Harper Ganick
Hyderabad University, India
An Excerpt from her blog post "Back Again" 

The second week I was here, some girls were watching a cricket match on campus and a professor approached them and asked them if they wanted to set up an intramural team at Tagore. So when they started to ask around at Tagore I agreed, thinking it would be a fun way to meet new people and ridiculous to see a bunch of white girls playing cricket for the first time in India.
The first meeting/practice was on a Sunday afternoon, so me and a few of the girls walked across campus to meet up with the group. We met for about 2hr with the professor and a couple of students who had agreed to help out. Basically, there was a tournament being held the next week and since we had a team we'd be playing in it. At the end of practice the coach set up our next practice time, which was the next day at 6 in the fucking morning. He asked if that worked for everyone, and I was absolutely the most vocal in expressing that that did not work for me. I mean, thinking about me even participating in an organized sport is laughable, but then expecting me to wake up before noon to play that said sport is absurd. I politely informed the group that I would not be attending the 6am practices, but I was more than happy to practice outside Tagore with them between tea time and dinner (5-7pm). They said that was fine, therefore I did not even pretend to make an effort to get up for practice.

We were originally supposed to play our first game that coming Thursday, but India being India, our game was postponed until the next Tuesday. The tournament was "you lose, you're out style," and even though our coach told the girls that they weren't the worst he'd ever seen (allegedly, I wasn't there in the mornings to actually hear him say this), in no way did we expect to win any games.
So as Tuesday loomed closer we practiced almost every afternoon and were feeling semi-confident. We showed up to our game on Tuesday in total style, all wearing our hideously matching SIP polos we were given and black leggings. As fate would have it, we had 13 girls ready to play, but only 11 players are ever on the field. I was the first to volunteer to sit out, seeing as I didn't commit myself to go to any of the practices and would've only been a hindrance on the field anyway. I designated myself official bag and water girl and cheered 'til I was hoarse. A little into the game some more Tagorians came with signs to cheer us on. We may have been the oddest group there, but we absolutely had the most spirit.
Despite the fact that we were a bunch of white girls who had been playing cricket for only a week, we played a really good game! I mean, we still lost, but only by 4 points! The referee/announcer said he was really impressed by us and told us that there would be another tournament in March. So hopefully we'll regroup, and I'll actually practice, so we can make a come back.

To read more about Harper's adventures in India visit her blog There and Back Again: A Ginger's Tale

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