IU Indianapolis’s Cricket Club wins NCCA Midwest Regionals Championship


The IU Indianapolis Cricket Club is headed to Houston, Texas in March to compete in the NCCA All American National Championship. Prior to this, the team came out on top at the NCCA Midwest Collegiate Championship where they won as a team overall, while also bringing home six individual awards.

The Cricket Club was formed in January 2023 by students Nij Patel, Pratham Patel and Om Patel, but the club's traction did not begin at IU Indianapolis until the fall of 2023. With the help of students coming together and promoting the sport and team on social media sites, the club was able to gain enough players to apply and participate in NCCA sanctioned tournaments. 

This team has faced many challenges on their road to becoming champions. From finding enough players to participate, to raising funds to cover team fees, to locating practice space and everything in between. Despite the odds being against them, IU Indianapolis's Cricket Club still ended up coming home with a win. 

"We thought we could win because we had to believe in ourselves. I knew we had the strength to win this. At the end of the day, it is a team sport and you can’t play as an individual. I am very glad we won this championship. We look forward to hopefully winning the next national championship in Houston," said Vice Captain Nij Patel.

Being a new club at IU Indianapolis offers financial challenges for the students involved, especially when it comes to finding and paying for a practice space. The Cricket Club resorted to having very little practices that involved the entire team, as there were not many affordable options in terms of practice space. The team had to come together to make it work.

"Our international students had some prior experience, while others were playing for the first time. It was fascinating to see everyone put in the extra effort. Everyone wanted to win at any cost," said Club President Pratham Patel. "One individual can't win the championship. All eleven guys must put in effort to get us there. Without collective team performance we would have not been able to get there."

Next stop: Houston

The Cricket Club is saving up funds to travel to the NCCA tournament in Houston, Texas over spring break by promoting their GoFundMe page. To get the IU Indianapolis community more involved in the sport, the Cricket Club hosted a fundraiser box cricket tournament in February to raise money towards their efforts. 

Q&A with the team 

Q: What has been a standout moment for the club? 

A: "The highlight of this year was being able to win the championship against already established teams such as Ohio State in the Midwest Collegiate Championship tournament." -  Pratham Patel

A: "The highlight of this year was us being able to impose a lot of cricket tournaments throughout last and this semester. We hosted a tournament to encourage more opportunities for players to participate in professional tournaments." - Nij Patel

Q: How did you feel when you won the championship? 

A: "We were definitely nervous, but definitely excited because it was our first time participating in the largest cricket tournament in the Midwest. It was an amazing experience winning." - Nij Patel

A: "Everybody was very, very happy when we won the championship. Especially the guys who put in extra effort to make us the champions." - Pratham Patel

IU Indianapolis Cricket Club Awards

American NCCA Midwest Regionals Champion: IU Indianapolis

Best Batsman of the tournament: Rishi Teja

Best Bowler of the tournament: Rahul Solanki

Most Valuable Player of the tournament: Rishi Teja

Most Sixes of the tournament: Nij Patel

Most Fifties of the tournament: Nij Patel

Most Dot Balls of the tournament: Pratham Patel