Monday, May 27, 2024

Informal cricket games at BHS fosters new community for Pakistani cricket players

Must read

“Last year when I came (to Berkeley High School), no one was playing … so I had a bat, and my friend brought one bat, and we just started playing here, and the balls got stuck every day. We were buying new balls every day from Target. And we just started playing,” Haroon Khan, a BHS sophomore said.

  With no official BHS cricket team, players have started playing on their own at lunchtime and after school outside the portable classrooms. These games have remained largely informal, with a cricket club formed by some players which has yet to see major attendance.

Khan said they attempted to start a cricket club at BHS and received over 30 sign-ups, but attendance was poor, so they decided to focus on enjoying the game itself instead of the club.

“We decided to make a club last year. We made it but not a lot of people came for the meetings, so we decided to put the club aside and just play,” Kahn said.

Yasir Zada, who frequents the cricket games, explained that he met most of the people he plays with in the cricket club around campus through shared interests and backgrounds. According to Zada, a majority of the cricket players at the games are Pakistani, similar to him, as he learned to play in Pakistan when he was young. “I met them in my classes and plus (they were from) the same country, same language, since we’re just talking. We just became close friends,” Zada said.

Dilawar Shah, another player at BHS, learned to play when he was only eight years old and plans to continue long past graduation. Shah was born in Pakistan and hopes to one day play for their national team. This motivates him to practice daily, a common occurrence among their group. 

In addition to these informal practices, some players have been able to join club teams in parts of the Bay Area. According to Zada and Shah, the sport is gaining popularity in  Fremont and Dublin. The regulating body of these teams, the Bay Area Cricket Alliance (BACA), is based in Milpitas and consists of around 80 club teams. Khan plays for two teams. He finds the alternating practice schedules manageable, except for occasional conflicts that arise due to tournaments.

Shah revealed plans to discuss forming a cricket team at BHS with the baseball coach later this year. With the number of people he sees playing cricket after school with them, he expects to find many eager participants.

Latest article