‘Cricket is their everything’

Cheering and yelling filled the Campus Fieldhouse when the Indian Student Association (ISA) held its first ever student-run cricket tournament.

Six teams took part in the competition March 8, and the top teams played their finals March 15.

The tournament had to be run by the ISA after the Student Association (SA) cancelled intramurals after not enough teams signed up.  But cancelling intramurals didn’t change the fact students still wanted to play.

“I made an application for my SA (event application), and they said OK I can have one (tournament),” said Krishnanan Thanpremkumar, vice-president of the ISA and a second-year student in the protection, security, and investigation program at DC.  “This is the first year we are doing a tournament by the students, not the school.”

Each team paid $35 to enter the tournament, compared to the $20 dollars per student that the SA charged for intramurals.

Awards were given to the winning team, as well as trophies for best batsman, best bowler, and most valuable player.

“We went out of our way and pitched our own money in for cups (trophies),” said Narmata Jeyachandran, a member of the ISA and scorekeeper for the tournament.  “We give best bowler and best batsman $50 gift cards.”

Jeyachandran, who will take over running the tournament next year for Thanpremkumar after he graduates, says cricket means the world to the players.

“To some of these guys, cricket is their everything,” she said.  “One of these guys had a mid-term and he skipped it just to play cricket.”

Nitharsan Thajipkumar, a UOIT student who has played cricket for more than 10 years, says the game is very competitive and teamwork is crucial.

“You need to coordinate with your team and be together with the team,” he said.  “This game gives you life lessons.”

Cricket shares similarities with baseball, but is still very different in its own unique way.  It is a less forgiving game than other sports, says Thajipkumar.

“If you play soccer you can lose a goal in the first half but make it back in the second half.  Cricket is not like that,” Thajipkumar said.  “From beginning to end, you need to play properly.”

The ISA has become an important part of student life for its members.  Thanpremkumar says most of the players in the tournament are international students, with the exception of two.

“We started the ISA to make a change for Indian students, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Jeyachandran.

Although the ISA has been around for a few years, this year they are trying to put themselves out there more, Jeyachandran said.  On March 9 the ISA hosted Mother Language Day at the UA auditorium to celebrate the many languages of India.

“There’s more than 50 states in India and every state has its own language,” said Camran Nazir, a player in the tournament and member of the ISA.

Jeyachandran hopes to grow the ISA even more next year by hosting more events.

“The ISA helps Indian students get their opportunity and get their values and beliefs out,” she said.  “We want to show everyone, ‘hey, we’re here too’.”

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Dan is a second-year journalism student at Durham College, who enjoys writing about music, the environment, politics, and opinion pieces. He also hosts a show on Riot Radio and works as a volunteer technician. Dan loves spending time at his cottage and has a wide array of unusual pets, including reptiles and arachnids. In the future he hopes to work for a radio station while doing freelance photography.