For the first time ever, UTA has a team participating in the 2013 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship in Fort Lauderdale, South Beach and Miami, Florida, where 28 teams from around the country will run, pitch and bowl for the coveted title.
Information systems junior Humayun Mughal, batsman for the UTA team, said this is also the first time a school from the Metroplex is being represented at the games, which have been occurring since 2009.
“We want to show people that there’s cricket here,” Mughal said.
Cricket is a sport similar to baseball with 11 members on each team, with bowlers instead of pitchers, batsmen and wicket keepers. Cricket has more rules than most other sports. For instance, once a player is out, they are done for the duration of the game.
“In cricket, you can get out by running, kind of like baseball, you can get out if you get hit on the leg, there’s a lot of ways,” Mughal said.
There are six other first-timers at the championship this year, including Harvard University, which will compete throughout Spring Break.
Batsman and bowler Umer Syed, biomedical engineering graduate student and international student from Pakistan, began the UTA group when he saw that other students, both local and international, missed playing the game they played at home in India, Pakistan or other South Asian countries. The students have submitted an application to become an official club on campus to Student Congress, which will decide in April.
Pradeep Raghuwanshi, alumnus and international student from India, said that he wants more support from the school and students.
“More than 100 players have been participating from last three years, so cricket is already big at UTA, it’s just that we are going to participate in a U.S. level tournament for the first time,” Raghuwanshi said.
At the event, each team will participate in a minimum of three games with 240 pitches, which will last about three hours. The semi-final and final games will be broadcast back-to-back March 17 on local television channels, Mughal said.
Raghuwanshi said the UTA team just won the Memorial Cup in the fall of 2012.
Although the team has the talent, what it really needs is support and funds, information systems junior Saad Achtar, also from Pakistan, said.
“We just need support,” Archtar, the opening bowler, said.
To follow the progress of the team, like American College Cricket on Facebook or visit the website.
“We love cricket, we’re going to be there, and we’re going to make sure we win and represent UTA,” Mughal said.