March 18, 2011
The UT Cricket Club has about 65 members, including a diverse range of Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and American students. Only 14 play on the competitive team, which travelled to Fort Lauderdale for the tournament.
It came as a surprise to members of UT’s Cricket Club that in its debut, it qualified for a national tournament.
team placed third in American College Cricket’s Southeast Championship
in November over teams like the University of Miami. They advanced to
the 2011 Spring Break Championship taking place March 15-20 against
teams like the University of Florida and Auburn University.
surprised us a little bit because we hadn’t played much together
before,” said Kaushal Vaddiraj ’13, president of UT’s Cricket Club,
which formed in the fall. “We didn’t have any expectations. Now we have
set a higher bar.”
The UT Cricket Club has about 65 members,
including a diverse range of Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and American
students. Only 14 play on the competitive team, which travelled to Fort
Lauderdale for the tournament. They were nervous but also excited to be
playing in the nation’s unofficial cricket capital, near the site of one
of the only cricket stadiums in the U.S., Vaddiraj said.
our friends are expecting us to win now,” said Ishan Patel ’11, the
club’s vice president and team captain. “We are trying hard to do our
best in this national championship.”
Ask Vaddiraj why he likes cricket, a game he’s been playing since he was 3, and his answer is simple.
Indian,” said Vaddiraj, an economics major, describing the sport as
almost a religious experience for Indians, an obsession that draws
families away from the dinner table to watch the televised games.
Patel, a nursing major, compared it to Brazilians’ love of soccer and Americans’ love of football.
an Indian says he doesn’t know cricket, it’s unacceptable,” said Patel,
whose mother was a cricketer in high school, a rarity for Indian
females at the time. “It’s in my blood. I have a passion for it.”
hard ball used in the sport, slightly smaller than a baseball but much
harder, provides for a fast game. While the UT Cricket Club’s
competitive team is all male (though open to females), there have
several women who participate in the club’s noncompetitive games, which
use tennis balls.
Vaddiraj compares the game to baseball, but
instead of running between four bases, the batter runs straight between
two wickets (bases). The ball is bowled (pitched) and if caught in the
air, will render the batter out (like with a pop fly).
my aims is getting more American students to come and play,” said
Vaddiraj, who along with Ishan plays in the Central Florida Cricket
League on a club team. “It’s just a matter of getting them exposed to
The UT Cricket Club meets on Friday and Saturday evenings on
the intramural fields on campus. The club can be contacted through its Facebook page as well as by calling Vaddiraj, (763) 447-5936.
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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