The ICC Cricket World Cup takes place far from Thompson Rivers University (TRU), forcing local fans to follow their favourite teams remotely. Thankfully, those who love to play the game can do so right on campus in Kamloops.
At TRU, students have been playing indoor cricket through TRU WolfPack Recreation intramurals for over 15 years. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and a favourite pastime of many TRU students. Over 100 countries have formal cricket leagues and the sport has an estimated 2.5 billion fans globally. Interest is only growing stronger at TRU.
“TRU is a diverse and inclusive university; therefore, we need to diversify our programming to engage international students attending TRU. Integrating the domestic and international students’ population into the varying sports offered is in itself a huge celebration,” says Pina Russo, campus recreation co-ordinator.
With the increase in popularity, though, comes the need to provide structure and support for the campus cricket program. That’s why the TRU Recreation Cricket Fund has recently been established. With a goal to raise $50,000, the fund will pay for programming, necessary equipment and knowledgeable officiating, a key component to keep the program viable.
“This is not just any sport. This is the type of sport that, if you would like it to be successful, the people calling the shots cannot be at the same level as the players. The umpire must be fair but strong with the ability to provide boundaries,” says Kamal Grewal, a TRU alum whose late husband Jayant (Jay) Chaudhry played intramural cricket at TRU and was instrumental in developing Kamloops’ outdoor cricket league.
Cricket fund honours alum’s memory
Everything Grewal knows about the game of cricket, she says she learned from her husband who, in addition to being a dedicated husband and passionate cricket player, was a successful accountant and popular instructor at TRU. The two met on campus in 2012, when they were young students a long way from their shared homeland of India. Their connection was immediate and within six months, they knew they wanted to be together forever, Grewal says.
Tragically, their forever was cut short. Chaudhry passed away in 2021 at the age of 35. In his memory, Grewal is choosing to support the TRU Recreation Cricket Fund financially and through donations of valuable equipment. She’s hoping other donors will step up as well.
“He offered the best of himself to us and I’m so grateful to him. I want to keep my husband’s legacy going. He was an amazing person and he impacted so many lives,” she says, adding that a lot of his mentoring happened on the cricket pitch.
“International students have contributed so much. If TRU can give back by creating an opportunity that provides them an outlet to do something they enjoy rather than sit alone in their rooms, I want to contribute. I want to carry his legacy.”