India vs. West Indies Cricket Match in South Florida
Last month, 15,000 cricket fans gathered just outside Miami, in Lauderhill, to watch India take on the West Indies in the biggest cricket match played in the USA since 2012. Among those 15,000 fans were a few of our students, including Rushi Patel from India.
Rushi attended the two day event in Lauderhill with friends and his brother, who flew in all the way from Texas for the event!
“This was really a big deal,” said Patel. “Everyone back home in India was watching and my family even saw me on TV, I was getting messages on my phone from friends and family in India saying they saw me!”
Cricket is the beloved national sport of India, and though it does not quite have the same following in the United States, due to the vast amount of Indian immigrants living here in the States, there is a recent strong following here. This was also the first time the Indian cricket team played in the United States, so the event attracted Indians from all over the country to South Florida.
The goal of an event like this is to grow interest in the sport of cricket here in the United States and it seems those efforts were successful. As Patel noted, this is a really amazing experience and opportunity to get close to players that are not accessible at home. Patel was able to meet and shake hands with his favorite cricket player, Rohit Sharma.
“That never would have happened in India,” said Patel. “He is like the Messi of cricket! In India, he always has his security around him and too many fans. Here in the USA, it was so easy to walk up to him and say hello.”
Patel said he feels extremely lucky to be studying in a place as diverse and cultutal as Miami, where he has opportunities to stay connected to his home country of India and access to amazing experiences like this one. Considering the strong turnout, it seems that Patel is not the only Indian in the USA feeling that way. Patel hopes there will be more matches like this one and more opporuntites for him to get his new Global First Year friends from all over the world interested in cricket!