By Lloyd Jodah
Whilst trying to create cricket teams in the City University of NY system I arranged a game, and collected cricketers attending CUNY schools to play. They were split into 2 teams. Game day came, and I saw an opening batsman blasting runs in a manner that reminded me of the West Indies great Alvin Kallicharran.I found out the batsman’s name was Adrian Gordon, and he was a fast bowler! Gordon went on to make a scintillating 44. Gordon was a student at both CUNY and NYU.

Adrian Gordon during USA national trials held in New York. Photo by Shiek Mohamed.

Gordon later played on the College All Stars Team that defeated the 2009 College Champions Montgomery. “Adil (Bhatti) hit me for a couple of sixes” Gordon admitted, but he showed real pace. Determined to participate in the 2010 American College Cricket Spring Break Championship, Gordon kept communication with me, and we were able to pull together a team at New York University – Polytechnic.(NYU-Poly). Gordon enlisted the support of his college for equipment, hotel stay and uniforms and one day showed up at my office to register NYU-Poly with American College Cricket.

At the 2010 American College Cricket Championship Gordon impressed with his pace, and accuracy and nearly took the new, and hastily put together NYU-Poly team into the final four (the Team had never played a game together before). So it was no surprise when he was selected to represent the USA, in Bermuda at the 2010 ICC Americas Regional Division 1 Championships from May 28 to June 4, followed by a 20/20 Tournament on June 5/6. Gordon will also play vs Jamaica, in Florida as part of the NZ vs SL Pearls Cup event.

Adrian, 22, started playing cricket as a toddler in Antigua and first played competitively at age 9. He represented Antigua, home of the great West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts, at the Under 15 and Under 19 level. In fact one day, his Under 15 Coach was one of the West Indies greatest fast bowlers, Andy Roberts, who made the team run laps, whilst bowling. Adrian recounts how he hated how hard it was and wished he never met Roberts again. Nevertheless he spent a lot of time, on his own, bowling in the driveway of his home.

Gordon went to Florida to study, and did not expect to play much cricket but played whenever he could. Then he transferred to New York, taking classes at CUNY, then NYU-Poly where he is two classes away from completing his degree in Biomedical Science (Pre-Med). Gordon continued playing and was selected for the Atlantic Region in the USACA Regional Tournament in 2009. He credits former West Indies fast-medium Adam Sanford for coaching advice during this time.

Playing in the American College Championship, against his youthful peers, was a different level of competitiveness however, and it’s what motivated him to help start his college team. He said, “College Football Gameday, basketball March Madness…college sports have a tremendous excitement and I saw this as the beginning of the same for cricket. We could help put cricket on an American stage. Imagine one day students turning up for a NYU vs USC Trojans cricket match”

“At the Championship the energy level was amazing……guys were giving 100% effort, running, diving for balls. It was the most exciting cricket I’ve played in years and the standard of play was really high. “

“Honestly I never expected to play cricket for my College or for the USA…but practice, consistency and dedication can make dreams come true – I’m honored to be a College Cricket All American and USA player.”

Since the College Championship Adrian has been practicing his bowling, even by himself. To ensure he is one of the fittest players on the field he is training at the 24 Hour Fitness Derek Jeter Club in a specially designed 2 week program. He said “I’m so much fit, I can feel a big difference.”

Adrian Gordon’s selection is also a clear statement by the USA Cricket Selectors that USA Cricket is on a new youthful path heading in the right direction. There will still be criticisms and use of the term “ex-pat”, but tell that to the thousands of US Military who have served, and many who have died, who were not born in the USA., or even US citizens. Or to the winner of the 2009 NY Marathon, Meb Keflezighi.The term “ex-pat” is un-American.

To be American, or to represent us, you don’t have to be born here. Adrian Gordon, College All American and USA cricketer.