When helmets with facemasks, gloves, and leg padding are involved students might start pulling out the lawn chairs, barbeque, and corn hole to start tailgating for a football game. But this past Homecoming weekend, nine players of UM’s Club Cricket team traveled to Central Broward Regional Park to compete in the American College Cricket Regional Championships.
“It was like a club sport playing basketball in the American Airlines Arena,” said junior Shahaan Razak, president of club cricket, “It was a big step for us.”
Central Broward Regional Park is the only certified international cricket stadium in the United States.
The tournament put the Canes up against the best teams in the southeast region including University of Tampa (UT), University of Central Florida (UCF), University of South Florida (USF), Florida International University (FIU), University of Florida (UF), and Auburn University.
“Compared to last year we did a lot better,” said senior Jodel Gopeesingh, the club’s treasurer, “a lot of the guys never played cricket before this year.”
The team is very young as all but two players graduated last semester.
“It’s really strange to come here and play with people who have never played,” said freshman Warren Perumal, vice president of the club and international student from Sri Lanka, “I’ve played since I could walk, in Southeast Asia everyone plays.”
Cricket can easily be compared with baseball as it is a bat and ball sport but the two are very different. Where in baseball you have nine innings, in cricket there are only two. So as soon as the first inning ends the other team immediately knows what score they have to beat and the first batting team doesn’t get a chance to come back.
There are also several different ways of playing cricket. The classic way, that professionals would play can last several days because a whole team will bat and each batter, or batsman in cricket terms, will continue hitting until they get out. The other various versions were created to limit the number of pitches thrown, or bowls in cricket terms, to shorten the game.
“The shorter play draws a better crowd,” said Gopeesingh, “games last from two and half to three hours rather than all day.”
The style they played in the tournament was called 20 over. An over is six bowls and pitchers, bowlers in cricket terms, switch out every over. The style is called 20 over because each inning consists of 20 overs or 120 pitches.
The team lost to UT and UF to knock them out of the tournament.
“It was a world class experience that I didn’t want the team to miss out on,” said Razak, “we all had a lot of fun.”
UM Club Cricket practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the Yaron IM fields, all are welcome.
Sandra Montalvo may be contacted at email@example.com.