Just in time for the Southeast Championship the Panthers of Florida International University (FIU) have joined American College Cricket ! Panthers Cricket Captain Phani Kiran Vabbina said, “Watching college football, I’ve always wondered-why not college cricket too ? We are so excited about this, this is a dream come true…the players can’t wait !”
Founded in 1965,the first students started attending FIU in 1972, and in 2009 the student body had grown to 40,455 making FIU the 15th largest University in the United Sates.Until FIU came along city of Miami had no 4 year degree school.The University occupies 344 acres in Miami itself, and had an annual Budget of $ 649 million in 2009.
International students comprise 7% of the student body (2008), about one third of them coming from cricket-playing countries like India, Jamaica & Trinidad & Tobago.
In a short time FIU has grown immensely,in size and academic standing.It offers offers nearly 200 programs of study with more than 280 majors in 26 colleges and schools. It is the youngest university to be awarded a Phi Beta Chapter .
According to a US News and World Report “FIU students are among the least indebted college students in the nation”, and recognized the university as a “best buy” in higher education. It also ranked the undergraduate international business program 12th best in the USA and the Chapman Graduate School of Business 11th (2010).The Journal of Criminal Justice ranked the Criminal Justice program 10th in the U.S. in 2007.
The International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) is the USA’s only university-based research facility on hurricanes.
The university is known for its School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and for the past 10 years it has staged the annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. FIU also collaborated with China’s on preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The school also has international campuses in Italy and China.
In sports, Florida International University has 17 intercollegiate athletic teams that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I,and in 2010 the Golden Panthers recaptured the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Sept 11th 2010 for the Panthers opening game against Rutgers Scarlet Knights the FIU Alumni Relations,Student Affairs and Parking Services organized the “Tailgate Village” which thousands attended. This is the first year FIU will have a cricket club team competing in American College Cricket and they could face Rutgers in March at the National Championship.
Former NBA Pistons great Isiah Thomas is the FIU Panther basketball Coach. Famous Alumni include: actor Andy Garcia, and novelist Dennis Lehane (who wrote Shutter Island, made into the movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio & directed by Martin Scorsese).
Traditional rivals of the FIU Golden Panthers include Florida Atlantic University and the Hurricanes of the University of Miami. FIU and UMiami, as well the University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, University of Florida and the University of Tampa will face off in the American College Cricket Southeast Championship on Nov 5,6 & 7th at the Cricket Stadium in Central Broward Regional Park (aka “American College Cricket Stadium” among college cricketers).
FIU Cricket President and Captain Phani Kiran Vabbina is excited to be taking on the other college cricket players in the only Stadium in the USA certified by the International Cricket Council, he added “We feel so lucky to be playing in the Stadium on a field where International stars have played. Then we get another opportunity in March at the national Championship !”
The club Vice President is Mohammed Azeem and the Faculty Advisor is Sandeep Varry.