Iconic International cricketer Shiv Chanderpaul today announced the 2014 Class of Inductees into the American College Cricket Hall of Fame ! This is the 2nd Class since the Hall of Fame was established. In a statement the legendary West Indies & Guyana batsman Chanderpaul, now in his 20th year at the highest level of the game, said,
“I was delighted to announce the launch of the American College Cricket Hall of Fame, back in December 2012 in NYC. Now it gives me great pleasure to release the names of the players who are being inducted in 2014 into the Hall of Fame, following the 1st Class in 2013. These college cricketers have made their mark on the development of the game in the United States, and we honor their legacy.”
The 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees is being released in 2 Parts : Part 1 is the Players category, selected from students who joined American College Cricket in 2010 or before. Part 2 is the non-Player categories, which honor historical, administrative and other contributors to the game in America & Canada.
KHUSHROO WADIA (York University)
Khushroo’s stats say it it all – he is the # 1 American College Cricket batsman of all time ! In 2010, with Jai Patel, Khushroo propelled York University’s successful Championship effort by ensuring they got a great start, he scored 4, 75*, 38, 22, 78 and 54 for a total of 271, average 54.2 !
At the 2011 Championship he scored 58, 28, 67 and 65 (tied with Adrian Gordon,NYU-Poly for most runs) for a total of 218, average 54.5 !
At the 2012 Championship he scored 34,113, 22, 52 and 32 . Wadia scored the only century of the Championship and aggregated 253, average 50.6.
His aggregate in all American College Cricket innings is 742 from 15 innings, 1 not out, average of 53, with 1 century & 7 fifties, only failing once ! He was a College Player of the Year , and made the All America/All Canada teams in all 3 years he played.
He was highly instrumental in York University winning the Championship in 2010, putting on 78 with Jai Patel for the opening partnership in the Finals and playing the steady role for nearly the entire York U innings. Strongly built Khushroo is one of the hardest hitters of the ball you may see in any cricket but a quiet man who always displayed the “Spirit of Cricket’. On and off the field he has been an Ambassador for American College Cricket.
York University’s victory earned mainstream coverage in Canada’s top paper, the Globe & Mail, and spurred the start of modern university-level cricket in Canada.
His performances in American College Cricket, and on our web streams in 2010 & 2011 thrust him into the spotlight and Khushroo was selected to represent Canada. His high scores for Canada were 75*, 56, 40 & 37. A knee injury has limited his cricket in recent years, but he hopes to be back in action soon.
ROMEL SOMAVAT (Ohio State University)
The 6′ 2″ Somavat is one of the top American College Cricket all rounders ever – an attacking batsman who smashed a century, 97 and 55* to lead Ohio State to winning the first Mid West Regional. He had earlier captained the team at the 2010 Nationals. As OSU’s opening bowler he bowled with speed and bounce.
As President of the Buckeyes Cricket Club he hosted the first ever American College Cricket Regional – the 2010 Mid West Championship. He got the then President of Ohio State University Gordon Gee to attend, & present the Trophies. This led to Dr Gee agreeing to be on the Advisory Board of American College Cricket, and the Mid West Trophy being named the Gordon Gee Trophy. Somavat was a 2010 College Player of the Year & All American.
Rahul also strove hard over the years to get the grass cut closer to a cricket length on OSU’s on campus cricket field. As simple a requirement as this is, cricketers in America know how hard it is to accomplish.
At the 2012 Mid West Regionals Rahul scored a century,116,and opened the bowling helping the Buckeyes retain the Gordon Gee Thropy.
Even after earning his PhD, Romel stayed involved with the OSU Buckeyes Cricket Club, and assisted whenever needed.
ADRIAN GORDON (NYU Polytechnic University)
“Adrian steams in like a man who’s just overheard the batsman saying something untoward about his mother. His action is less about honed fluidity, more about barely contained aggression.” from the Nottingham Post in England.
However Adrian first caught the eye of American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah as a batsman. With Jodah’s assistance Adrian formed a cricket club at NYU-Polytechnic University, recruited fellow students, and acted as de facto Captain/Coach/Manager as they took part in the 2010 Nationals.
Gordon lead NYU-Poly again in the National Championship in 2011, where he smashed a record breaking 145*, and 2 other 50s. A hurt foot limited his bowling but he was named a Championship MVP, earning the opportunity to spend 10 days in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals !
