New cricket pitch unveiled at University of the Pacific

(FOX40.COM) — The University of the Pacific held a grand opening for its new cricket pitch on campus.

The grand opening included an exhibition game, a reception with traditional Indian food and Bollywood dance performances.

Students at Pacific started a cricket club in 2022 but previously had to hold games in a gymnasium. The pitch will be open to both students and community members who will be able to reserve the field.

The sport is popular among Pacific’s international students, who make up nearly 13% of the school’s population, according to the university.

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Niraj Chaudhary, the cricket club advisor and Pacific’s dean of the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center, told FOX40.com that the newly unveiled pitch reflects the growing Indian student population at the university.

“A few years ago, our university had maybe about 15 students from India,” Chaudhary said. “Now we have close to 500 students and there’s one thing that’s very common among our students from India… they want to play cricket.”

Cricket is considered the second-most popular sport in the world after soccer. The sport has similarities to baseball, as it’s a bat-and-ball game and points scored are called runs.

After more than a century, cricket is returning to the Olympics for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. The sport last appeared in the Summer Olympics in 1900.

The 2024 Cricket World Cup is going to be held for the first time in the United States in June.

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