- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn University students have gathered for a round of cricket as part of a yearlong celebration of the Indian culture.

The school’s cricket club and Indian Student association came together for the Year of India, the Opelika-Auburn News reports (https://bit.ly/1P1FLaU) reported. The event held Wednesday brought Arun Gandhi, grandson of the renowned Mahatmas Gandhi, to Auburn’s campus.

Cricket is a popular sport in commonwealth countries, Dupta said, such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the West Indies. The game originated in England.

“We are trying to tell them how to play cricket,” said Narendra Dutpa, a post-doctoral fellow studying molecular interactions. “It’s just a very fun game, and they can learn about it. It’s very similar to baseball, and if someone has played baseball, it would be easy for him or her to play cricket.”

A host of American students joined the game - pitching, batting and fielding - and many lined the sides of the makeshift field as attentive spectators.



“People are trying to promote cricket because it is in a very limited number of countries,” Dupta said. “In the United States, just a few months back, renowned cricketers from around the world actually came out here and played to promote cricket.”

Ryan Sargent, a sophomore civil engineering student and former baseball player, said cricket is somewhat analogous to America’s pastime.

“It’s similar. There are no gloves; you’re just using your hands,” he said.” The goal is trying to get the person out, trying to catch the ball, make plays. There’s a lot of teamwork involved.”

Recent Auburn University alumna Taylor Johnson and friend Jenna Valencia, visiting from Austin, has also tried their hand at cricket.

“We love meeting international students,” Johnson said. “So we thought we would come hang out and meet some new people and learn how to play, maybe.”

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