Collegiate Cricket Attendance Record Set Saturday at The College of Wooster

Oct 09, 2010, 23:21 ET from The College of Wooster

WOOSTER, Ohio, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When The College of Wooster found itself without a football opponent for Homecoming, it created a bit of a sticky wicket, but some quick thinking by Wooster's administrators led to a novel back-up plan. How about a friendly game of cricket? And while we're at it, why not try to set the U.S. collegiate cricket attendance record?

(Photo: )

(Photo: )

The saga began earlier this year when Earlham College dropped out of the North Coast Athletic Conference, leaving the Scot football team with an opening on Oct. 9. It was too late to change the date for Homecoming and too late to find another team, meaning the stadium would be vacant on this traditional day of celebration for the first time in the 112 years of intercollegiate football at Wooster.

Wooster President Grant Cornwell decided to give the cricket club a place in the spotlight. After all, the college has a large number of international students and alumni, and the match would be a great way to showcase diversity, both on campus and in the community. Not only that, but this year's Forum -- Wooster's annual fall lecture series -- focused on South Asia, where cricket is extremely popular. Last week, Cornwell added another element to the plan by attempting to draw the largest crowd ever to watch a college cricket match in the U.S.

College officials scrambled to find the current record, which, after some research, was pegged at 400. Word spread quickly across campus and throughout the community, and by late Saturday afternoon, a record 967 fans had filed into John P. Papp Stadium to watch the college's club team take on a team from the community consisting of professionals in business and industry who had played in their native countries before relocating to the U.S.

"This event is very representative of The College of Wooster," said Cornwell. "It's what makes us distinctive. Not only does it illustrate the college's spirit, but it also shows that we have a sense of humor. I think something like this could only happen here at Wooster."

The community team batted first and scored 141 runs, but the college team charged back, and team captain Maaz Khan delivered a dramatic game-winning hit with just one out remaining to give the college team an exciting 143-141 victory.

SOURCE The College of Wooster