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Oct. 2, 2014
The Northwest Missouri State University campus now offers a unique recreational facility to provide its changing demographics with additional opportunities for some friendly competition.
Northwest’s new cricket pitch, which is the first in the region, is located on the southwest corner of the campus, near the intersection of Fourth Street and Icon Road.
“This is an initiative and deployment of resources that proves our focus on student success,” Northwest Director of International Affairs Dr. Jeff Foot said. “We are student centered in our efforts, and this pitch highlights our ability to understand the new and varied needs of current Northwest students. It will aid recruitment and retention of new types of students, and it differentiates us from our peers.”
Northwest international students took to the pitch for the first time Sept. 26 and organized an Indian Student Association Cricket Tournament during the weekend. Northwest staff members, including Graduate Dean Dr. Greg Haddock and international recruiter Dr. Phil Hull, were on hand to welcome the students and present them, on behalf of Northwest and the Office of International Affairs, with playing equipment that included a bat, ball and gloves.
For those international students who grew up playing cricket in their neighborhoods, the new field helps them feel a little closer to home, and they are appreciative of Northwest staff and administrators who worked to ensure the idea for a cricket pitch at Northwest is now a reality.
“We can’t express it in words, we’re so grateful,” said Siva Satyanarayana Daggubati, who came to Northwest from Guntur, India, to work toward a Master of Science degree in applied computer science.
Said Srujan Yaparthi, who also hails from Guntur and is studying applied computer science, “It means a lot. We didn’t expect to get a ground so this is huge for us.”
Northwest had discussed installing a cricket pitch on the Northwest campus for several years, Foot said, and the idea came to fruition over the summer through a collaboration of the University’s Office of International Affairs, Department of Athletics and Facility Services.
After identifying a location for the pitch and interacting with students to determine its orientation, Facility Services staff members worked throughout September to prepare the playing surface. Staff members removed grass and packed clay into the soil to ensure the area met students’ specifications before installing the pitch surface.
“We are thankful for the input from our faculty, staff and community in partnering with and supporting our students to provide this opportunity,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “This is yet to another engagement opportunity within a wide portfolio of experiences at Northwest and it supports our core value of intercultural competence.”
Much like American football, cricket is ingrained in Western culture and people flock to watch games whenever they are played. At Northwest, as many as 60 students regularly participate in pickup games of cricket, which until now were played regularly in a parking lot on the opposite corner of the campus.
“After we’re born, we’ll see cricket on the TV screens, we’ll see cricket in the streets,” Yaparthi said. “We’ll see cricket everywhere in India. You can find competition anywhere in India when it comes to cricket. People leave everything and come to cricket.”Cricket appears similar to baseball, but there are significant differences. Cricket is played on an oval-shaped field, with the rectangular pitch at its center. A team is comprised of 11 members, consisting of four bowlers, six batsman and one wicket keeper. To learn more about cricket, visit www.cricket-rules.com.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468