The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation partnered up with the Leeds Area Telugu Association (LATA), an active community organisation committed to honouring and safeguarding Telugu culture and heritage in Leeds, to successfully run the Box Cricket Family Event.

Through an array of cultural events, social gatherings, and community projects, LATA endeavors to cultivate a feeling of inclusion and cohesion among Telugu families residing in Leeds. By emphasising the importance of cultural appreciation and identity, LATA offers a space for members to forge connections, exchange stories, and offer mutual support, thereby enhancing the vitality of the Telugu community in Leeds.

Group involved in the LATA and YCF box cricket event In the realms of cricket, where tradition meets innovation, there exists a form of the game that captivates players and spectators alike—a game known as Box Cricket. Imagine a compact yet electrifying arena, where every shot, every run, and every wicket counts, creating an exciting atmosphere that exceeds the boundaries of conventional cricket.

Box Cricket is a fast-paced, shortened version of traditional cricket, typically played in a smaller, indoor space like a hall or gym. The playing area is smaller, ensuring a dynamic and action-packed game that keeps participants on their toes.

Originating from the lively gullies and mohallas (neighbourhoods) of urban India, Box Cricket emerged as a grassroots phenomenon—a game born out of necessity and creativity. In cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, where cricket is a way of life, enthusiasts transformed indoor spaces into cricket arenas, adapting the rules to suit the compact setting. With shorter pitches and modified equipment, Box Cricket became a beloved pastime, bringing friends and neighbours together for some friendly competition in the heart of their communities.

Box cricket game during the event

One of the organisers, Laxapati Saike, mentioned, ‘We love cricket and had a great experience playing box cricket during our teens back in India so wanted to now bring it back to life here in our communities in Leeds. This type of cricket is very cost effective, power packed and leads to adrenaline pumping finishes where the players and audience get results in a short space of time. This event provides our community with lots of motivation to take up cricket socially and lead to a healthier and happier life’.

Saike added, ‘To create a real build up to the day, we held an auction for captains to purchase team names of their home cities in India which went down a treat with the families. The money that was put forward was then used to help towards the cost of the event.
One of the defining features of Box Cricket is its accessibility. Unlike traditional cricket, which requires expansive grounds and specialised equipment, Box Cricket can be played virtually anywhere with enough space to set up the playing area. The compact playing area encourages quick decision-making, precise execution and teamwork, creating a thrilling experience for players and spectators alike.

Moreover, Box Cricket offers a level playing field for participants of all ages, genders, and skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned cricketer or a rookie looking to try something new, Box Cricket provides an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can participate and contribute to the team’s success.

Group spectating during the event

In total, there were 8 teams: Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Punjab, Amaravati, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Each team consisted of a minimum of 16 players, with 9 players participating at any given time. The lineup included 2 children under the age of 12 and 2 women/girls as part of the playing 9, encouraging participation from the entire family. The tournament featured several rule adjustments to increase accessibility, including underarm bowling, the use of a tennis ball, restrictions on aerial shots, a shorter pitch distance, and a reduced playing area, with each game lasting 30 minutes. In total, 15 games were played throughout the tournament.

The audience witnessed thrilling matches, including two instances of a super over in a single game and nail-biting finishes. Throughout the event, participants were provided with food, including breakfast, lunch, and a celebratory cake at the end. In the end, Bangalore emerged as the champions of the tournament.

Devansh Sehara, Community Development Officer in Leeds stated, ‘It’s great to be partnering up with the Leeds Area Telugu Association to hold a Box Cricket event. This new innovative format breaks down all the barriers, and it’s brilliant to see so many families engaging and getting involved. With plenty of entertainment and activities for children, this event is where the love of the game begins and flourishes. We will now look to grow this event into a local ‘hub’ for the community to continue their great work into the summer.’

To find out more about our community work in Leeds and how you can get involved, please contact Devansh Sehara on [email protected]

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