Got Game: Alumnus Adrian Gordon Establishes His Cricket Credentials

Earlier this summer when newly-graduated NYU-Polytechnic alumni were seeking gainful employment in the slowly recovering economy, Adrian Gordon, Biomolecular Science ’11, was doing the same. His job search just looked a little different. Instead of CVs and the requisite office attire, his involved wickets, overseas travel, and actress Elizabeth Hurley, star of the Austin Powers films.

Gordon claims no real knowledge of Hurley’s fame prior to their introduction, but he was well aware of her beau Shane Warne, widely considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricket’s history. The Australian cricket sensation, who retired from international play in 2007, was captaining the Rajasthan Royals, the Jaipur team of the Indian Premier League, when Gordon met him and Hurley. Gordon was in India practicing with the Royals, an honor awarded to him and Adil Bhatti of Montgomery College when the two were selected in April as co-MVPs of the American College Cricket (ACC) Spring Break Championship. “As a youngster, you’re looking at it, like, whoa, this is an opportunity for you to do your best, to learn from what you’ve been doing,” says Gordon about his time with the Royals.

He wasn't starstruck, however. “They’re just normal people who dedicate themselves to cricket,” Gordon says about Warne and the other well-known players he met. “It’s always a privilege to be around those kinds of people, to see how they react to certain situations or get into the mindset of the game.”

It has been a meteoric ride for Gordon, who did not seriously consider cricket as a career until he attracted the attention of Lloyd Jodah, ACC president, in 2009 at a college all-stars game. Gordon had played cricket intermittently until then, but under Jodah’s watchful eye, the athlete has since established himself as a promising contender for professional play. During the ACC Spring Break Championship in March, for instance, he scored a staggering 145 runs in a single match and 50 in another.

It’s those kinds of numbers that sent Gordon to England in May to train with the Nottinghamshire County cricket team, winner of the English County Championship in 2010. Sponsored by the USA Cricket Association, Gordon traveled there on the recommendation of Andy Pick, International Cricket Council (ICC) performance officer for the Americas, and quickly established a name for himself by taking four wickets in his first 40-over game. An agent approached Gordon after the young bowler showed sustained high-level performance to discuss the possibility of placing him with a professional English cricket team. “It’s all about how disciplined you are and how, when it’s time to execute, you do it,” says Gordon.

He’s keeping up his skills by training for the sport 4 to 5 hours each day, having played for the USA in the ICC World Cricket League Americas Region Twenty20 Division One in late July. The team did well enough to advance to the global qualifier, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in March 2012. 

While Gordon waits to hear word as to whether he will join that round or if his agent can place him in another league abroad, he continues to play for regional teams in the East Coast, as well as maintain contact with members of the NYU-Poly cricket crew he co-founded and captained. The group is actively scheduling pick-up games this summer, which, Gordon smiles, isn’t as much pressure as playing for a national team.