Cricket Club shows promise at nationals

Emily Hejlik

Colleges from the United States and Canada competed for the Chanderpaul Trophy at the 2012 American College Cricket Championship, March 14 to 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was there that the ISU Cricket Club proved why it belonged in the field of 28.

The club advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to South Florida, which now holds the No. 2 ranking in the charts. Iowa State jumped from No. 22 to the top 10 — the only team to make a significant improvement.

“We were well prepared individually and performed well as a team,” said Deepak Navi, president of the Cricket Club and senior in biology. “However, the pressure of playing in the quarterfinals at nationals was too overwhelming for us. … It was a good experience and one that will be valued by all the players that came to nationals. Also, we also lost to a finalist team, not to a bad team.”

The finals of the 2012 American College Cricket Championship was the ninth match televised by TV Asia — the first time ever for domestic cricket in the United States and Canada. A new champion, York College, led by Abbas Khizer, was named.

In the club’s first match, the Cyclones faced NYU Poly University, winning in a dominating fashion while receiving bonus points for their performance. The second match was against York University from Canada.

“[York University] was composed of outstanding talent, and we were outmatched in all areas,” Navi said. “I have never faced as fast of bowlers as the ones from York University. This loss was tough to swallow, but we bounced right back by winning a pressure-filled game with a bonus point against Florida Atlantic University — a crucial win in order to qualify for the quarterfinals.”

Expectations are high for next year, even with a majority of the team graduating.

“The expectations for next year are for the team to be more mentally strong and confident now that we have done well at a national level and gained experience,” said Adnan Fazal, coach of the Cricket Club. “We can practice as much as we want, but there is no substitution for match practice. We have a lot of talent, and with experience, this team will develop into national title contenders.”

For any team to be successful, it takes a total team effort. Without help from outside sources, the team said they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did this year.

“I’d like to thank Jason Mellet from Cricket Store Online for sponsoring the ISU Cricket club,” Navi said. “I’d also like to thank all the professors and alumni who donated to the club and I really appreciate the growth in the support provided to the cricket club by the Government of Student Body and the Recreational services. Hope we’ve made [them] proud.”

Getting better equipment paired with experience should equate to continued success, Navi said. The help from their sponsors went a long way this year, and would continue to help going forward.

“We’re going to be more prepared for next year with the experience of this year’s nationals in our arsenal,” Navi said. “I also hope to get some funding for a bowling machine, which will help our batsmen be more prepared to face some of the talented bowlers that are out there.”