September 27, 2010
Ian Carlin is both a player and club president for The College of Wooster's cricket team.
WOOSTER, Ohio — At 5-10, 225 lbs, Ian Carlin looks a little out of place when surrounded by a group of smaller, slighter international students who comprise The College of Wooster cricket club. But the former Scot running back has fit in quite nicely since joining the club a year ago, and he will play an important role when the team takes on a group of players from the Wooster area on Saturday, Oct. 9, at John P. Papp Stadium (weather permitting). The match, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be one of the main attractions on Homecoming weekend because the football team’s scheduled opponent (Earlham) moved to another conference, leaving the Scots with an opening on that date.
“We’re looking forward to raising the profile of the sport in our community,” says Nicola Kille, assistant director of Global Engagement and adviser to the cricket club. “It will also be a perfect tie in with the Wooster Forum, which is focusing on South Asian perspectives this fall.”
Kille believes the match will enhance town-gown relations as well. “The team we are playing consists of several area residents who have played cricket in their native countries,” she said. “The competition will be a showcase of diversity, both on campus and in the community.”
For those who don’t know much about the sport, informational sheets will be distributed on the day of the match, and Carlin is hoping for a good turnout. “It’s a great sport, and it’s really not all that hard to learn,” says Carlin, a senior who serves as club president and is one of just two American-born players on the Wooster roster. “I love the passion and enthusiasm of the players.” He also appreciates the guidance of Graham Ford, British-born head men’s soccer coach, who has been serving as the club’s volunteer coach.
Carlin’s fellow teammates represent a range of countries, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Bosnia, and The Netherlands. He was first exposed to cricket by his R.A (Residential Advisor), Ali Raza of Pakistan, as an underclassman. “We just started foolin’ around indoors, and he encouraged me to join the club,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed the experience.”
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Carlin played football, basketball, and baseball, and ran track in high school. He also played semi-professional paintball and dabbled in some of the extreme sports, including skateboarding and snowboarding, but cricket represented a new and different challenge. “I’ve gotten the hang of batting, but bowling (or pitching) is a lot harder because
you can’t bend your elbow. As a former baseball player, that’s almost impossible.” says Carlin, who is majoring in both political science and philosophy at Wooster. “It takes a lot of skill, more than people think.”
It also takes a dramatically different uniform. Instead of a helmet and shoulder pads, Carlin now wears the more gentlemanly slacks and a polo shirt.
One thing that will remain the same on Homecoming is the venue. Carlin and his teammates will trot out on the football turf — sans the Fighting Scot Marching Band — but rather than tackles and touchdowns, the emphasis will be on wickets and runs. And unlike some cricket matches that linger for days at a time, this one will be capped at three hours.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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