For practically every student now playing in American College Cricket the dream of being a cricket star had been put in the back of their minds by the time they left their parents’ homes to attend university.
They resigned themselves to live vicariously through the accomplishments of stars like Tendulkar. As some students said, “there are over 1 Billion people in India, and only 11 can play on a cricket team….so your parents tell you – forget your cricket dreams, get an education.”
In its 3 years American College Cricket has put hundreds of these students on a stage where they can be stars living a dream they didn’t expect to come through, whilst getting that valuable education !
Now after the past 6 weeks some of these students can now say they’ve played competitive cricket on TV ! Starting with Rutgers and NYU-Polytechnic, NJ Institute of Technology, Ryerson University, UMBC, Penn State and York College, the teams blazed a trail for American cricket !
So it was that the 6th game was broadcast Dec 10 on TV Asia. NJIT had knocked out a strong UMBC team with a last ball win, to get to the Finals to face a resurgent York College Cardinals team.
Loaded with talent,York College Cardinals have had their issues operating as a team – if they can, they are likely to be a favorite to win the Chanderpaul Trophy at the 2012 Spring Break Championship.
NJ Institute of Technology, on the other hand, were looking for a chance to show their building strength, leading up to the nationals.
York batted first and a wicket in the first over lifted the NJIT Highlanders, but it brought together 2 of the best batsmen in the New York area, left hander Akeem Dodson and right hander Karan Ganesh !
From 1 for 1 at then end of the first over Dodson and Ganesh cracked 27 runs in the next 3 overs . Dodson went on to make 27 with a four and 2 sixes. Ganesh smashed 4 fours in his 29. Then NJIT’s AJ tore into the middle order, getting 3 wickets in his 4 overs, albeit for 31 runs.
But the York College Captain Abbas Khizar lit up the ground with a fine 38 (1 four,3 sixes) in the middle order, enabling York College to get to 161 in their 20 overs. Mayur Patel took 2 wickets in 4 overs for 28 runs, whilst Vixar Patel took 1 for 25 in his 4.
NJIT openers Ravi and Captain Prem started slowly but built a solid foundation, 54 iin 9 overs before Suleman broke getting Prem went for 22 ( 1 four,1 six ). Ata run rate of 6, NJIT was only a bit behind the 8 runs per over needed to get 162 in 20 overs. Then Ravi went for 29 (2 sixes). The rest of the Hiighlanders batting crumbled like a dry Popeyes’ biscuit, and bad running between the wickets resulted in 4 run outs !
Mohammed Suleman, who is looking forward to joining the NYPD in 2011, had an arresting spell of 4 overs,16 and 3 wickets, effectively handcuffing the batsmen. Karan Ganesh was a mystery to the batsmen, taking 2 wickets in his 4 overs for 13 runs. Bilal Shahid bowled a tight spell of 4 overs for 11 runs. Hugo D’Oliveira was the only York College bowler to suffer being hit for 29 runs in 3 overs, but he took the important wicket of Ravi.
So York College emerged as the American College Cricket Mid Atlantic Champion in emphatic fashion.The team looked resplendent in their cardinal red uniforms, with “American College Cricket” across the front – thanks to the work of their new Captain Abbas Khizar, and Ravi of CricketzoneUSA.com
Most importantly, this was the 6th game televised by American College Cricket and TV Asia – effectively lifting cricket in America up much higher than it had been. Cricket in America, and Canada had never before been on television !
The slow motion replays, split screens, graphics gave the telecast a professional look that got better with each game – and its exciting to look forward to how good it will be for the next matches !
Commentary was ably done by Andre Kirton, Aoun Jafarey (Indiana U), Rishabh Natarajan (NYU-Poly), Hammad Rana (Indiana U) and Lloyd Jodah.
TV Asia has committed to televising at least 21 matches next year, including from the American College Cricket Spring Break Championship in March 2012, for which Registration is now going on.
by Lloyd Jodah