By Lloyd Jodah
This comes on the heels of Virginia Tech’s and McGill University’s Cricket Clubs in the past 2 weeks. The Raider Cricket Club is the first cricket club from the Big 12 to join American College Cricket, and since it’s said everything is bigger in Texas this team is expected to hit bigger sixes and have bigger scores than every other college team in the country.

Texas Tech has an enrollment of over 30,000 and according to the latest US News & World Report rankings, it’s in the top tier of national universities. 85 % of its students come from Texas, the rest from all 50 states and over 90 countries.

Naturally for Texas, football is huge and the Red Raider Football Team has made 33 Bowl appearances. Lubbock’s Mayor Tom Martin will declare Sept 3 College Colors Day and kick off Raider Power Fridays (it would be fantastic for Raider Cricket to get a mention there!). Game day traditions include wrapping the statue of Will Rogers on his horse Soapsuds in red crepe paper.

According to the Texas Tech University website Raiders Cricket Club (RCC) became an organized club in the 2003-2004 academic years. It consists of mostly Texas Tech graduate students, and has been growing. Dr Dakshina DeSilva, Faculty Advisor for the RCC said, “We have about 40 students that are very passionate about playing, which gives us the ability to sustain the club. We are in the center of this playing area,” DeSilva said. “We have a chance to expand the game of cricket around West Texas.” *

The old polo field at Texas Tech is home to RCC practices and matches. Like other clubs, the RCC receives funding from Rec Sports. The club uses membership fees and any additional money gathered from fundraising efforts to travel to matches and tournaments in surrounding areas like Midland, Amarillo and Hobbs, New Mexico.*

The club, headed by its President Baiju Shah, VP Ekagra Kaushal & Secretary Jaspreet Singh Sandhu, is eager to participate in the 2011 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship and other American College Cricket events.

According to Wikipedia, “Four astronauts, including Rick Husband, the final commander of Space Shuttle Columbia and recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and Bernard A Harris jr, the first African-American to walk in space, are Texas Tech alumni. U.S. Marine Corps Major and Medal of Honor recipient, George H. O’Brien, Jr., is a distinguished alumnus. Richard E. Cavazos is a two-time Distinguished Service Cross recipient and the first Hispanic and Mexican American to advance to the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Army.”

NFL star receiver New England Patriots’ Wes Welker played his college football at Texas Tech.

In the short time of 18 months American College Cricket has made the New York Times, front page of the Washington Post, NY Daily News, Canada’s “Globe & Mail”, Voice of America News, Sports Illustrated, Sun Sentinel, ESPN CRICINFO…and the ICC Film “Cricket in America” . The Finals and Semis of the 2010 American College Cricket Championship were broadcast live on the web, and watched by thousands.

As part of the Big 12, Conference the Double T’s main rivalries are with the University of Texas Longhorns, Texas A & M’s Aggies and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Lloyd Jodah is the President of American College Cricket