NC cricketers bowl over competition

NC Cricket Team

Above, NC cricket team members, from left: Sampan Bhatia, Varun Bhardwaj, Pratik Kumar Jayantibhai Gandbhir, Ajinkya Makund Abhyankar, Shiva Reddy Sripati. Absent from photo: Ashwani Dabas, Shajil Nar, Shreyash Kulkarni and Albin Kizhakkoodan Rappai.

Members of the newly-formed NC Cricket Team help the Niagara Cricket Academy win league championship

Eight members of the Niagara College cricket team helped the Niagara Cricket Academy claim the Hamilton District Cricket League First Division final Saturday, as the local team defeated the Mississauga Ramblers at John Allan Park in Niagara Falls.

The NC players are part of a team that was formed last winter, with the assistance of Cindy Andrews, manager of international contract training, who wanted to help a group of international students – many of whom are from India – pursue their favourite pastime. It wasn’t long before many of the players on NC’s team found themselves playing for the Niagara Cricket Academy – an established team in the local Cricket loop.

“When I came to Canada I thought I wouldn’t be able to play cricket – in India I used to play for four to five hours each day,” said Shiva Reddy Sripati, who is studying in NC’s Retail Pharmacy Assistant program. “We’re grateful to Niagara College for giving us the opportunity to show our talents playing cricket, and to the Niagara Cricket Academy for teaching us and getting us to games in Brampton, Toronto and elsewhere.”

After a successful first year, Andrews hopes the idea will take off – through NC’s Athletics department, the team is pursuing games against other Ontario Colleges with Cricket teams.

“Like anything, it takes a while to catch on,” she said. “We’re looking forward to building more interest for next year.”

Anyone interested in playing cricket with the Niagara College team can contact the Niagara Cricket Academy via its Facebook page.

The team has turned into a great taste of home for students from countries where cricket is a popular sport. Many of these students can be found playing the game with a tennis ball in the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus courtyard.

“When we tell prospective international students that we have a cricket team, they’re thrilled,” said Andrews. “It’s almost like having a piece of home right here in Niagara.”

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