Indo-Pak dominant Montgomery College cricket team to defend US title

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Washington, March 14 (ANI): The Montgomery College men's cricket team hopes to win the American College Cricket championship to be played at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the second consecutive year, after surprisingly winning it for the first time in March 2009.

Last year, the team of mostly Indians and Pakistanis, for whom cricket is a religion, had no official support and paid their own way to reach the venue of the tournament, only to win it.

After beating the University of South Florida team to win the title, the Montgomery teammates celebrated at an Indian restaurant near their hotel. Desert was on the house.

The cricketers will now return to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday to defend their title, the Washington Post reports.

This time, they will represent Montgomery as an official school club against a field of 18 other colleges.

Montgomery is a natural place to produce a competitive team, as it has students from 175 countries.

The college doesn't supply a coach, uniforms or even a field, but over the past year, word of the cricket team has slowly spread across campus.

A second championship title could raise the team's profile on campus even more, said college spokeswoman Elizabeth Homan. And, perhaps ensure more school support.

Cricket first arrived on U.S. college campuses in the 19th century. But the nation long ago lost the stamina to play or watch the legendarily long game, preferring its American offshoot, baseball, which managed to trim each contest to a few hours.

This year in Fort Lauderdale, the defending champs must face other Washington area teams, including George Mason University, George Washington University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

If the Montgomery squad survives its regional match ups, it will go on to play teams from across the country, including the University of Southern California, a tournament newcomer but a longtime cricket powerhouse that has recognized cricket as a team sport for 17 years. (ANI)

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