SDSU cricket features famous world sport

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

As I got dressed for the competition on Sylvan Green on Sept. 4, I came prepared. I had a Mariner jersey, mitt, batting gloves, eye black and a wad of big league chew.

Unfortunately, the weather forced the cricket game to be canceled. Turns out cricket is similar to baseball. While many know that SDSU has a baseball team on campus, few students know about the cricket team. The SDSU club cricket team, or Brookings 11 Club, has even had success, such as winning the Cricket Lite Tournament in Fargo, N.D., in 2004.

This past August, the Brookings 11 cricket team traveled to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.) to play against five teams in the Independence Cup. Brookings 11 played well in the tournament and came home with the runner-up trophy. The club team that was started in 2002 also earned a man-of-the-series trophy, along with three man-of-the-match trophies.

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players. Each team has its own captain, multiple batsmen, multiple bowlers-cricket’s pitchers-one catcher and other players acting as fielders. It is a bat-and-ball game played on a “pitch,” or a roughly oval grass field in the center of which is a flat strip.

The player who is at bat is called a batsman. At all times, there are two batsman on the wickets, or the cricket equivalent to bases.

The most important position on a cricket team is the captain. The captain’s job is to lead his team, select bowlers and batsman and choose the order in which players will bowl and bat.

A bowler has extreme pressure on him, and it is important that he is present in the moment.

“I have to be perfect in what I am trying to do,” said SDSU bowler Ahsan Iqbal. “I usually bowl fast, and when the batsman get to the time to connect the ball, he doesn’t need much power into it; he can just flick, or he can just time it, so I try to think my thoughts steady.”

Fellow bowler Srikanth Adabala, knows how important his job is for his team. “I feel really good when I get wickets, as in getting the person out, and he can’t play anymore, and so he has to go back,” he said.

Just like in baseball, teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team tries to get batters out. There are only two wickets, or bases, and players can score up to seven wickets (which in this sense, is the cricket score total) in one hit.

“When I went on the [baseball] diamond, I noticed the ball travels fast, but in cricket, the ball can travel even faster,” said adviser Chirag Shukla.

Members of the SDSU cricket team feel connection to their foreign homelands, places where the game is more popular than it is in South Dakota.

“Playing cricket brings back memories of back home, and one cricket is one of the things that unites Southern Asian,” said SDSU cricket player Masi Hasan. “When we played the recent tournament in Minneapolis, teams were surprised team that South Dakota came over there. It’s a really good feeling playing cricket.”

One of the aspects of a cricket player is to be very present in the moment. “(A cricket player) is more technical and has to be composed at all times,” said Shyam Shankar.

On SDSU’s team, a batsman on the pitch has the focus of the team as his first priority. “It’s a team game, so I try to look at the score and what needs to be done to score. If it’s a low total, I just try to get what I get, but if it’s a huge total, I try to get all I can get,” Shankar said.

The SDSU team was proud of their showing on the pitch and enjoyed the spirit of the game.

“Our team spirit, motivation and togetherness paid off in style. The enjoyment, closeness and strong team effort we placed on the table were beyond anybody’s expectations,” Shukla said.

The cricket team will play Saturday afternoons in the spring and fall.

#1.882465:2936270941.jpg:Cricket.2.CMYK.COURTESY.jpg::Courtesy Photo#1.882464:72598752.jpg:Cricket.CMYK.COURTESY.jpg:SDSU cricket players celebrate after competing in a tournament in Minnesota. The club started in 2002.:Courtesy Photo