Students Launch Cricket Club


Ori Balkan

Sophomore Sumeet Chakravarti follows through on a bowl at an intramural cricket match on Oct. 18.

Soccer is often referred to as the most popular sport in the world. While this may be true, with 3.5 billion fans, a close second is actually cricket, which has 2.5 billion regular viewers. Unfortunately, the United States makes up only about 1% of them.

This discrepancy led sophomore Raghav Iyer to found the BHS cricket club, a new student group focused on the promotion and teaching of the sport of cricket.

“We’re trying to create a base to create more love for cricket, to make it more popular in our area and in our school,” he said.

Iyer says his father taught him to play around the age of five, and he played with friends as a kid in Chennai, India. He was playing with some people in his Beachwood neighborhood when they decided to create the club.

“We just wanted more people to play with, so we decided to bring it to school,” he said.

Since September, 10-15 cricket club members have gathered on Sunday afternoons at the BMS baseball field for practice matches.

We’re trying to create a base to create more love for cricket, to make it more popular in our area and in our school.

— Cricket Club Founder Raghav Iyer

Iyer explained that there are obstacles the club faces to play official matches.

“Eventually, we hope to get there,” he said. “Unfortunately, cricket is not very popular in Northeast Ohio.” 

So far, the club has been playing for fun, having 7-on-7 intramural matches. Every Tuesday during academy, though, Iyer teaches the team the rules of cricket. They discuss all the teams in the Indian Premier League and watch highlight films from professional team play.

Cricket is similar to baseball. There’s two teams, and each takes turns on the throwing and outfield side versus the hitting and running side. In other ways, cricket is in its own league.

 The way to score in cricket isn’t by running through bases, but rather running from one side of the field to the other. One person on the hitting team stands near the pitcher, ready to run the moment the ball goes flying. The other person stands near a set of sticks, called wickets, with a bat in hand ready to hit the ball. 

If the wickets are knocked over by anything, including the ball, bat, or hitter, that’s an out.

If the ball is hit in the air and goes into the outfield, that’s 6 points. If the ball simply rolls to the outfield, that’s 4 points. If the ball goes anywhere else in bounds, the number of points is determined by how fast the hitting team can run. 

Avi Saidel, a founding member of the club, has been learning the game these last few months.

“Cricket is one of those games that you need to learn while you play: gaining experience, learning the rules and technicalities when they happen… Once you play, it’s a pretty easy game to learn,” he said.