A new club has been formally accepted and recognized by the Troy University SGA, thanks to the efforts of several international students.
About two years ago, several students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh came together to form an informal cricket club.
Despite low popularity and insufficient support, the students have successfully managed to execute 55 cricket matches, with three of the matches being against external universities.
Shivacharanreddy Mandhala, a graduate computer science student from Hyderabad, India, describes cricket as a sport similar to American baseball.
“The game consists of two teams with 11 players on each team. One team bats while the opposite team fields,” Mandhala said. “The batting and fielding roles are chosen on a toss basis and reversed at the end of one session of game, known as innings.”
Similar to baseball, the object of the game is to score runs when at bat and to get out the players of the opposing team to keep them from scoring when playing in the field, according to Mandhala.
“Cricket was invented in England, and it gained popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries,” Mandhala said. “So, its popularity spread through the countries that were part of the British Empire during that time. A few notable countries that are big in the game of cricket across the globe are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
“I hope that the game soon becomes popular in the American continents as well.”
Dev Tandel, a graduate information systems student from Bilimora, India, serves as the president of the club.
“I have enjoyed playing cricket all my life,” Tandel said. “The club was formed by an Indian student long before, but due to lack of student interest to exhibit leadership, we did not exist for a few years.”
Fortunately, more and more students have shown interest in playing the game, so the club was started back up and formally recognized by the SGA on Sept. 16, 2016.
According to Tandel, the group members maintain communication with each other to plan practices and matches on a social media platform called “WhatsApp.”
“Since our club is at an elementary stage, we still do not have any established activities, scheduled meetings or set locations; however, we mostly just get together to play during the weekends at the Troy Rec Center field,” said Tandel.
According to Tandel, the club brings students with a common interest together while simultaneously providing students with an opportunity to relieve stress from their daily activities and energize them.
Tandel looks forward to recruiting more members throughout this semester.
“This club will prosper if students are willing to invest their time and skills and create a great platform for American students to get along with international students, as well,” Tandel said.
“Cricket is the only sport followed and played by people in India to a great extent. I literally grew up watching and playing cricket,” said Ishtiaq Khan, a graduate computer science student from Hyderabad, India, and a member of the cricket club.
According to Khan, unlike many other sports, cricket is played for longer hours, continuously filled with action every second.
“I heard people referring to cricket as a religion in India,” Khan said. “I believe this sport is a religion, metaphorically, as the whole nation gets united during a cricket match, irrespective of the diversity of the culture, language and religious beliefs throughout the many states of India.
“We would love to teach cricket to American people, as this sport is not played much here. We are available if anyone wants to know and learn this fun sport.”
All interested students can contact Dev Tandel at email@example.com.