Last year the new American College Cricket members did really well at the National Championship, providing more evidence of the talent existing in many colleges around the USA, dormant until American College Cricket inspires, motivates and in many cases helps start clubs in those schools.
The University of Texas Arlington was begun about a month before the March 2013 Nationals, and got to the final four led by Umer Syed, who was named an All American.
Wayne State University made the Sweet 16, and captain Rohan Uttarwar scored a century and the All America team, despite coming, like all the northern teams, from the cold of winter which prevented practice. University of West Virginia made it to the Sweet 16 and yielded an All American, Sohail Chaudhry. .
All three clubs excelled at getting sponsorship and media coverage as well. UT Arlington was backed by Samosa Hut and Grill, Dallas Premiere League and Currytos Restaurant.
Wayne State was supported by QA Infotech, Michigan Cricket Association, Ford Cricket League, Michigan Premiere CC.
U of West Virginia was sponsored by Icore InfoTech Inc. All 3 clubs received coverage in their college media.
This year University of Northern Illinois, Georgia Tech University and Syracuse University are three new American College Cricket clubs which will be playing in their first National Championship.
The Northern Illinois Huskies played in the Mid West Regional, and actually won a game against the eventual Mid West Champion Iowa State. Led by Club President Sreekar Yellapragada they are chomping at the bit to play in Florida.
Georgia Tech cricket club have been playing locally against non-college teams with success for years, but are now eager to test their mettle against the heightened competitiveness of other colleges, emulating the rivalries of other big time college sports like football and basketball.
Club President Meet Patel said, "The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are really looking forward to playing in the National Championship."
Syracuse University Orange, after playing informally for years, was inspired by nearby Rochester Institute of Technology Cricket Club to join American College Cricket,and are looking to make a colorful splash and imprint their color on the American College Cricket landscape motivated by Benson Matthews.
Benson told us a bit about his Club: "We are eagerly looking forward to be a part of the Nationals this year.
"Our Vice President Thushant had the privilege to bowl to the Aussie international team during the practice sessions in Sri Lanka. He brags about how he clean bowled Brett Lee."
American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah summarised, "A beautiful thing about allowing a few of our new clubs, as ‘wildcards’ to be in the Nationals is that it inspires a significant level of leadership and logistics to pull the trip together, especially for the first time - and its awesome to see students step up and be the leaders and doing all that it takes to get the team to Florida from such great distances.
"Northern Illinois’ Sreekar, for instance, is dealing with temperatures of -40 degrees as he’s making arrangements for his club’s trip!
"They clearly love the game, and many understand the thrill of being on the ground floor of constructing a completely new, and powerful platform for cricket in America and the world."
For student cricketers at their first Nationals its like a kid’s first trip to Disney, or an athlete’s first time at the Olympics - a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The American College Cricket National Championship is from 12th to 16th March, in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
Presented by Coca Cola with Supporting sponsor Dish Network, the Championship Semis and Finals are televised by TV Asia. TV Asia also reports from all 5 days of the Championship . Scoring and Stats are provided by CricHQ.
© Cricket World 2014