By John Finn
WOOSTER, Ohio — Ian Carlin is the toast of the cricket world this week after being selected as the nation’s top American-born college player and landing in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Jan. 31st issue.
A wicket-keeper/batsman at The College of Wooster, Carlin was chosen to receive the John Bart King Award as the best U.S.-born player (not originally from a cricket background) by American College Cricket, based in part on his performance at the national championship in Florida last spring, “I saw Ian make many diving saves,” says Lloyd Jodah, President of American College Cricket, “He plays his position very well.”
Carlin’s first exposure to cricket came several years ago when he watched a group of international students playing an informal game inside his residence hall at Wooster. “They encouraged me to join the club,” he says, “so I decided to give it a try.”
Carlin played one year of varsity football as a running back at Wooster before switching to cricket. In high school, he participated in many of the traditional sports (baseball, basketball, football, and track and field) as well as some of the more “extreme” (skateboarding, snowboarding, and paintball).
When he observed cricket for the first time, he was hooked. “I was intrigued by the game,” says Carlin, a graduate of Valley High School in western Pennsylvania and a double major in political science and philosophy at Wooster. “I was aware of its massive international following, and it looked like a lot of fun.”
Not only has Carlin emerged an accomplished player, he has also become a respected leader among his teammates, who elected him as Club President. “I am very honored to receive this award and serve as president,” he said. “I am hoping to encourage more American students to consider cricket at the collegiate level. It’s a great sport.”