NYU-Poly Cricket Team: Year 1, No. 11 in the U.S.

American College Cricket (ACC) released the national rankings of participating college cricket clubs, and the small but diverse Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) ranked 11th in the nation.

Adrian Gordon, a senior in NYU-Poly’s biomolecular science bachelor’s degree program and a star cricketer, gathered an informal team of strong players on NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus. Meanwhile, Bruce Niswander, director of NYU-Poly’s business incubators and director of the Office of Innovation, Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, turned the group into an official school club and a member of the ACC.

This March, the NYU-Poly club played in the 2010 ACC Spring Break Championship in Florida. Gordon’s strong performance as a fast bowler grabbed the attention of the USA National Team, which recruited him for the International Cricket Council America’s Club Division One Championship. He became one of the star bowlers of that tournament. The NYU-Poly team’s performance in the ACC Spring Break Championship was led by its strong batting.

Gordon attributes the quick success of the NYU-Poly cricket club to the diversity of the school’s community. NYU-Poly, with an enrollment of 4,500 graduate and undergraduate students, is one of the most diverse schools in the country. Its many international students and recent immigrants represent more than 55 countries. Although largely unfamiliar to most Americans, cricket is well known elsewhere. “It’s the second most popular sport in the world after soccer,” Gordon claims. Fans are found in Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Pakistan, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom (where the sport originated), among other nations. So it didn’t surprise Gordon when NYU-Poly’s globally diverse students responded quickly to the posters he splashed across campus as he sought to form a team.

The ACC rankings are based on points accumulated during ACC-sanctioned matches; current rankings primarily reflect results of the Spring Break Championship. Coach Niswander says the NYU-Poly club aims to improve its standing. The team is recruiting new talent and is preparing to play other ACC teams. The next match will be with Ohio State University, which is ranked ninth in the national standings.

“The goal is to make it to the top five when the next rankings are announced” says Niswander.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is one of New York City’s most comprehensive schools of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 156-year tradition of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is one of the nation’s oldest private engineering schools. In addition to its main campus at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe.