Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Leadership lived: Cricket team captain leads team to first national victory

Growing up in India, Saiprasad Bhosle never expected that he would play more cricket in the United States than he did at home. However, as the captain of the University of Illinois Springfield Cricket Club intramural sports team he got that chance.

“Cricket is basically my life,” he said. “It’s the way I keep myself fresh, fit and it is somehow related to my life all of the time.”

Bhosle recently graduated with a master’s degree in Management Information Systems. While he was at UIS, he led the UIS Cricket Club team to its first national victory in the American College Cricket Tournament over Florida Tech. It’s the first time any UIS intramural sports team has ever won a game during a national competition.

"The second match we got all of our acts together - all three departments, batting, fielding and balling where we scored 171 runs,” he said. “We had 8 players in the top 50, so that was the biggest achievement with respect to UIS."

As an intramural supervisor for UIS Campus Recreation, Bhosle was also responsible for planning home cricket matches with other Midwestern colleges and universities. His mission was to education everyone on campus about his favorite sport.

“My work is to make cricket a game known to everyone across UIS, not only Indians,” he said. “I just want it to be internationally recognized by all the students on the UIS campus.”

Bhosle says he decided to attend UIS because of the quality academic programs and because of the cricket team. He feels he’s giving back to UIS through his work with the cricket team.

“It’s not just that I’ve taken something from the University of Illinois Springfield, in respect to the education and facilities they’ve provided, but I’ve helped create a platform for UIS to explore themselves in the field of cricket, to put more effort into the field of cricket for students who are here, so they come up, participate, and play on different levels.”

Following graduation from UIS, Bhosle plans to continue to play cricket for clubs and seek full-time job opportunities in United States.

“You never know. Anyone can be a champ and anyone can participate in USA national teams,” he said. “You never know. Anything can happen.”

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