The South Dakota State University Cricket Club hosted its first-ever cricket tournament on campus last semester, and the SDSU teams were the top-two finishers in the event.
Five teams participated in the Indoor Tape Ball Cricket Tournament at the Miller Wellness Center Nov. 5 and 6, with teams from Sioux Falls and Madison joining the competition.
Mohan Srinivas and Praveen Kumar Vemuru, both data science graduate students from India, are co-captains of the SDSU Cricket Club and say they see the sport growing in the United States. Of the club’s 20 members, there are two Americans, with the rest coming mostly from south Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Srinivas says the other teams participating were a great mix of different communities and had great feedback about the SDSU tournament and hospitality.
Before hosting their first home tournament, club members would practice and compete amongst themselves and travel to tournaments in Madison, Sioux Falls and Mankato, Minnesota, all university towns with a significant number of international residents.
The SDSU Cricket Club was created in 2006 and is advised by Hemachand Tummala. The international sport is popular in the Indian subcontinent, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and more.
The SDSU Cricket Club is open for all students to enjoy and learn the game, and no knowledge of the sport is needed before joining the group.
Srinivas said he would describe to sport to newcomers as similar to baseball, and it doesn’t take long to pick up the game. With 11 members on both teams, the bat-and-ball game is played on a field with a 22-yard pitch in the center and a wicket at each end. The goal is to score more runs than the opposing team after both sides have batted.
The club practices from 6-8 p.m. every Friday, with plans to add a second day of practice each week. Practice is held near the Avera Health and Science Center when weather allows, and at the Miller Wellness Center during colder months.
Srinivas and Vemuru said plans are in the works for another cricket tournament in March or February, this time with more teams and held at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, which has more space for the competition.