Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with 4 billion fans, but in second place is cricket with 2.5 billion fans, according to Sport Abroad. For students interested in pursuing cricket, the University now has their own Tiger Cricket Club.
Chemical engineering doctoral student Sai Shankar Ganesh recently helped to create the Tiger Cricket Club for the University. There is also a private cricket club in Baton Rouge that operates under the Louisiana Cricket Association.
Some of the members traveled to Sri Lanka and India this summer, so they were able to acquire cheaper cricket equipment, considering equipment from places in America, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, already exceeds $200.
The club currently has about 20 members with games every Sunday, mostly on a field on Airline Highway but sometimes in a field in Mississippi.
The organization has a core group of four members, experienced in cricket, who discuss which upcoming members are capable of making the team.
Ganesh said members have to concentrate on their academics, and the cricket team could be a distraction from their studies.
“Most of [the members] are grad students with maybe three or four undergrads on our team,” Ganesh said. “Before the semester starts [practices and games are] not a big [problem], but once school starts, every week we have midterms and exams going on.”
The club practices 1-2 times a week in the evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. However, the days are subject to change because members tend to have scheduling conflicts. There is also no designated practice grounds, but the organization has asked the UREC and LSU Student Government for a place to be provided for the club.
Most teams that play in the same division as the Tiger Cricket Club have their own grounds to practice. Ganesh said the team has a disadvantage playing other teams who have their own practice grounds.
“If we had the support from Student Government to practice [at the University], it will be great,” Ganesh said.
The members decide to practice on the Airline Highway Grounds about once a week because they would have the space to bat.
“People are free to stop by, and we would love to have more people,” Ganesh said.
The club doesn’t have any coaches. The members record their practices and games and upload them on YouTube and Facebook, asking other experienced players for suggestions. The members also have numerous sponsors, including “Fashion India and Groceries" as well as "Bayleaf Restaurant," who has paid the club a lot of money to put their establishments on the members’ jerseys.
“We definitely need a lot more people, and we would love to have more people learn the game and contribute any way they can,” Ganesh said. “Right now we have [members] from four to five [different] countries right now [being] from Nepal, Pakistan, India, and folks form Sri Lanka.”
Ganesh also said that he would love to have 20-40 more people join because he believes another cricket team can possibly be formed at the University.