ACC 2014 tournament was the first ever game of cricket played on American soil to be telecast live on ESPN. The rising popularity of cricket on US campuses is evident from the fact that 25 teams participated in the American College Cricket (ACC) National Championship 2014. There were only six teams in the first ACC tournament in 2009. Another sure sign that cricket has arrived in this land of baseball, basketball and football
The team is full of people from India. This year, all, but one of the players from the winning team, the University of South Florida (USF), are from India (one is from Pakistan). Interestingly, half the team members are from Hyderabad. At the final, played in Florida in the T-20 format, USF defeated the Auburn University Cricket Club, which, too, had several Indian players.
Apart from picking up the Chanderpaul Trophy, USF also won several other honours
Sai Ramesh (from Chennai) was declared the Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well as the Best Player of the tournament;
Karthik Achanta (from Hyderabad) was the MVP of the finals. USF has reached the finals thrice before and finally tasted success this year.
“We were desperate to put up a show and win for the supporters who were cheering for us on TV, in the stadium and, most importantly, for USF,” said team member Vishwaksena Reddy Vuppunutula, who is pursuing his Masters in engineering management. He admits that one reason he chose USF was “its strong cricket reputation.”
USF is one of the five colleges that launched the ACC in 2009. The others are Boston University, Montgomery College, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Miami.