Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cricket? At Auburn?

 

Baseball gets a knock for being "boring", "slow", and "long". Note the quotations because those are other people's words and not mine. Well, Baseball has nothing on cricket, where the "matches" can take upwards of 5 days. Not hours. Days. Personally, I've always found cricket fascinating, but then again I still watch World's Strongest Man Competitions whenever the come on (sidenote: I Met Bill Kazmeir once. It was amazing. Met the guy at CiCi's Pizza. He had two whole spinach pizzas and not only signed an autograph, but bent a fork into twisted garbled mess). So when this came across my computer:

 

Student-athletes from 19 Universities will smash runs, hurl 90 mph bouncers and make barehanded catches whilst competing for the title of National Champions at the highly anticipated 2010 American College Cricket Spring Break Championships. 

Cricket Clubs from Ohio State (OSU), Auburn University, College of Wooster,George Mason (GMU), Rutgers University, Boston University (BU), U of Southern California (USC) , York College (NY), University of Miami (UM), U of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Minnesota (UMN), George Washington U (GWU), Thunderbird School of Global Management, York University (Toronto), University of St Cloud, U of South Florida (USF), U of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and New York University (NYU) will challenge 2009 defending Champions Montgomery College for the prestigious Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy.

 

Notice the second school listed? Yep, Auburn. Our dear old Orange and Blue is competing for the "Shiv Chanderpaul" trophy. Also, from a quick scan of the schools, Auburn is the only school in Southeast fielding a team. Yes, I see USF up there, but anyone who's from Florida can tell you that Tampa is just "Michigan south" (and Miami is "Havana north"). Could it be true? Auburn fielding a cricket team. Yes, it is. It's tied in with the Auburn Indian Student Association (makes sense).

Also, it's not just an Auburn thing. There are clubs at Vanderbilt, UAB, Mississippi State, UA-Huntsville, even Jackson State (wow). The Auburn team is kind of good, too:

MSU Cricket Club hosted its fourth BullDawg Championship tournament on July 25th and 26th. It is the biggest collegiate cricket tournament ever conducted in USA. Matches were held on Soft ball fields simultaneously on three fields starting from morning and ending at night 11:00pm under the lights. Seven University including MSU participated in the tournament: Mississippi State University, Auburn University, OleMiss, Texas A&M University, College Station, Alabama A&M University, University of Memphis, and University of Alabama at Huntsville.    Auburn University,  won the tournament  by defeating Texas A&M University at the finals by 5 wickets. Auburn university displayed good cricket by winning all the matches in the tournament

The team isn't anything new. In fact, I found at least one reference to a tournament in 2007. They also held their "Tiger Cup". Recently:

 

Pretty neat stuff. Oh, and before you thinking you'd have to sit through 5 days of a match. The College Teams play a shortened version called Twenty20. It's kind of like Rugby 7s (in which you reduce a long game and make it shorter by either shortening the field, or tweaking the rules just a bit). Actual cricket, yes, can be a bit dull. Twenty20, on the other hand, is pretty exciting to watch:

Don't think Cricket could be a party or intriguing? What if you rounded up a team of Caribbean Superstars, pitted them against England, and then gave 20 Million Dollars to the Winning team:

But wait. It gets better. What if the guy who put on the Tournament, is a Texas Billionaire. Not only that, He's a Texas Billionaire who been convicted of Fraud. Even better, he's a Texas Billionaire, convicted of fraud, and he caused a scandal when he was videoed canoodling with the opposing teams WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends):

 

The Allen Stanford mess (No relation to the University. He got sued for saying he was related to the school's founder) is completely unrelated to the story of Auburn Cricket. I had to mention it, though. Where else could I talk about one of the weirdest stories in sport?

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