On April 2, India defeated Sri Lanka in the 10th ICC Cricket World Cup by six wickets. Before the championship match, they had to face Pakistan, their number one rival, in the semifinals.

To say that Pakistan is India’s rival is an understatement. The India vs. Pakistan match was bigger than New York vs. Boston, Duke vs. North Carolina or Ali vs. Frazier. What makes the rivalry so phenomenal is that it is a geopolitical rivalry played out in an athletic venue.

“Just think about it — these are two countries with three wars between each other in the 20th century, one undeclared war and a huge standoff in 2001 with over a million troops on the border,” said sophomore mathematics major Aniket Panjwani.

The bottom line is that India and Pakistan go beyond athletics.

That probably explains why 200 people packed into the Rathskeller beginning at 4:30 a.m. on March 30 for the semifinal, and why 67.3 million people tuned in globally.

However, the majority of George Mason University does not know what cricket is, or even that we have a national championship-winning club cricket team on campus.

Cricket involves two teams of 11 players. There are five key elements to cricket: batting, bowling, fielding, catching and wicket-keeping. Team A bats (offensive) and Team B bowls (defensive), and then they swap.

The batter has two goals: score runs, by hitting the ball, and defend his wickets, which are three sticks placed behind the batter. If the ball is bowled and hits his wicket, the batter is out.

In a very general way, cricket is similar to baseball. The bowler, in a sense, pitches to the batter, and the batter tries to hit the ball. If the ball is hit and a fielder catches it before it hits the ground, he is out. If the ball hits the wicket, he is also out.

The bowler’s teammates, the fielders, try to stop the ball as quickly as possible after it has been hit to minimize the number of runs scored. Runs are scored by the batter running back and forth between the wickets. If the ball is hit in the air out of the playing field, the batting team gets six runs. If it rolls out of the playing field, the batting team gets four runs.

The wicket-keeper, similar to a catcher in baseball, stops the ball after it has been bowled. If the batter does not hit it, he is out.

Cricket is not just a sport played internationally. On March 21, Mason’s club cricket team defeated rival Montgomery College to win the Chanderpaul Trophy, sponsored by American College Cricket.

”Not a lot of people know about the team,” said captain Hashim Khan, despite being “one of the best teams in the nation.”

With a national championship-winning team and an already devout, although small, cricket community here on campus, the bottom line is that you need to watch a match.