The West Virginia University Cricket Club placed in the top four of the 2014 American College Cricket Championship.
The squad beat the University of Florida Gators to make it into the semifinals at this national championship.
Sai Satish Guda, a chemical engineering master’s student and vice captain of the club, said cricket has been part of his life since childhood.
“Back home, the sport is very famous. It was a big part of my childhood, and I played during my time as an undergraduate at my college,” he said. “I was very excited to have the opportunity here at WVU. It would be any student’s dream to have the chance to represent the school in a national setting.”
Guda said it was a great feeling to be redeemed in the semi-finals this year after last year’s disappointing finish.
“We lost in the quarter finals last year in a very close game. This year, we played very well, and it was a fantastic team effort,” he said. “It was a dream for everyone.
“It was a great opportunity to play in an international stadium, as well.”
The club has had a home at WVU since the early ’90s as a part of the Pittsburgh Cricket Association. It also holds back-to-back regional titles within the league.
“It is a great accomplishment to have won one title, but then to come back out with a fresh and new team to win another was great,” Guda said. “We have a lot of exceptional talent.”
Guda said the club isn’t just for students who have previous cricket experience.
“We are a very open club. Those who want to learn are always welcome to join us for practice,” he said. “New players definitely have a chance to play at the regional level.”
Sohail Chaudhry, a professor in the religious studies department and captain of the club, said winning was a great feeling.
“It is a great achievement on the part of the team. This was our second year, and being in the top four is just a great achievement,” Chaudhry said.
Chaudhry said it is often difficult when the club lacks funding and support.
“It is only going to get better from here as we gain more recognition,” he said. “There are a lot of international students. A lot of times, the University isn’t interested, and there just isn’t enough funding.
“We are looking forward to a day where we have our own home ground where we can host games.”
Chaudhry said he hopes having a place of their own will help the club gain more of a following and recognition by other students.
To learn more about the cricket club, visit http://cricketclub.studentorgs.wvu.edu.