Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue of The Bells
For most students here at UMHB, the word cricket is nothing more than the name of the annoying bugs that invade the campus every year. However, for the Indian students here on campus, cricket is a beloved sport and a piece of home.
“Cricket is a game that was invented in England,” said Sumanth Ande. “We have 3 formats in cricket: T20 (20 overs, each over containing six balls ), ODI (one day international, in which each team plays 50 overs so 300 balls), and Tests (a five day game with two innings). There are 11 members per side, and since it’s a clash between two teams, there are 22 members needed to play a match. The team that wins the toss will have the option to bat or ball, and the second team chases the other team’s score to win the match.”
Because of its popularity in India, members of the Indian Student Association decided to come together to start a cricket league for these students to participate in on campus.
“The students and members of ISA together started the league because it helps the students when they miss their home country,” ISA Events Coordinator Girish Maganti said. “This place is a home away from home for all Indian students, so it’s kind of a stress buster and fun activity.”
Although this cricket league is still relatively new, it has been one of the most successful ongoing events that ISA has planned in the last few years.
“We decided to start the league because it is one the best games in India and we all love to play cricket,” Maganti said. “The league has been going on for the last couple of years. This is my second semester here and I came to know that they conduct this league every semester. I was the conductor for the league last semester, as I’m the event organizer for ISA. It’s been awesome.”
Maganti and the rest of ISA try to make the league as authentic as it is back home for these students, down to the very last detail.
“Firstly, we need teams to conduct the matches,” Maganti said. “We pair up the different teams randomly and according to winning teams, the competition changes. Based on points, we will decide the final match between two teams and we award the prizes for winners and runners.”
This league plays every semester. The teams practice separately, but not in school.
Last year, there were five different teams, but the amount of students that participate varies each semester.
“Any student that is interested can join,” he said. “A full team has 11 main players and there may be three or four extra players for substitution.”
This league has already proved to be a successful one, as it has helped students to not only relax and have fun, but also to feel like maybe their home isn’t so far away.”
“The purpose of this league is to make some friendly competition between the students,” Maganti said. “For me, as the ISA coordinator, my job is to conduct some events for Indian students. It brings a feel of our home country to the students with games all throughout the semester.”
Maganti also believes that getting involved in school, beyond just the classroom, is a very important part of college.
“We want all students to be involved in campus activities,” Maganti said. “It helps students to indulge in more than just their studies. We like to see them explore the school outside of just their classes. Everyone needs some some sort of game or sport to participate in. We chose cricket for Indian students, but many American students are interested in learning about this sport as well because it is a very fun and active game.”