I spent approximately 11 months at the University of Warwick i.e. from September 2008 to August 2009. I did my postgraduate course (LLM) in International Economic Law.During this period I was fortunate to be associated with Warwick University Staff and Post Graduate Cricket Club ('Club').
I had a wonderful time playing cricket for the Club. It was an essential element of my life at the University. I enjoyed the pre-summer net sessions and loved playing matches for the club during the summer. I was fortunate to be playing cricket with a fantastic bunch of people who made me more aware of life in England and the cultures and the traditions of the country. I also enjoyed travelling for the away games as they took me to locations around Warwickshire and adjoining counties.
Life for an overseas student can sometimes be tough at the University. If you do not know many people, the University can be a lonely place. Classes/ study periods often get done by early afternoon and very often there is nothing much to do for the rest of the evening. Spending all my evenings at the University or at some booze party at your friends' place did not appeal to me.
I very often played games on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Our nets used to be scheduled on Fridays. Classes and studies took up the rest of time. There was no time left to indulge in binge drinking :)
On a serious note, cricket at the club gave me an opportunity to use my time constructively. It allowed me to meet new people and make new friends. In a funny manner, it forced me to plan my day around nets/ matches and that had an indirect impact on my studies as well.
I met some wonderful people and made lifelong friends. My first team captain Mr. Steve Lamb was like a father figure and a guide for all of us who were from outside England. Very often he used to pick us up from the University and drive us down to the match venues. He was our go-to man and he used to advise us on different things including aspects of British culture and history, various places in England that we should visit etc. There were interesting individuals at the club as well, like our chairman Lincoln Allison, Rob Wood (my Wednesday evening captain), Mike Allison, Paul Wilson and Nicky and Sandeep Sandhu who helped us in every possible way. For me personally, the club and its representatives played a major role in me settling down at the university and enjoying life at the university.
In my opinion, the Club plays a very important role in helping postgraduate students (particularly from the Asian sub-continent) adjust to life at University. It provides them with a recreation option and allows them to play a sport that they love.
LLM International Economic Law (2008-2009)
University of Warwick
Cricket at warwick was one of the most amazing experience during my stay at warwick. We used to anxiously wait for the weekends to either practice in desso hall or to play at out station grounds. It was such an amazing experience that i missed several social gatherings with the course mates over the weekend cricket. Through cricket i got to make more friends, with whom i am still in touch. Such friendships, gossips, gags, food and travelling to different towns through beautiful country sides enriched my experience even further. We friends back home, still discuss every single tight wins/loss and funny moments from the matches we played at warwick. I was shocked to know about the decision of warwick sports authorities. It's not just outrageous, its criminal instead. I can't imagine warwick without the cricket team and the weekend net practices or the matches. Weekends used to be incomplete without a cricket match. I still plan to come every summers to the UK to join the team to play a match or two in warwick. I would say that i got to experience english culture more through cricket then on campus or my department. Which after all was and always be an unforgettable part of my life. Any decision which raises barriers for on campus cricket should be resolved with unanimous support. I hope this will be a complete misunderstanding on managments part for underestimating the value cricket is contributing to the student experience on campus. University spends hundreds of thousands of pounds to enhance student experience but at times just a poor decision can ruin the whole student experience even after all those spendings. I think this is one of them.
Zain ul Abideen
MSc, WMG 2015-2017
I am writing this email to you as a testimonial of my wonderful experience as an active member of Warwick Staff and Grad CC, while I was a post-doctoral research fellow in Warwick (2009-2011, Warwick Systems Biology Centre). I have worked/studied at four different universities in England since 2004 and have been part of different sports activities (mainly cricket), and I must say that the time spent in Warwick would definitely be at the top of the ranking and was most fulfilling in terms extra-curricular activities. This was largely due to great atmosphere within the camp of Warwick Staff and Grad CC, as well as with excellent support from Warwick University in terms of subsidised use of facilities and very much affordable subscriptions. I very much hope that the University administration would continue to support this excellent club with great history.
Dr. Mudassar Iqbal
Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health
University of Manchester
The Warwick Staff & Postgraduate cricket team played a huge role in my Warwick life. When I started my Ph.D. in 2012, it took me quite a while to settle into life on campus. In particular, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the university, especially after my undergraduate studies - where most of my time had been spent in college, which had seemed a fairly close community in itself. I tried to engage in the 'postgraduate freshers' events to try and become more involved at Warwick, but through my first term, I found myself spending almost every weekend away from campus, not really enjoying life there, and not feeling part of any community on campus. Not being an undergraduate, I wasn't living in campus halls, and the undergraduate clubs (notably the cricket club) I tried seemed more geared towards undergraduates than postgraduates.
After Christmas, the S&G nets started up, and within a few weeks, I already felt deeply involved in the club. It was exactly the sort of thing I needed - a reasonably sized, but not enormous, community of people who wanted to be part of the club for the cricket, not for thrice weekly socials. The sessions were engaging, the members friendly and by the summer, I was playing two or three times a week, in midweek evening T20 leagues, in Saturday league cricket and Sunday friendlies. I think I'm right in saying that the club played 60-70 fixtures across the whole season, all at a reasonable price that I, as a Ph.D. student, could afford. By contrast, each team in the undergraduate club played only a handful of matches a year, fitting them around exams, and the club shut down completely after the end of the term. Because of the S&G team, during the three month summer holidays I was still actively engaged in campus life, even after the undergraduates had all gone home for the summer; without it, the campus would have been little more than an office.
Over the course of my four years in the club, it was clear that my experiences were far from isolated. There were so many others doing postgraduate degrees who became completely immersed in the club and the community, and who - long after their studies had finished - would come back to visit, would check in on how the club was doing, even from different continents. Many of my former teammates agree that the club was a major part of their experience at Warwick, and lasting friendships have been formed over the summers we played together. I know Warwick Sport is very keen to encourage increased participation in sport, and the club has been fantastic for this, particularly tapping into the South Asian community on campus. Awareness of the club's existence seemed to spread by word of mouth over the course of a summer, and new players were joining throughout the season, eager for the chance to play more cricket.
As far as I am concerned, the fact that Warwick has such a club sets it apart from other universities, and I would see it as a considerable positive in applying to study or work there in the future. I am now a postdoc at Imperial; I tried hard to find a similar club here, but none exists, and it's made playing cricket very difficult. It's something about Warwick that I dearly miss.
It is almost incidental given the above, but it is worth pointing out that on the field, the club has been immensely successful as well. Representing the university in club leagues, we consistently came in the top three of the SNCL Premier during my time there and swept the league in my final year (2016). They then moved to the Warwickshire leagues and promptly won another title there. Given the opportunity, there is no reason to think they will not be successful in their new league following promotion.
In summary: my experience at Warwick would have been far poorer without the club, which fills a hole that no undergraduate sports club could fill. It helped strengthen my ties to the university and allowed me to represent the university in a sport I love playing. I urge the university to help it continue to thrive so that many others may reap the same benefits that I, and many others, already have.
Chris Williams (2012-16)