Anuj Chopra on the receiving end as Vikas Verma getting ready to keep.

While Algonquin has had a cricket club since 2017, this fall marked the sport’s first regular-season as an intramural sport with a full line up of student teams.

The fall league is in full swing until Dec. 2.

Games will be played in the gymnasium until the end of this year. In January, a new league is set to play in the Dome, [building Z] on the other side of the parking lot.

Student cricket fans are pleased. “I used to play cricket almost every day back home, [I have] been studying here for a year and can finally go back to my roots,” said Hardeep Singh, an international student from Punjab, India studying manufacturing engineering at the college.

At 11 a.m. on Mondays, teams of up to eight players face off in seven over innings and will be played until 5 p.m.

“The sport gives me a chance to reconnect with my culture,” said Vikas Verma, studying project management. “It is still mostly the same group of people I played with off-campus that I get to play with now. Not a lot of new people want to learn the sport.”

Cricket has its core rules regarding duration: one over lasts six deliveries or pitches, excluding extras.

The objective of cricket is to score more runs than the opposing team in the allotted inning. The attacking team sends two opening batsmen to defend the wicket, while the defending team tries to contain the run count and get batters out by either bowling the wicket clean, catching the ball mid-air, or a run-out where the fielders hit the wicket before a batsman has completed their run.

Zubair Khan, a veteran of the sport at the college has been waiting for the start of regular play since he began the social work program in 2017. “I need this,” Khan said. “This is my pasttime. I play cricket.”

The start of the intramural allows students a place to pursue the activity and head back straight to class if they have it.

“It’s easier now because the players don’t have to coordinate where the games will be held,” said Khan. “We have been given a space to play, a place to store our equipment and balancing school life with sports has become less of a hassle.”

The start of the intramural league gave some students the ability to play their homegrown sport and others the opportunity to try a new sport.

Annan Joyia, a student at the college has been in Canada for a little less than a year.

Travelling from Lahore, Pakistan, Joyia initially found the transition tough. He found a group of students that played cricket and befriended them.

“I still love how the game brought me to a new friend group who shared the same passion I do for the sport,” Joyia said.