3 main factors decided the American College Cricket Players of the Year:
1 – Performances from the 2014 Nationals, Home & Away season & Regionals.(Stats available on the Crichq tab on our website). Must have played all 3.
2 – work, off & on the field, for American College Cricket (including Facebook sharing, Twitter, Instagram etc)).
3 – votes on the American College cricket Facebook page.
To be eligible the players must conduct themselves in the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ & have no disciplinary issue.
The voting exercise was a perfect example of how we can use social media to broaden the audience for the game, and not keep it boxed in among the small number of players. The intent was to have 5 new, plus the 1 potential repeat winner but the overwhelming votes for some candidates pushed them to the forefront and ensured their inclusion.
Chirag Mehtani (Penn State) & Shuanak Ramchander (BU) easily were tops in voting; apparently many Penn State and BU students from outside of the cricket clubs voted, which was tremendous.
Captains Sai Ramesh (USF) and Abhishek Kukarni (Auburn) were judged as joint Rohan Kanhai Award winners for leading their teams in the historic first American cricket match shown on ESPN, and live on TV, TV Asia.
The College Players of the Year are:
Chirag Mehtani (Penn State)
-the first day Chirag arrived in America he met American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah in NYC, with Haris Mohiuddin who had arranged the meeting.That , Chirag said, inspired him to be a strong contributor to the Penn State Cricket club.
The club is always one of our youngest, but they always participate in 2 Regionals & the Nationals each year, such is their passion & organization.This past Fall, their perseverance paid off, they travelled to NYC for the North East Regionals and later reached the Final 4 of the Mid Atlantic Championship with Chirag being one of their top players.
At the National Championship Chirag earned a place on the 2014 All American team, and for the year had a highest score of 77, and took 17 wickets with a best of 5 wickets for 31 runs. He can be relied on to share American College Cricket news on Facebook.Chirag showed the power of Social Media to spread the American College Cricket movement by getting the most votes, many by Americans who one can assume were not from the cricket community. Chirag also got a lot of female votes even from overseas !
Shaunak Ramchander (Boston University)
-topped the stats for BU in the Home & Away season, scoring 277 runs (just behind Dravid-like Arush Sabharwal with 296) with a highest of 63 and took 16 wickets with a best of 4 wickets for 28 runs, as BU continued to be one of the driving forces behind the expansion of the Home & Away season.
As one of the admins he has helped the BU Cricket Facebook page be one of the best in American College Cricket – recently they have been doing excellent features on the BU players.Most importantly Shaunak took over ‘lecturer’ duties for the Credit Course in Cricket, started by now graduated Hayat Khan.
In 2014 Shaunak also had the honor of meeting Greg Chappell and took the opportunity to get the legend to hold a sign giving the BUclub a shout out.
Shaunak too showed the power of Social Media to spread the American College Cricket movement by getting the 2nd most votes, many by Americans one can assume were not from the cricket community. Shaunak also garnered a large number of female votes.
Sai Ramesh (USF)
Sai Ramesh – led the University of South Florida Bulls to the National title in a Finals shown live on ESPN and TV Asia. This game was :
1 – the first cricket in America shown on ESPN
2- the first non- international cricket match shown by ESPN
The club had either finished in Final 4 and 2 Finals in their previous 5 attempts. Sai led from the front, and was the Championship MVP scoring 409 runs averaging 67.5 with a highest score of 103, and taking 9 wickets and 5 catches (mostly as wicketkeeper). He earned his 5th consecutive All American cap.
The team’s success received recognition on the University’s Home page, in major Indian media and by the local County Commisioner.In Nov Sai played under new Captain Vishaksena Reddy, in the South East Regionals and was the tournament MVP, scoring 256 averaging 85.33 with a highest score of 113.He took 8 wickets with a best of 4 for 14 at 7.75 average. He took 4 catches.
It always has to be said, that as a player Sai exhibits the best “Spirit of Cricket” on the field and is a great example for any player.For leading USF to the Finals, the first live American cricket match on ESPN, he is a joint recipient of the Rohan Kanhai Award.
Abhishek Kulkarni (Auburn)
Abhishek made his debut at the 2013 SE Regionals when the Auburn began rebuilding after graduation of many key players such as Naveenan Thiagarajan, Ahmed Faraz, Vibudh Misra.The team looked like it had a lot of work to do to be competitive. Then in March 2014, they made their customary 14 hour drive to the Nationals and became giant-killers defeating #2 ranked Penn, # 1 UMBC, #2 ranked Penn, # 4 WVU, #9 Harvard and BU to get to their first Nationals Finals ! Abhishek had molded a young inexperienced bunch into a team that had many asking how ?
USF had shown their determination when they chased down 207 runs vs a strong Ryerson Rams,and probably no college team could have stopped a steam rolling USF that day after being disappointed so many times .The enormity of the stage also no doubt put enormous pressure on Auburn as they lost ; but they were part of American sports, & cricket history, appearing in the first ever cricket in USA, & the first non-international cricket, ever shown on ESPN.
Abhishek’s personal stats almost don’t matter, so impressive was his leadership, though he did take 8 wickets at an average of 12.75. For leading Auburn to the Finals, the first live American cricket match on ESPN, he is a joint recipient of the Rohan Kanhai Award.
Manik Kuchroo (Harvard)
– took over from the great leadership of Ibrahim Khan and led the team to winning the Colin Michael Trophy and the Ivy League Championship. The team also was # 2 in the Home & Away season behind the MVP performance of Manik who made 715 runs, aver 59.85 with 3 centuries & 2 fifties, highest score 134*. He took 10 wickets bowling fast.
Of huge significance, the club graduated from playing on Harvard’s field hockey field to their own cricket field and Manik ensured they played enough matches to remain a leading force in the playing of Home & Away matches.
Manik continued working behind the scenes to bring in sponsors, as Hit Wicket Restaurant & Bar continued its support of Harvard Cricket.
Syed Falah (South Alabama)
-another of the many talented American College Cricket batsmen, Syed has an appetite for runs and at the 2014 Nationals he smashed 99 then 115* to narrowly miss being the first to score 2 centuries in an American College Cricket tournament, which he probably would have later in the year if the South West Regionals were not postponed because of rain !
The tall, slim elegant stroke player scored and it was largely on his shoulders that South Alabama made it to the Quarter Finals.
More than one of our best batsmen, he took the reins as President & Captain of the University of South Alabama Jaguars Cricket from its founder Neel Patel, who graduated, and Syed also coaches his team !
Prasanna Venkatesh (Auburn)
– has consistently made runs for Auburn since 2010 with his delightful stroke play. At the 2014 Nationals his batting helped a mainly young inexperienced Auburn defeat top ranked teams to get to the Finals. Prasanna made 217 runs, including 2 fifties. His Highest Score was 69*. He also had a key spell of bowling where he took 3 for 13.
Prasanna has been part of the team that, starting in March 2010, has made the 14 hour drive from Auburn to the CBRP twice a year to play in the Nationals, and to extend the SEC rivalry with the Gators, to cricket !
Vik Jayaram (Harvard)
– was 2nd in the MVP Standings for the Home & Away season scoring 639 runs,ins 15, N.O 5, average 63.9, with 2 centuries & 4 50’s, Highest Score 112*. As a fast bowler the tall Jayaram took 24 wickets, aver 17.71 with a best bowling figure of 4 for 35.
At the 2014 American College Cricket Nationals Vik (dubbed DJ VJ by one of his friends) made his debut as a commentator on TV Asia & ESPN, and sounded like a pro.He will be heard on future American College Cricket TV & ESPN commentary.