By Grace Gavilanes, Assistant Features Editor
Cricket has been a widely popular game in England since the 16th century. Due to the expansion of the British Empire, cricket was no longer limited to the British, but exposed to various countries overseas; the sport has recently made its debut at Hofstra University this year.
Cricket is closely compared to baseball, despite some of its technical differences. The game itself consists of two innings and two teams of 11 players on each team who are all given the opportunity to bat and score points, while the opposite team pitches the ball. And in like any sport, the team with the higher score at the end wins. "The main difference that sets cricket apart from baseball is the way of delivery, in which the ball is bounced off the ground before reaching the batsman. The batsman then has to choose from among countless plays possible for the best one in less than a second," said Sher Shah Tariq, Management major and current Vice President of the cricket club.
Since not too many students are familiar with the rules of cricket, its founding members were confronted with a dilemma. According to Tariq, following SGA's approval of the club, its founding members "began [their] struggle to provide the Hofstra community with the opportunity to learn and play the great game of cricket." The cricket club is open to any student, regardless of his or her experience or interest in playing competitively. At meetings, students learn to play cricket and are also taught by experienced cricket veterans. "You can come and play cricket casually or be part of a team that will play nationally against other universities next year, like Cornell, Yale, Virginia Tech and more," said Tariq. Despite offering students an opportunity to become proficient in the sport, the cricket club provides another rewarding experience. "Since cricket is an international sport played throughout various countries, our club brings together different ethnic groups and creates a stronger bond between the students through teamwork and cooperation," said Tariq.
With over 20 active club members, the cricket club has done a stellar job in recruiting interested students to join their organization. "It has been a great first year considering we started from scratch," said Tariq. After a successful first year and plans to participate in a major tournament next year, the cricket club is determined to continue to thrive on campus. The club's budget promises professional equipment and a suitable playing field for next year, which will provide interested Hofstra students with a chance to properly play cricket. The club is also planning on purchasing a full team kit and attending biweekly trips to a cricket facility.
Students can either "relax on a Friday evening with some casual cricket, or have the chance to experience a professional and competitive cricket environment and win the national college cricket cup. Just drop by and have a great time," said Tariq. Next year, meetings will continue to be held every Friday at 5:30 p.m. on Intramural Field E, near the old recreation center.