His leadership and play earned him selection as a College Cricket Player of the Year in 2010 & 2011, as well as College All-American selections, in 2010 and 2011. Upon graduation in 2011 NYU-Polytechnic President Jerry Hultin hosted a farewell party, where he toasted Adrian :
“At NYU-Poly, we challenge our students from across the world to lead new paths, and this is what you did here. You expanded opportunities for your fellow students, you collaborated in the same way that you do in your academics – to improve lives – and I applaud you for that.”
For the USA in 2011 Gordon took 3 for 21 against Tanzania, 3 for 25 against Argentina and wrapped up the tournament by destroying the batting of Italy, taking 4 wickets for 35. Italy had beaten the USA ,earlier in the tournament in a game which Gordon did not play. Against Bahamas he took 2 for 25,and 4 for 38 against the Argentineans in Bermuda. He played a huge role in the US moving up to Division 3.
He spent a summer playing for Skegness in the Lincolnshire League in England and practiced with the West Indies and South African teams in 2012.
From the beginning Adrian contributed greatly OFF the field to American College Cricket, assisting with the organizing of several Regionals, beginning with the 2010 North East and Mid Atlantic Regionals. At the 2014 Nationals Gordon was a part of the Management & Commentary Teams.
RAHUL POTGHAN (Auburn University)
As Vice President of the then Auburn Cricket club, an informal organisation at the time, Rahul initiated the effort and communication with American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah to make Auburn a member of American College Cricket.This in turn led to the club getting official status at the school, and being asked to use the name Auburn University Cricket Club as an official club, as they got ready to play in their first ‘hard ball’ tournament, the 2010 American College Cricket National Championship
Later in the year, the team again made the 14 hour drive and played as a tight unit to defeat Auburn’s major SEC rival, the University of Florida, to win the first South East Championship. The team then got to the Final 4 at the 2011 National Championship ! Rahul was one of Auburn’s squad of seamers. Whilst none of these bowlers stood out, as a group they bowled tight and effectively.
Each Regional & National Championship Rahul was one of the leaders who ensured the team made the trip to Ft Lauderdale, as well as organized practices, fundraising etc. A soft-spoken man, Rahul engaged in various efforts to promote American College Cricket such as after reaching the Final 4, the club made a proposal that the club be celebrated at half time of an Auburn football game. Though not successful it was the kind of effort we need more of. He was also one of the organizers of the annual tape ball tournament,the Tiger Cup among nearby universities.
Throughout his college years Rahul was a significant contributor to the American College Cricket movement and upon graduation, and moving to the West Coast, he seized the opportunity to continue contributing to American College Cricket by handling the IT duties.
JAI PATEL (York University)
At the 2010 Championship the left-hander Jai Patel delighted everyone with his stroke play and together with Khushroo Wadia gave York University big opening partnerships that played a major part in the team winning the Championship. Jai scored 53, 48, 44 and 37 and then in the Finals blasted 48 out of 78 for the opening partnership with Khushroo to get York University off to a winning start. Jai won the Finals MVP Award and among the many talented young players, he showed he was a world class talent.
American College Cricket Founder & President Lloyd Jodah said then, “Jai played such beautiful strokes it reminded me my brother Errol, and of other left-handed stroke players of the past like Gary Sobers, Alvin Kallicharran & Brian Lara !
Jai is also a fast bowler and came back with York University in 2011, and in 2012 was one of the organizing leaders of the team.York U got to the Final 4 in 2011 and lost a close game to USF.
He repesented UAE in the Asia Cup at the Under 15 level scoring 93 in the Finals vs Bahrain. He went on to represent UAE at the Under 17 and Under 19 level against Ireland, Scotland and Malaysia. In 2007 Jai Patel was selected for a High Performance Course at the MRF Academy, Chennai .There he met Dennis Lillee and got the opportunity to face Mitchell Johnson and Irfan Pathan in the nets.
Jai is unique, in that though he attended York University, he’s an American resident.
IAN CARLIN (College of Wooster)
Ian came to College of Wooster as a running back for the football team. He soon developed an interest in cricket, after watching his school mates’ passion whilst viewing a India vs Pakistan cricket match.He began to look at Youtube cricket videos and show up for the cricket club practices, where Club President Maaz Khan became his ‘coach’.
Maaz meantime was determined to follow up on the mention Wooster cricket got in the 2009 NY Times coverage of the first American College Cricket Spring Break Championship, by actually getting a team to the 2010 Championship.
Carlin worked on his wicket keeping and batting skills, and made the team that came to the National Championship where no one watching him ‘keep’ would believe he had started playing cricket just months before ! Ian’s enthusiasm for cricket, and his hard work paid off and he was selected as a 2010 College Player of the Year and the 2010 John Bart King Award winner . This in turn landed him in Sports Illustrated of Jan 31, 2011 – the pre-Super Bowl edition !
