The WSU Cricket Club (WSUCC) will conclude their 2011 season of play with matches at 11 a.m. on Aug. 27 and Sept. 17 on Rogers-Orton Field.
The matches will last six hours, three hours for each team with a lunch break. Ranganath Mamidi, a graduate student in Veterinary Medicine and WSUCC’s current president, said the first match is against the Olympic Hurricanes and the second against the Redmond Stallions.
“We have two matches, and we are hopeful that we will win one at least,” Mamidi said. “I’m not optimistic about the win against the Olympic Hurricanes, but I am optimistic that we will do well against them.”
Nick Prante, the University Recreation (UREC) coordinator for Competitive Sports and Youth Programs, said WSUCC is part of the Sport Club Federation and is among the student organizations run through UREC. He said they set their own practice times and schedules.
“I think it’s a really unique club in the fact that it is graduate student focused,” Prante said. “The majority are graduate students probably because of the uniqueness of the sport, and it not having a large following in the U.S.”
Prante said the team has hosted youth clinics in the area, including a clinic at a school by Coeur d’Alene. He said they also did a demonstration at a Cougar kids'camp during the summer, which has allowed them to grow with the community members.
“They’re not only trying to compete and enjoy their sport, but they are also trying to help promote it throughout the community,” Prante said. “I do think that with a lot of their recruiting efforts they have gotten the word out to other individuals on the campus.”
Prante said cricket is one of the older clubs, formed on campus in 1978. He said it had previously been run by mostly faculty, but they recently shifted the club’s administration toward students.
Murali Chandra, a WSU associate professor and coach of the WSUCC, said Cricket is the second most popular game in the world with nearly three billion fans. He said it is played in countries like New Zealand, Australia, Russia and Afghanistan. He said he wishes to see that level of diversity on their team.
“Believe it or not, we have two committed American players in our club, and they never played cricket before joining,” Chandra said. “I hope the game of cricket will become more common in the future.”
Mamidi said the players on WSUCC now are mostly from India because the sport is popular there, but they do have players from the U.S., Sri Lanka, Nepal and England. He said the club is open to anyone with a connection to WSU who is interested, and they do not have to have skill in the sport.
“We will come down and teach them, and once they are more interested they will have the opportunity to play,” Mamidi said. “It’s not about winning or losing, but it is about getting better every time.”
Mamidi said with the organizational help from the UREC and returning members, the team is growing each year. He said the games, which are free admission, are fun to watch for people who know what is going on.
“People are highly encouraged to come and watch and support,” Mamidi said. For people that don’t know the game, there will be members from the Cricket Club that can explain what is going on.”
For more information about the club, matches or season, go to cricket.wsu.edu.