North Kanto Cricket Association
The City of Sano in North Kanto has made Sano the home of cricket in Japan (City of Cricket Sano). The JCA office is located in Sano, not far from Sano station. The Sano Supporters Club is an organisation started by a group of local businessmen whose aim is to raise money for and support the development of cricket in Sano and Japan. National tournaments such as the Japan Cup Finals and International tournaments such as the East Asia Cup and East Asia Pacific Trophy are held in Sano every year.
There are four grounds at by the Watarase Rievr in Sano, which are accessible from Tatebayashi station on the Ryomo line from Tokyo. The newly named Sano International Cricket Ground is big enough to host international matches. All grounds are easily accessible by car and are located just off the Tohoku expressway. Sano City has plans to develop the Sano International Cricket Ground over the next few years, creating a facility which will feature: two grounds (turf and synthetic pitches), training facilities (nets, practice wickets), clubhouse with change rooms, toilets, showers, etc. In terms of grounds and facilities North Kanto has more to offer than any other region in Japan at this stage.
The North Kanto Lions are the representative team for the region and are competing in the Japan Premier League in 2016.
The Cricket Blast program has been running regularly over the past two years in Sano, introducing new kids to cricket. The Sano Junior club has two sections and has over 60 kids. In 2015 a representative under 15 team, the North Kanto Braves, was created. The team won the Japan National Under 15 tournament.
The Japan Cup North Kanto competition has been held in Sano over the last few years. It is easy and affordable to enter and is played on quality cricket grounds. There is no limit at this stage to the number of teams that can enter.
Clubs in North Kanto provide volunteers for the Cricket Blast, which in 2016 is running once a month on Sundays (on the morning of Japan Cup matches). These volunteers are helping to develop the new generation of players in North Kanto.
The social league in Sano runs throughout the year as a way of engaging the local community in cricket. Social league events are fun, fast and friendly and usually include a BBQ afterwards. Sano hosts plenty of big events. The Japan Cup Finals, October 8-10, hosts the top club and regional teams from around Japan. The East Asia Cup, November 3-6 will see Japan compete against China, South Korea and Hong Kong Dragons. The North Kanto Cricket Association is always looking for new volunteers to join in the excitement.
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