Cricket Club expanding ahead of spring season


Courtesy of the Iowa State Cricket Club

The Iowa State Cricket Club poses for a photo at the Midwest Regional Championship. 

Kobe Gaines

The Iowa State Cricket Club has been around since 2001. The majority of students, though, have very little knowledge of the club — or its numerous accomplishments.

The leaders of the team, Ganesha Upadhyaya, Dikshant Singh Saini and Haider Raza, take great pride in their club and have been attempting to get the word out to the Iowa State community.

If people at Iowa State are interested in playing cricket, they said, it doesn’t matter if you are a student, professor or alumni. All are welcome to join the 60-plus member club.

“We want people to come out and give cricket a try,” Raza said. “The club needs more diversity on the team. We would love to have more Iowa State students come out and give our club a try.”

The motto of the club is to promote the game of cricket among students, faculty and staff, and to provide necessary facilities and infrastructure for playing the game.

The club has experienced recent success in tournaments such as the national club meet, the Inter Schools Premier League (ISPL) tournament, the Heartland Summer Cricket League and the Midwest Regional Championship.

At nationals, the club faces everyone across the country.

The ISPL is a tournament at Iowa State where the club splits off into six to eight teams, makes bids on players within the club and plays on the 12-year-old cricket pitch behind the Maple-Willow-Larch dorms. When the season is over, the winning team gets a trophy, and individual trophies are handed out to the best bowler and batter. 

The Heartland Summer Cricket League takes place at Iowa State, and other colleges around Iowa attend. The club faces teams from Cedar Falls, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Iowa City; and Nebraska. The league has 15 to 20 tournaments all summer.

“We are back-to-back champions of the Heartland Summer Cricket League,” Singh Saini said. “With more than 20 new guys on the team, it will be a challenge to see if we can make it a three-peat.

The Midwest Regional Championship features all Midwest teams, including Ohio, Chicago, Kansas City, Nebraska and other Iowa teams. The tournament is only two days long, but there are four to six matches within those days, so the intensity is at an all-time high.

A key obstacle for the team will be playing without its team captain, Ganesha Upadhyaya. He helped the team come together as one. Upadhyaya was the source of the club’s strong core, and finding a replacement for him will be difficult. 

“Being the captain for the club was a big accomplishment for me,” Upadhyaya said. “I am not worried that once I leave the club it will not be successful. The new players are showing promise, and I know that the strength of the team will always be there.”