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UNB Cricket Club: Strong bonds formed through connection and camaraderie

Author: Kathleen McLaughlin

Posted on Sep 6, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton

UNB Cricket Club

Banner photo: back row, left to right: Raja Farooq, Abdullah Sami, Faisal Syed, Ajay Kalra, Himanshu. Front row, left to right: Gururaj Mahajan, Sadab Ninad, Mazhar Rathore, Yash Patel, Nachiket Pandya.

Over the next four weeks, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) will shine a light on the Student Experience through stories that showcase how it tries to foster a vibrant, inclusive and supportive culture for its students. This is the first story in the series.

Participating in campus events, clubs, organizations and activities is the heart of the student experience. It fosters connections, providing individuals with a feeling of belonging and support from like-minded peers with similar values, interests and ambitions. This could not be truer for three international students at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).

Yash Patel, Vansh Mahajan and Sadab Ninad are all bachelor of computer science students on the Fredericton campus. They also play for the UNB Cricket Club’s (UNBCC) black and red teams, a critical social network for them.

As members of UNBCC, Patel, Mahajan, Ninad and their fellow UNB students have formed close-knit connections that go beyond the shared interest of cricket.

“When I first moved to Canada, I didn't know a lot of people,” said Patel. “I heard there was a cricket team, so a friend and I went looking for it. I’m happy we did because after we joined, we both bonded with the team in no time. Now whenever I need help with something, I know I can give them a call or leave a message.”

Patel and Mahajan are both from India and Ninad is from Bangladesh. Although close in proximity, these two countries are quite different culturally. Since joining UNBCC, students have been able to form their own social circles at UNB, comprised of students from various backgrounds.

“Initially, I was scared to join the cricket team, but it was something that I wanted to learn,” said Mahajan. “I decided to take the risk and join, and I've been able to make friends from different parts of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. One of them is even my roommate now.”

“It's important to have a diverse range of clubs and activities on campus for students,” said Ninad. “The more we can connect and spend time together, the more we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Just as the UNBCC team unites on the field, these friendships bind them on a shared journey of growth and belonging. Student groups not only cultivate connections among students but serve as a link to various support systems, services and academic pursuits to consider at UNB.

“Since joining the team, I've met guys who are from computer science in the final years of their undergrad,” said Patel. “It's great because I have been able to talk with them about how to pursue for my future in studies, and they instructed me on different routes I can go in.”

Related: UNB cricket club wins provincial championship

With cricket and camaraderie, UNBCC has not only given the students a home away from home but also allowed them to cherish part of their heritage.

“My father used to play cricket with his friends, and my mom is crazy about the sport too,” said Patel. “Every evening, she would play with everyone where she used to live. It was a fixed schedule for her. My grandfather, doesn't play cricket, but he will not miss a single match of India being telecasted on TV, night or day, he will see all the matches.”

“Although cricket was not a tradition in my family, you'll see every kid in India playing cricket," said Mahajan “So now being part of the team makes me feel a sense of belonging when I’m away from home.”

To learn more about UNBCC and how to join, students can contact the team by email at unbcricket@gmail.com.

Learn more about other clubs and societies at UNB.