Homecoming 2010

From our Press Release:

It was an unlikely quest: to draw the largest crowd ever for a U.S. collegiate cricket match, at a liberal arts college in Northeast Ohio.

When The College of Wooster found itself without a football opponent for Homecoming, after Earlham College dropped out of the North Coast Athletic Conference earlier this year, college officials were left scrambling to replace the weekend’s marquee event.  They scheduled men’s and women’s soccer games, a volleyball game, and a concert celebrating Wooster’s Scottish heritage.  They revived the Homecoming parade, complete with floats and the marching band.  And they decided to showcase the college’s cricket club, in a match against a team made up of members of the City of Wooster’s international community, on the biggest stage on campus, Andrew Field at John J. Papp Stadium.

Then, President Grant Cornwell decided to up the ante, challenging alumni and the campus community to help break the attendance record for a U.S. collegiate cricket game, set in 2009 by Montgomery College, who drew 400 fans to a match against a U.S. college all-star team in New York.  Within days, the buzz grew on campus, fanned by a flurry of e-mails, posters, flyers, and Facebook postings.  But would it translate into bodies in the stands?

As hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community residents streamed into the stadium Saturday afternoon, the answer was clear: the record was not just broken, it was demolished. The final count was 967 spectators.

A reporter and photographer from The Plain Dealer were on hand to record the historic moment for posterity, and Sunday’s paper. The Associated Press picked up the story, with Cricinfo.com, Sports Illustrated,  Fox Sports and CBS Sports and others publishing articles about the team.

Maaz Khan, a senior economics major from Pakistan, and captain of the college’s team, looked on in amazement. “This was my dream,” he said. “I’m passionate about cricket and having more people in the U.S. learn about the sport. The president has done a wonderful job supporting us.”