Indian-origin cricketer becomes second New Zealander to captain Oxford

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Wellington, May 1 (ANI): Indian origin cricketer, Rajiv Sharma, who played for Auckland "A", will become only the second New Zealander to captain Oxford in a Varsity cricket match after Martin Donnelly.

Oxford has given him an entry into first-class cricket, as he scored 58 not out and took two wickets on debut against Worcestershire last season.

Sharma will double the membership of an exclusive club when he plays for Oxford against Cambridge on Tuesday.

"That makes it all the more special," Nz Herald quoted Sharma, as saying from his Oxford digs.

The cricket teams of the two most famous British universities play each other three times a year, in each of the three formats. The T20 and first-class fixtures alternate annually between Oxford's Parks and Cambridge's Fenner's, but the highlight is the annual one-day fixture at Lord's.

Last year, Sharma stared up at the honours board, which lists the non-English players who have scored a century or taken five wickets in an innings, and was pleased to see several of his biggest cricket influences.

"It was quite inspiring to see four Auckland Grammar old boys who I have met and had varying influences on my career to date, including Mark Burgess, Martin Crowe, Dion Nash and Matthew Horne," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Sharma said his drive to be the best comes from his parents.

His father, Kuldeep, was born in India and came to New Zealand more than 40 years ago with his own father, who worked for the Indian Embassy. Anjila, his mother, is a third-generation Fiji Indian.

With a Bachelor of Engineering/ Commerce degree, he was drawn to pursue a research degree in Economic Geography at Oxford, where he is on a Clarendon scholarship funded by the Oxford University Press. (ANI)

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