Los Angeles, Dec 19 (mb): An American boys' cricket team, mostly comprised of migrant South Asians, is travelling to India to play matches in Gujarat and Mumbai.
Each of the 12 boys from the US first all-youth cricket league will spend $3,000 of their money to play the matches with a view to gain experience rather than register wins, reports The Mercury News of the Silicon Valley.
According to Hemant Buch, founder of the California Cricket Academy, this is the first time young American cricketers have been invited to India to play in the country's under-15 regional tournaments.
"India wants to see if the Americans are serious cricket players or a bunch of pampered kids. This will just test the water," Buch said.
"I think this trip has the possibility of sending a very good message to the international community and opening a way for the Americans to play on the international stage."
Beginning Saturday, the team will play nine matches over 14 days in Gujarat and Mumbai.
The Cupertino-based league also hopes to play matches this summer in Britain.
The boys, on their part, are eager to get to India.
Pranav Pradham of Fremont, for instance, is keen to get as much experience as possible.
"The point of going is not to win, it's just to get experience. We'll know if we need to train harder or if we're at the level we need to be at," said the 13-year-old.
If the boys do well in India, they might be invited to future international tournaments, Buch said.
He said he had been pushing hard to popularise the game in the Bay Area where there are large numbers of South Asian immigrants who want their children to learn the game they follow with passion.