Cricket take off at US Universities
The Boston Globe has a great story about the rather remarkable resurgence of cricket at US universities:
After years of dormancy in America, cricket is making a rapid comeback at American colleges and universities, and the players are from a number of foreign nations — and from here in the United States. From the five teams (including Boston University) that took part in the first modern college championship tournament in 2009, there are now 70 clubs competing across the country, made up largely — but not exclusively — of students who are first- or second-generation immigrants from nations such as India, Pakistan, and parts of the Caribbean where the game is popular. And the game has caught on quickly in education-rich New England, where Northeastern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bryant University, and Worcester Polytechnic, to name a few, have each established cricket clubs over the past few years.
Perhaps even more surprisingly:
There was a time, believe it or not, when cricket was the most popular team sport in the nation. Harvard’s original cricket team was formed all the way back in 1868. The club lost its varsity status in 1902, when interest in cricket had died off here, victimized by the emergence of those other, more “American” games like baseball and football, which began to appear on college campuses in the latter half of the 19th century.
So it seems that the game, driven at least in part by an influx of overseas students, is suddenly taking off again in the US. Will cricket overtake baseball, lacrosse or even Quidditch in popularity on US campuses? Time will tell. Will there be a student world cup in due course? I doubt it but you never know.
(This story also reminded me of the novel Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill which features, unusually, cricket in New York.)