Rahul ‘Rocky” Bhanut (UMBC) – a Player to Watch at the Nationals !

Rahul Bhanut (UMBC) Oct 2013

Rahul Bhanut (UMBC) Oct 2013

Rahul Bhanut  made his American College Cricket debut, as well as his debut for UMBC, at the Mid Atlantic Regional Championship, blasting 108 in 70 balls, with 8 fours and 6 sixes, it was a smorgasbord of powerful strokes ! The 6 feet tall 185 lbs Bhanut delighted spectators with a plethora of confident shots all around the wicket.
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He then got his first opportunity to play on TV, in the Semi Finals & Finals of the Regionals which Penn won. He made 33 in a thrilling Finals that went down to the last ball, delighting TV Asia viewers all over the USA and Canada ! Getting interviewed by TV Asia afterwards was also a first for the young cricketer.
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A mechanical engineering student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Rahul was thrilled to make an impact on the national stage provided by American College Cricket and TV Asia. He said,
“I am excited to be playing in American College Cricket, I feel lucky to be a part of it. I started playing years ago in my front yard with friends, growing up in Annapolis, Maryland. From there I developed a love for the game, and a desire to learn and do better…and my cricket addiction began !”
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Rahul has been playing in the Washington Cricket League (WCL) from age 18 – a large well-run league that features fast bowlers like Imran Awan (clocked at 94 mph about 10 years ago) and former West Indies’ Jermaine Lawson. Excellent administrators, past and present like Sheldon Ellis and Shoiab Ahmed, have ensured opportunities for young cricketers growing up in the area, alongside immigrant players.
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Last spring the U of Maryland Baltimore County celebrated UMBC’s Championship win by showcasing the team with the Trophy at half time of an inter-collegiate lacrosse game, but now its winter, what is Rahul and the UMBC Retrievers doing to prepare for the Nationals ?
“For the National Championship the UMBC team and friends have been practicing a couple of times a week at the Indoor cricket center. We are determined to do our best to retain the National Championship, and this will be my first trip with the team so I’m really excited.”
American College Cricket has created a new platform for cricket in the world – what can you personally do, in addition to playing, to contribute to that effort ?
“I am planning to do youth coaching in spring, plus tell my friends about American College Cricket and help them to get involved with it. It was a dream-like experience to play on TV, and only American College Cricket gives that opportunity.”
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UMBC veterans like Captain Rikin Parikh and manager/player Anand Patel watched Bhanut’s century delightfully as Bhanut, nicknamed “Rocky”, could not have come along at a better time for the UMBC Retrievers, as many of their top players have graduated. American College Cricket allows (if a school’s rules permit) 2 alumni in the playing XI, but it will be up to newer players like Rahul, Minhaj Shahid & Rocy Tohidul Islam to keep the Retrievers’ flag flying.
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Since October 2011 American College Cricket and TV Asia have televised 33 matches, and this March will televise the Semis and Finals of the National Championship as college teams from all over the USA & Canada converge on the CBRP Cricket Stadium to try to take the Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy, and the National title home – Rahul Bhanut is ecstatic about being a part such an exciting Spring Break !
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No surprise who Rahul’s favorite cricketer is :
“Rahul Dravid. Not because we both have the same first name, but because he is a  pleasure to watch. Apart from cricket I like playing soccer. I like listening to the music of Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan and Gurdass Mann, or watching documentaries. I especially love spending time with my family.” 
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Yes, even batting terminators have their soft side – off the field ! Watch for Rocky II this March in Ft Lauderdale !
Posted by ljodah | NEWS,UMBC (Maryland),Universities