Ashok Adikoppula played minor league cricket (Sussex Invitation & Sussex Premier League) in mid-2000’s in England and has been a player, coach, umpire, and administrator in USA for 15 years. A husband and a father, who has been living in the Capital Region, working as a consultant IT Project Manager, and helping promote cricket at grassroots level for over a decade in Upstate New York region.
Contributions to the game of cricket:
- Ashok and his like-minded friends are building the Natural Turf Cricket Facility in Schenectady, NY. The facility is poised to host national level tournaments and serve as the first and only natural turf cricket facility in the northeastern part of the United States, the soft opening to scheduled for Memorial Day weekend of 2023.
- Serving as East Zone Working Group Chairman for Youth Cricket operations of USA Cricket since 2022, helped organize U-13, U15 and U-19 zonal tournaments and sent zonal team to national championships with help of other volunteers.
- Served as East Zone women’s team coach in 2022 National Championship.
- Serving as one of the National Youth Cricket Coordinators of USA Cricket from 2020.
- Served as New York Women’s cricket team coach in 2021 and Boston Women’s cricket team coach in 2022 USA Women’s at the Intra-regional tournament for East Regions.
- Advocated for NYS Bill S146/A479 to promote cricket in New York State.
From 2018 to 2022 I have spent 100’s of hours
- to find various versions of the bill sponsors “to promote the game of cricket in NYS”
- to educate various NYS Senate and Assembly members about the game of cricket.
I always used to tell them about game’s history, where it is originated from, where the first international cricket game was played (1844, in New York), how many nations play this game, it’s global popularity and how the global game can help develop more athletes, promote cultural diversity, travel and tourism industry in communities across the state, etc.
It took three separate bills, i.e. attempts – First bill “S7914/A6807- Empire Region Cricket Board” with only Senate version, then I went to Assemblyman Ron Kim’s office and requested him to sponsor the Assembly version, and he was kind enough to ask some question to learn about the game and sponsored the Assembly version. However, it never got anywhere as the scope involved tri-state area. Then I remember visiting Senator Kevin Thomas on his 2nd day in Albany to request for a state level cricket promotion bill, immediately he accepted and asked his team to draft the bill, subsequently met with Assemblywoman Rozic by the million-dollar staircase in the capital as she offered to sponsor the assembly version, so the second attempt was “S3807/A6306 – Empire State Cricket Task Force”, in 2019 session the bill passed in Senate and Assembly but former Governor Cuomo vetoed it. Finally, the bill was approval in its 3rd version “S146/A479 Relates to including the promotion and expansion of cricket in the state of New York to the jurisdiction of the state athletic commission”, huge thanks to honorable Governor Hochul of New York and her team.
Ashok was awarded senate recognition for his efforts on this bill and for his dedication to promote the game of cricket at all levels in New York State and East Zone.
- Founder of the Capital District Cricket Association (CDCA)
A 501c3 organization was founded in 2015 to give an opportunity to growing immigrant community, especially the South-Asian and Caribbean communities to play their favorite sport and excel, originally it started with 6 hardball teams and by 2022 summer the participation grew to 26 teams with both hardball and softball teams in the league. With the inception of CDCA, they have promoted the game to each corner of the capital region. Local Schools, Colleges, Churches, Social Welfare organizations such as Elks Lodge and YMCA, as well as State, City, Town, Village governments and elected officials, everyone is engaged in the game of cricket in the region. The annual Mayor Cup cricket tournament conducted in Albany at Lincoln Park has become a big media item to promote the game.
CDCA is proud to say that they have produced players that are part of the USA National Cricket Team, Zonal teams, Minor League Cricket, and U-19 National tournaments.
- Ashok has introduced the game of cricket in multiple school districts across the capital region and beyond, trained dozens of PE teachers from various school districts, some schools have added cricket to their curriculum as well.
- Played 1st Division Sussex County Premier League and Sussex County Invitational League for 3 summers as an overseas player (maximum of 2 players per team) for Crawley Cricket Club of Sussex in England.
- Played A1 Division 2 Day league for 5 years in Hyderabad cricket association leagues and represented various teams at the youth level, School, College, District and State levels in India.
- CoachEd International Level 3 Coach certification.
- American Cricket Federation (ACF) certified Level 2 cricket coach
- International Cricket Council (ICC) certified Level 1 cricket coach
- England cricket board (ECB ACO) certified cricket umpire
You can find Ashok Adikoppula on a cricket pitch in upstate New York most weekends, trying to dismiss batters with his best balls.
“What you learn on the field, it helps you off the field, because it’s got a lot of discipline,” Adikoppula said. “It’s got a lot of preparation, and then the application and the resilience when you’re in the game.”
When he’s not playing semi-pro cricket, Adikoppula is coaching the next generation as chair of east zone youth cricket operations for USA Cricket.
“So when you jump, jump behind this cone here so your jump stays within the crease, right?” he told a young player. “And also, you’re straight up and just trying to bowl. I want you to bend your back a bit so that you load yourself to push that ball with that speed.”
Adikoppula has been living and breathing cricket since middle school in India. He competed in the country’s A1 Division 2 Day league for five years before playing minor league cricket in England, where he was attending college.
When he arrived in the U.S., it was hard for Adikoppula to find local cricket leagues.
In 2015, he founded the Capital District Cricket Association. Adikoppula later advocated for state legislation promoting the sport.
“Some other sports, you have to be built differently, and in cricket, it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “You don’t need to be built any differently. So I think educating them really helps.”
For his contributions as a player, coach and now advocate for helping grow the game across New York, Adikoppula will be inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame this fall in Hartford, Connecticut.
“I’m not an international player or anything, right, so I wasn’t really hoping or anywhere near in my thoughts or anything,” Adikoppula said.
The honor is a complete surprise to Adikoppula, who says he owes a lot to the game. He continues to pay it forward, currently building a new cricket facility in Schenectady County. It’s a place where Adikoppula hopes will help others develop a passion for the game, just like it did for him.