Daniel Mundra expresses love and provides leadership for cricket at Oregon
When Daniel Mundra first stepped onto the University of Oregon campus back in 2006, he was only focused on being a student. His main priorities consisted of going to class and keeping his grades up.
All of that changed one day after he noticed several people playing cricket as he walked past the EMU.
Now, many years later Mundra finds himself working as the Web Services Manager at the College of Arts and Sciences, still spending every Saturday playing cricket as the longest tenured member of the Oregon club team.
“Cricket is the sport I grew up playing in my childhood,” Mundra said. “That is all you do in the middle of nowhere. It was our street game.”
Mundra, who grew up in India, is no stranger to cricket. In his home country, cricket is the most popular sport. It’s watched and played by millions. In fact, it is so popular that when India’s national team plays a big game, an estimated 400 million watch on television.
One of those millions was Mundra, who enjoys watching the professional game. Even here at Oregon where the Television coverage isn’t as inclusive, Mundra keeps up with the latest stats and updates online.
Though he loves to play and watch the sport, he never dreamed of playing cricket professionally.
“For me, my love was always computer science,” Mundra said. “Sports are more like my outlet to relax.”
That relaxation now comes via the Oregon club team.
With the Ducks, Mundra spends most of his time as a batsman and an infielder. His favorite part is being out in the field, catching balls and then throwing them at the wickets to get people out.
Playing alongside teammates from all around the world is one of Mundra’s favorite aspects of the sport.
“India and Pakistan have always been in conflict, but on the playing field, all of that goes away,” Mundra said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. You all know the game, you all have interest in it — let’s just play.
Mundra has also served in several leadership positions with the Ducks during his tenure. Last season, he held the positions of team coordinator and captain.
“People don’t mind taking orders from him because he is such a nice chap,” club president Dan Pearce said of his teammate.
Mundra’s leadership style is quiet and laid back. This perhaps, stems from the fact that most members of the Cricket club are graduate students. Rather than micromanage the team, he prefers to place the responsibility upon the players to control themselves.
Club member Mino De Raj said, “When we have issues, the person we turn to is Daniel.”
He even made an impact for De Raj off the field, helping him land an internship with a recommendation.
Mundra doesn’t want to continue to serve as an official captain on this team. Instead, he prefers to watch someone else step up and take the reigns.
“I would like to see one of the other seniors who hasn’t been captain before lead the team,” Mundra said. “I want to see how that works and support them.”
That would allow him to return to where it all began, just playing the game he loves with his friends.
Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur
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