History of the University Cricket Club

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Cricket in the University has been played since NUIG was called the Queens College in the late 19th century. The university team use to play on the Presidents Lawn across from the Quadrangle on the main campus and was a very popular sport. Support for the game dwindled once the English influence on the country came to an end. There are a few references in the University archives of cricket teams representing the University since but never a sustained effort to establish the club.

In 2002, two individuals 2nd year Medical student, Waqar Aziz and 1st year medical student, Shahzad Javid who had been brought up with cricket in their blood, decided to reform the club. With the support of the Sports Department and Student Union, the club embarked on a tough journey to establish the sport in the University. In the very first year of its re-inception, the club attended its first outdoor varsity hosted by University of Ulster, Colleraine. They played their first seasons matches with 10 and at times even 9 players. This was a huge victory of sorts as the club was never given a chance to even get of its feet. The Club trained during the academic year at the Westside Community Centre on Monday's and Wednesday's at 9pm. With numbers growing over the second year, Indoor matches were introduced among the players where the clubs founders devised new rules to accommodate the confined settings. In its second year, the club made it all the way to the Outdoor varsity semi finals where they lost to eventual winners UCC. 

By the start of September 2006, a new era was ushered in with the club pushing for an Indoor Varsities to be included to the Irish Universities schedule. With minimum support from the IUCA (Irish Universities Cricket Assocaition - governing body for university cricket), the club not only devised the rules of the game, but also successfully hosted the first ever Indoor Varsities in Arás Na MácLeínn and GMIT sports halls. 8 Universities participated in the Inaugural championships and the NUIG team being the pioneers to the indoor game were installed as favourites. After an exciting 3 days in January, the NUIG team easily made it to the finals were they were unlucky to face a red hot DCU team. In a closely contested match, the team lost but it won fans all around the country. Irish Language channel, TG4 also did a feature on the tournament, which established the club, not only as a trendsetter but also put the club at the forefront of innovative cricket in Ireland. Due to the work put in by then NUIG Club Captain, Nitin Bindal, the Indoor championships were named after him as "The Bindal Indoor Varsities" and hence would always be a part of NUIG Cricket Club's past and future.

Even though the club during term-time only plays indoor cricket, all the clubs supporters know that the games results outdoors would be where the club would be judged. Over the summer, the club rented the County Galway facilities at Lydican and played frequently with city neighbours GMIT Cricket Club and County Galway Cricket clubs. Till the summer of 2004 they also played friendlies against Athlone Cricket Club, Co. Mayo Cricket Club and Ballyeighan Cricket Club. It became extremely apparent that without competitive outdoor cricket, the University club could collapse into the flash in the pan club everyone expected it to become. With the support of County Galway Cricket Club and the other Connacht teams, NUIG were allowed to field a team in the Connacht League and Dick O'Neill Cups for 2005. This would bring a major change in the way the NUIG Sports department would view the Club henceforth. The team completed the season with its first win and for Aziz and Javid, this would have been gift enough for all their hard work in the formative years.

In 2007, for the first time the team was a force to be reckoned with in not only its staple tournament (IUCA Outdoor Championships) but also its summer ventures. 

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