The Indian American

07 THE INDIAN AMERICAN OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2018 a running, full-circle windup pitch - and every "thwack" of the ball - a different sound from baseball, given a batsman's flat-fronted blade - shouts of "oy, oy, oy!" rang out. Cricket has long failed to capture much interest in this country, but that's changing, in large part because of the nation's changing demographics. "What is the fastest growing sport in the United States?" George B. Kirsch, professor emeritus at Manhattan College, wrote in the Journal of Sport History in 2016. "Surprisingly, with the possible excep- tion of lacrosse, the answer is cricket." Many immigrants, especially those from South Asia and the Caribbean, have found that it gives them a way to connect. Saad Motiwala, a 27-year-old Pakistani immi- grant on the field during that first Sunday in Prairie View, appreciates the polyglot nature of the sport and the different cultures and communities it brings togeth- er. "Playing cricket allows you to meet people you'd never meet otherwise," said Motiwala, who works at a BMW dealership and plays with Ahmed on the Gaous Azam Cricket Club. The sport is already so popular in the area Competitive cricket made its debut this fall in Prairie View, Texas, where a major complex is planned. Photo: Michael Stravato/ For The Washington Post