Cricket Ball Comes to Cameron

Robert King
A&E Editor
@wckdrjtk

Cameron University Professor of Finance Dr. Muhammad Qayyum looks to create interest for the game of cricket by promoting the sport to the Lawton community.

Qayyum and the Cricket Association hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for an official cricket ground at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, near McMahon Dog Park.

The City of Lawton will provide the labor to build the playing space and Qayyum will cover the cost of the building supplies.

Qayyum said that some people thought cricket was similar to baseball.

“It is a little bit because there is a bat and ball, and you can score runs,” Qayyum said. “In cricket there is two ‘bases’ and two batters on both bases.”

The goal is to score against the opposite team by running from one point to another before the play ends or before players are struck out by their opponents, who are called the “fielding team.” The team at bat is called the “batting team.”

Qayyum said that cricket is popular around the world.

“It is the most popular game after soccer,” he said. “Cricket is popular in countries like Pakistan, India, Australia, New Zealand, England, the Caribbean and Nepal.”

Qayyum said the Cricket Association welcomes anyone who plays cricket or is interested in learning how.

“I just started it [the association],” he said, “and we don’t have a lot of members at this point, but we are in the forming process.

“Hopefully by the end of the semester we will have more people,” he said, “If we get people who know how to play and some who don’t, then we’ll teach new people how to play.”

Since cricket is popular in many countries, Qayyum thinks the sport will help Cameron feel a little closer to home for international students.

“We have students from countries like Nepal, India and Sri Lanka,” he said. “It’s a good thing to promote a sport like that [to international students].”

Qayyum said that there is a two-state cricket league in Oklahoma and Kansas, and a cricket league in Dallas.

“Dallas [Cricket League] has a lot of teams, so they play there,” he said. “Sometimes they also try to hire some international players.”

Qayyum said that the cricket ground in Lawton will give local teams the space to practice so they can compete with other leagues and clubs, while also introducing an international sport to Lawtonians.

“There is a lot of cricket going on around us; the only thing is that most of the people who play are international. Although Lawton is a small town, I think we can build our own cricket team and go play the game with other clubs and leagues.”

For anyone interested in playing cricket or joining the association, visit Dr. Muhammad Qayyum at his office in Ross Hall, room 209 or email him at mqayyum@cameron.edu.

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