By Gracie Brison
The Ryerson cricket club which started last year has been recognized by the university and became an official team this past February.
Due to a high level of interest from prospective players, the club created two team for their tournament in King City in August. One team made it to the quarters and the other to the semi-finals out of twelve teams. RSU vice-president operations and captain of one of the teams, Obaid Ullah, feels that the success of the tournament helped influence the decision to create an official team.
“There’s always been cricket but it’s never been through official channels. People used to play but no one put in the effort to unite and organize with the university requirements,” Ullah said. “We’ve seen a big increase in the number of students participating and we’re slowly progressing forward.”
Cricket is a complicated sport, so here is a quick synopsis of the overall game. A bat, a ball, and 11 players on each team is required. The field on which the game is played is referred to as the pitch. At either end of the pitch are three wooden stakes, referred to as wickets.
The team batting is responsible for defending the wickets by trying to hit the ball with a curved bat. The fielding team attempts to prevent runs being scored by setting up in positions most likely to catch the ball. The striker must hit the ball and run to the opposite end of the pitch while his non-striking partner runs to his end. The run doesn’t count unless the player touches the ground with their bat or their body. A batter can be called out if the pitcher knocks over the wickets.
This past October the team traveled to Boston Mass. where they participated in and won the American College Cricket Dream11 North East Championships, taking home the trophy. The Rams defeated Rutgers University by five wickets, to win the tournament for the third time since 2011.
The men of the cricket club have always taken a pretty serious approach to the game. And despite having only club status, they do have support from the administration and are looking for funding to take the team to the next level. They have already been receiving more publicity and much more support from the crowds. Come game time, Kerr Hall gym will have cricket fans coming in from all over.
“We had a game last week and that was probably our biggest crowd yet. We had commentary going on, we had music, and a different university coming in,” said captain of the other team Anees Saeed. “As a player, I feel the home ground advantage and we’re feeling the support.”
The biggest tournament and challenge for the cricket team comes in March when they’ll participate in the American College National championships in Florida. Last season the Rams lost in the semi-final game by one run, placing third. For Ullah, this year’s tournament is all about redeeming themselves and aiming for a berth in the finals.
So with the cricket club now official the Rams are on their way to their first season of competitive play. Here’s to a wicket season.