playing the game they love. Any girl or woman looking to play cricket in America should join the Intraregionals games, which begin in April of 2024.

So what exactly are the Intraregional games? They are a yearly-held tournament

organized by USA Cricket to create a pathway for the U19 and Women’s National teams. This gives players guidance to further their cricket journey, knowing that hard work will lead to

leveling up their game. After the Intraregionals games, a selection committee chooses players of great skill, attitude, and fitness to the next level: Regionals. From there, they play in the

Women’s U19 Nations and Women’s Senior Nationals, depending on their age. The USA

Women’s squads are chosen from the pool of players participating in the Nationals games.

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Any girl or woman 13 years of age or older can join, and games take place in many regions around the country. There are four main regions in which the tournament takes place, and they cover the majority of the country!

First, there is the Central/Southeast Region. This region includes the Chapel Hill Bears,

Raleigh Races, Minnesota Monarchs, St. Louis Shooting Stars, and Atlanta Heat teams. The St. Louis Shooting Stars Team is a new addition to this group due to the increased numbers of players.

The next region is the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region. Within this group, the teams are as follows: Boston Lobsters, New York Rockettes, New Jersey Lady Eagles, and D.C. Tigers.

1 Registration for 2024 Women’s Domestic Pathway Now Open – USA Cricket

Over in the Southwest region of the United States, the teams are the Houston Magnolias and the Dallas Spurs.

Finally, the West Region contains the Bay Area Blues, Los Angeles Stars, San Jose Spirit, and Seattle Amazonians. 1

The 2023 Graphic Design team within the USA Cricket FutureShaper interns, a group composed of women promoting growth of cricket in the United States, created logos for each team participating. This gives each team its own identity, motivating the players to work together and increase the level of competition.

 

In order to join the Intraregional program, players and coaches must register online using links. These include player information and more information about the tournament.

Along with providing a pathway for women cricketers to play at the national level, there are other benefits to playing Intraregionals. These games provide players with the incredible opportunity to compete with and against national players. Learning athletes can take inspiration and advice from those with more wisdom regarding the game. In addition, they get to face highly-talented players, making them even stronger. Batting all-rounder Simi Sivakumar from Los Angeles told me that working with the national players “allowed me to aspire to a role model who presented their love for cricket with passion and enthusiasm.” Thus, the Intraregional games give cricketers someone to look up to, furthering their dedication to the sport. Playing alongside national players gives cricketers an idea of what they can accomplish through hard work and training.

In addition, playing Intraregionals introduces a new social circle otherwise hard to find. Although women’s cricket is growing at a fast pace, some regions of the nation may not have many women and girls playing. Therefore, Intraregionals brings like-minded athletes together, allowing them to connect over the game they love. Simi attests to this: “Intraregionals was a great exposure to play amongst new girls along the West coast. It provided me [with] an insight into the group of people I will be playing against in the future years.” Through the Intraregional games, cricketers get the chance to meet like-minded people they may otherwise not have found. The tournament brings enthusiastic athletes together that can share the love for cricket. It also establishes long-lasting bonds, as these players will meet year after year and only grow closer!

Not only do Intraregionals connect girls and women to cricket, but they also give players experience and wisdom. Cricket is a game that always teaches players something new; these ideas help players grow not only as athletes, but as strong-minded people. Through her participation in Intraregionals, Simi learned to “adapt and win games with everyone’s cooperation…as a whole system of players rather than an individual on the team.” Intraregionals games teach cricketers important lessons, such as the significance of working together for every win. Due to the long format of cricket games, one person alone can not lead a team to victory.

Therefore, players must work together and collaborate in order to grow, and Intraregionals provide this opportunity for growth. These skills such as collaboration and communication are especially important because they transfer over to other areas such as school, work, and personal relationships.

Intraregionals are a USA cricket-formed tournament played throughout the United States yearly to develop women’s cricket. These games provide cricketers with a pathway to play at a higher level, opportunity to participate alongside national players, a group of like-minded friends, and the potential to become a stronger person. Any girl or woman interested in cricket should participate in Intraregionals using the links mentioned above.

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