At the national level, the Auburn cricket team placed eighth and is hoping to do better this year, assuming it can afford the trip.
With an extension already granted for the $400 registration fee, the Auburn cricket team is on the hunt for community donations to allow them to compete at the national level.
Auburn’s cricket team was officially established in 2006; however, members of the team had been playing together outside collegiate action for longer.
The 2009 season left an indelible mark on the cricket community, culminating in a undefeated season and winning the SEC Championship.
Team captain Naveenan Thiagarajan said the team is operating solely on donations from the community, and despite the generosity, the team is still hurdling monetary obstacles.
“Community support has not just been from the India community, or the Pakistan community, but from the Auburn community,” said Navin Twarakavi, faculty sponsor. “So it’s very diverse.”
The team currently practices every Saturday at 2 p.m. on the intramural fields, a situation that is not ideal because of the fields’ frequent use.
Even the annual Tiger Cup Tournament, which Auburn has won every year, is played on the intramural fields.
Twarakavi explained the tournament is done “professionally” and with Auburn staff assistance.
“We hope with club status and continued success that some sort of minimal facility could be available in the future,” Twarakavi said. “A good pitch is important.”
Thiagarajan said practicing without a proper pitch was like practicing football without a field, or baseball without a diamond.
“The 2009 season was amazing,” said Rahul Potghan, co-captain. “But even with that, we did not receive recognition, nor any substantial help. We still hope.”
Potghan said team spirit is high going into competitions despite the financial worries.
“We have good team chemistry, and we believe in putting in effort,” Potghan said.
Potghan said the team is running practices as often as possible in preparation for the national championships, which hosts 32 teams.
Twarakavi said the team has good competition from the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Alabama, University of Georgia, University of Alabama and University of Florida.
The Auburn team is predominately comprised of players from Sri Lanka and India, but Americans and Caribbean natives have also joined the cricket club recently.
One of the team’s goals is to continue to introduce cricket to the Auburn community and engender the same love for the sport as they have.
“To me, if you love sports, no game is too tough for you to learn,” Potghan said, “If you’re a baseball hitter, you can smack the ball in cricket, too. It’s kind of similar.”