Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Indian Students Association and the Pakistani Students Association, the University has earned yet another first to place in its history books. These two student groups have organized a public showcase of World Cup cricket, financed through the support of Rackham Student Government, the University of Michigan Credit Union and the Center for South Asian Studies. This highly-publicized six-week event has reached capacity with 200 viewers and boasts a lengthy waitlist.

More than 80 people packed the Tap Room of the Michigan Union around 5 a.m. Sunday morning for the opening match between the team from the host nation, South Africa, and the West Indies team, which consists of athletes from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands. Students made themselves comfortable for the early morning match by arranging tables and chairs for make-shift couches and beds. While most of the attendees were South Asian, some international students and cricket aficianados from South Africa and Australia, the two most favored teams at the cup, were also present to show support for their home teams.

This event is especially momentous because it represents the first partnership between the major Indian and Pakistani student groups on campus. The animosity between these two nations is deep-rooted, an attitude illustrated by the infrequency of their cricket matches. The Indian and Pakistani teams have not played a one-day game outside of a cup match since 1997, nor have they visited each other for a five-day test match since 2000.

Since most people are ignorant of the rules and procedures of the game, event organizers eagerly and thoroughly explained the sport to the first-time cricket viewers. Since the games are being played in South Africa, the starting times for the matches range from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.; however, they last for over eight hours, permitting students plenty of time to catch the matches throughout the day.

Many games in the groups A and B, when all 12 teams play three games each, are being shown, along with all the matches in the Super Sixes round, the semifinals and the finals. Organizers have spent a considerable amount of time and funds to make this global sport accessible for all students at the University, an opportunity that should not be ignored.

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