It’s one of the most popular games in the world, but for most Americans, the sport of cricket is practically a myth.
‘Cricket was introduced in America in the colonial era,’ explained UC Irvine Cricket Club President Rachit Doshi, ‘but never really caught on.’ He, along with many cricket enthusiasts, cites the length and slow pace of the average cricket match as barriers to its popularity.
Strong words indeed, considering that these same charges are often leveled at our national pastime, the enjoyment of which is widely considered to require no small amount of beer. Maybe the rest of the world is just more patient. Or not as sober.
Doshi, a fourth-year neurobiology major, has led the cricket club for the past two years, but it was founded by then-freshmen Sohaib Ahmed and Suren Chattarpal three years ago. Its current membership represents a wide range of experience, from raw beginners to Division I veterans.
‘Spreading and teaching the sport of cricket is one of the goals of the club,’ Doshi said. ‘We fully encourage students eager to learn.’
While the club provides a place for the interested and enthusiastic to share their appreciation of the sport (‘Every time a game is on TV, we get together and stay up the whole night to watch.’), it has a serious competitive side as well. They regularly compete in the Southern California Winter League against teams like those from the University of Southern California, UC Los Angeles, Cal State Long Beach and UC San Diego. UCI’s team finished in second place overall two years ago.
Moreover, last year the club organized the UCI Challenge Cup in which USC, CSLB and Whittier College participated. The second annual UCI Challenge Cup is scheduled for May at the Anteater Recreation Center.
For those unfamiliar with the sport