This weekend it’s Thanksgiving ! Time for Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and college cricket!

USA Under 19 Captain Shiva Vashishat (right) and Australia Captain Mitchell Marsh spinning the toss.

The American College Cricket train rolls across the USA to California for the West Coast Championship. The USC Marching Band will be on hand at Cromwell Field  as the Championship kicks off with a matchup between arch rivals USC and UCLA, as the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins face off on the University of Southern California campus in the first of an Annual game to be played between the 2 colleges. One week later, on Dec 4 USC and UCLA play football at the Rose Bowl.

Thunderbird School of Global Management makes the trip from Arizona to reprise their battle with USC – Thunderbird got the win in a very close game at the 2010 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship in March in Florida but the Trojans’ 6 ft 6″ fast bowler Tarun Sandhu is aiming for a different result this time.

Cal State Long Beach is an experienced team, and should give USC and Thunderbird tough fights. UC Davis is new, and an unknown quantity and will be accompanied by UC Davis’ tight end Cameron Sentance. Sentance is also a cricket player, but will not be playing as he is recovering from a football injury. However they are led by Shiva Vashishat.

Shiva Vashishat captained the USA team at the 2010 World Cup (for Under 19 players). To make it there meant the USA ,despite being grossly under-prepared,was one of the top 16 teams in world cricket, at the Under 19 level. And Shiva Vashishat was the Captain !

Vashshat is also a tremendous batsman, asked Shiva:

You captained the USA team in the World Cup (Under 19).  What did this mean to you ?

– My biggest achievement in my life was to lead the USA  to the ICC U-19 World Cup. Means a lot to me because this is only the 2nd time the USA U-19 has done so, and also gives me motivation to keep working hard.

The USA being at the World Cup means that we were one of the top 16 teams (Under 19) in the world…..what does this say about our talent ?

– It says a lot about our talent, and potential. But I believe a lot of things can be done to help the young cricketers to improve their cricket, which can change our potential to execution. We should have placed higher in the U-19 World Cup. Imagine where we’ll be now that we have 50 College teams playing the game !

One of the first things you did upon being accepted into college (at UC Davis) was to contact Lloyd Jodah. You had met Lloyd when he arranged for the NY Daily News to travel to Toronto to do a major story on the team’s game at the ICC World Cup Qualifier against Afghanistan. You told Lloyd you wanted to be a part of American College Cricket – why ?

– It was an exciting opportunity to be involved in an academically tough university, and know I can be playing cricket at the same time while I am here. So I decided to contact Lloyd and get cricket going officially in UC Davis. The future of American cricket is at the college level.

In a short time recognition of college cricket has skyrocketed, as evidenced by Ohio State University President E Gordon Gee joining the Advisory Board of American College Cricket, and College of Wooster having cricket as their Homecoming Game this past October. But when you, the captain of the USA in a World Cup, requested to start a cricket club at UC Davis it did not appear to have been greeted with enthusiasm. Tell us about that:

– I don’t think they recognized the importance of cricket in the world, or the achievements of USA cricket. So they were more worried about their own issues, and I don’t think they understood the positives that UC Davis Cricket would’ve have brought to their university.

We are coming to the close of another passion-filled exciting College Football season, filled with pageantry and school pride, and this Thanksgiving you get to be a small part of this huge American college sports scene, when you lead a cricket team from UC Davis vs a big sports name like USC. How does that feel ?

– Thrilled. College Cricket is true American cricket. When we step out on the field, it’s putting cricket in the same light as other American sports like football and basketball.

Do you think UC Davis has the talent to win the West Coast Championship ? And next March the nationals, the 3rd American College Cricket Spring Break Championship for the Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy?

– I personally have never played against any of these colleges so it’s hard to say whether we will win the championship, but I will say that my boys love to play ball!  Very excited to play these colleges, especially a big name like USC.

Who is your favorite cricket player ? Batsman ? Bowler ?

– Favorite cricket player and batsman is Rahul Dravid. Favorite bowler is Shane Warne.

What has cricket meant to your life so far ?

– Cricket is my way of life. Has taught me how to live my life with discipline, commitment, cope with problems, and enjoy it at the same time. It is one of the most important parts of my life, and I’d like to add:
I’ve been following the accomplishments of American College Cricket over the past 2 years, and what Mr Jodah has done is amazing ! So I’m ecstatic to be a part of American College Cricket !

The West Coast Championship is the 5th regional college cricket championship held this Fall, involving 30 colleges, by American College Cricket, supported by BIG League USA.

Purdue University won the E Gordon Gee Trophy at the Midwest Championship from other Big 10 schools like Ohio State, University of Iowa, Michigan State, and Indiana University plus College of Wooster and Carnegie Mellon.

Rutgers won the Northeast Championship from the Adrian Gordon-led NYU-Poly, Boston University, City College of NY and York College.

North Carolina State won the MidAtlantic from George Mason, Virginia Tech, UMBC, Montgomery College, Penn State and George Washington University.

Auburn won the Southeast Championship at the “American College Cricket” Stadium in Central Broward Regional Park from the UF Gators, University of Central Florida, Florida International University, University of South Florida, Miami (UM) and University of Tampa. The Southeast Championship also saw the launch by BIG League USA of the BIG Broward Cricket League and the BIG Broward Cricket Academy where college cricketers are being coached.

Now the amazing Woodley Fields will see its first college cricket as its time to determine the best in the West – and shake up the national rankings !

Present will be P David Sentance UCLA Alumnus, longtime cricket administrator, author & historian, writer of “Cricket in 1710-2000” and Arvin Varma, USC Assistant Director for Recreational Sports, as well as American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah & Vice President Nino DiLoreto.

Fri Night USC vs UCLA (Tapeball) on USC Campus at Cromwell Field, under lights.
Sat -2 fields at Woodley Fields
UC Davis vs USC Cal State vs T-Birds
T Birds vs USC Cal State vs UC Davis
Sunday – 2 Fields at Woodley Fields
USC vs Cal State T Birds vs UC Davis
Finals TIMES:: Friday 7. pm
Saturday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Sunday: 2 games simultaneously starting at 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
FINAL: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM


1 Comment

  1. I think LLoyd Jodah is doing a fantastic job with/for American College Cricket. It is someone with this vision and administrative skills that we need the head our national cricket organization, USACA.
    I hope he is thinking of contesting the next election for this USACA post.
    Sam S