Cricket – the Passion of Millions of Immigrants - Bowls Over the Athletic Field at LIU Brooklyn
Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. – It’s been described as “worship in the summer sun” and “the greatest thing that God ever created on earth.” It’s also been called “baseball on valium.” However you designate it, the old English sport of cricket is the pastime of choice of millions of fans around the globe. And this summer, it has taken over the athletic fields of LIU Brooklyn.
“Cricket is like a religion in my country,” declared Sandeep Kumar Devarshetty, an LIU Pharmacy student, who captained his college cricket team in his native India and sought to play the game on campus here. Not finding a team, he set about recruiting his fellow M.S./Ph.D. pharmacy students, many of whom are from the cricket-playing nations of south Asia, to form a cricket club. The response has been overwhelming. The club has about 50 members, with between 25 and 35 students taking part each week.
Similar to baseball, cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field, at the center of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible, while the other team bowls and fields.
“The enthusiasm has grown exponentially and so has support for the group,” said Patrick J. Campbell, director of student and professional activities, who advises the students and helped obtain funding for equipment for the LIU Blackbirds Cricket Club and the temporary use of the campus athletic field.
“We have a large number of students in the grad program coming from places where cricket has been played. It’s making this great connection among so many of our students, faculty and staff.”
Dr. Bupendra Shah, associate professor of Social and Administrative Sciences, who has joined the students on the pitch for practice this summer, added, “This allows us to be in contact with students outside the classroom and develop a rapport with them.”
Under Devarshetty’s leadership, the team recently joined the American College Cricket league and expects to compete against other colleges this fall. The team hopes to be ready for the American College Cricket Northeast Championship in September, where it will compete against experienced teams from Boston University, Rutgers University, Ryerson University and York College.
Many of the team members take inspiration from Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, widely considered to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time. “He’s the God of cricket,” said Devarshetty, noting that he is the highest century-maker and leading run-scorer in the world.
The club is open to all LIU students. For more information, contact Sandeep Devarshetty at 571-309-6433.
Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences...
Established in 1886, the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy became affiliated with Long Island University in 1929. In 1976, the College became a fully integrated unit of the University and was renamed the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. One of the oldest and largest schools of its kind in the country, the College is located on the Brooklyn Campus and boasts an illustrious roster of alumni, including pharmacy professionals who are at the top echelons of their fields, and at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in the pharmaceutical industry. The College educates nearly one quarter of the pharmacists in New York State and many who find careers elsewhere.
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