The work of students like Maaz & Ian earned the attention of key staff like Nicola Kille, coach Graham Ford and Wooster President Grant Cornwell, who joined the American College Cricket Advisory Board. In 2010 the school President Cornwell took the opportunity present by a football scheduling miss, and put cricket as the Homecoming Game (after 112 years of football). A cricket match has been annually at Wooster Homecoming since. As if that was not enough, the school, in 2010 had a record attendance of over 900 at the football Stadium for the cricket match.
NAVEENAN THIAGARAJAN (Auburn University)
As Club President & Captain Naveen led Auburn on their 14 hour drive to the 2010 National Championship to to the first American College Cricket South East title in 2010, defeating SEC rivals the Gators. His 50 in the 2011 Finals almost took the Tigers to victory, but after he was out, UF was able to win by 16 runs.
He gave Auburn solid starts as an opening batsman. In 6 innings in 2011 (at the South East regional & the American College Cricket Spring Break Championship) he made three fifties, 56*,59 & 50 .He also made 2 other good scores of 25 and 20 (when he featured in a partnership of 93 runs). With his batting and Captaincy Naveen led Auburn to the Final 4 in the 2011 National Championship !
Since 2009 the Auburn club has held a tape ball tournament, the Tiger Cup under floodlights.As Auburn Cricket Club President Naveen played a large role in the organizing of this tournament. Strong pillars of American College Cricket Naveen & Rahul Potghan always ensured Auburn was one of the first clubs registered for Regional and National Championships.
In his final year Naveen was selected to go up in NASA Zero G plane to experience Zero Gravity, wearing a NASA space uniform. Now graduated with a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering Naveen continues to be involved with Auburn Cricket and American College Cricket.
BAIJU SHAH (Texas Tech University)
Baiju Shah led the Red Raiders Cricket Club into American College Cricket membership in 2010, and immediately he made them the leading club in Social Media sharing. From the moment they joined American College Cricket Baiju demonstrated a clear understanding of our mission – “Bringing back the Original American & Canadian Game – Cricket”, and promoted the cause.
Under Baiju’s leadership the club was featured in a Photoshoot after the 2011 Nationals for the University’s Viewbook, which is used to recruit students to Texas Tech. Then the club was named Texas Tech’s “Student Organisation of the Year” out of over 400 organizations, followed by the Texas Tech Sports Clubs Federation award for “Team of the Year” ! They were also in Lubbock media for their World Cup party and celebration of India’s World Championship win. Lubbock is the birthplace of early rock icon Buddy Holly.
To get to the Nationals Shah showed more leadership, by utilizing an array of fund raising mechanisms :
“We started promoting the game and club through club t-shirts and online fundraisers. That helped us in attracting a lot of eye balls, which in turn helped us in other fundraisers and collecting a lot of donations from the community, local businesses and cricket loving professors. Whatever was short, the players pitched in. ”
One of many American College Cricket graduates of the Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune Baiju graduated from Texas Tech with a Masters in Management Systems and is now working in Africa. He continues to give financial support to Texas Tech Raider Cricket.
ANUP GANDHI (University of Iowa)
Anup Gandhi, one of our Maharashtra Institute of Technology Pune graduates, started the University of Iowa Hawkeyes Cricket Club in 2009. He organised intra mural tournaments and clinics even in winter, in the football practice bubble, growing the club’s member base. His efforts were featured on the local TV news.
Anup then made presentations to the Depts of Student Affairs and Recreation for a cricket field. Identifying an appropriate area, Gandhi got his school to follow through and make a pitch, thereby becoming at the time one of only a few American & Canadian universities to have its own on campus cricket field.
Later when Texas A & M was making a cricket field, American College Cricket founder Lloyd Jodah asked Anup about his pitch-building experience which was then passed on to the A & M Aggies’ cricket club.
Gandhi strove hard to bring students new to the game into the club, and was the mentor of 2011 John Bart King Award winner, Darren Stortz,whose introduction to cricket was at a Hawkeyes cricket club clinic in Dec 2009.
A wrist injury prevented Anup from playing in their first National Championship – losing their top all rounder was a big setback for the Hawkeyes but he ensured they made the trip. Then he volunteered to host and organize the American College Cricket Regional tournament, which the Hawkeyes did at home on their cricket field (won by Iowa State) in 2011.
The tremendous job done by Club Presidents like Anup is borne out by the fact he had to hold the position beyond the usual 1 year, from 2009 until his graduation in 2011, to keep the club going, still despite the great start,and having the cricket field, the Hawkeyes have missed out on Nationals since.