Tournament Honors Local Giant in the Cricket Scene

Rahul Kukreti Forever Tournament at Plano’s new Lords Indoor Sports // photos Jennifer Shertzer

In his 43 years, former Allen resident Rahul Kukreti did his part to help make the world a better place.

Rahul, who passed away from a rare form of cancer Aug. 12, emigrated to America from India in 1995 at age 19. After setting foot in the U.S., one of the first things he did was join the Dallas County Cricket Club, an organization he served for the next 25 years.

“We picked him up from the airport, and he was a member of our club until he passed away,” said Arun Vittala of the Dallas County Cricket Club. “He has represented the club, our city, the entire region and the United States at various levels.”

Rahul Kukreti Forever Tournament at Plano’s Lords Indoor Sports // photos Jennifer Shertzer
Rahul Kukreti Forever Tournament at Plano’s Lords Indoor Sports // photos Jennifer Shertzer

Rahul quickly integrated into the local cricketing community and served as captain of the Team USA Cricket Team.

Arun was front and center for many of Rahul’s accomplishments on the field, but also saw him as a great ambassador for the sport, someone who made friends with everyone he met.

“The greatest thing about this guy is he was the most personable human being I know. It was evident from how many people across the country were so willing to raise funds for him,” Arun said, regarding the community’s reaction after Rahul’s diagnosis last October.

“It was unbelievable. When he passed away, there were over 500 people waiting,” Arun said of Rahul’s funeral. “It’s unbelievable how much he impacted every human being across the cricketing community.”

Rahul Kukreti is survived by his wife, Abha and three children, Swasti, Siddanth and Samridh // courtesy GoFundMe page

Thus far, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $160,000 to benefit Rahul’s wife and three children. And the Dallas County Cricket Club did its part by hosting a five-day tournament, Rahul Kukreti Forever, at Plano’s Lords Indoor Sports Sept. 23-27.

Lords Indoor Sports, which opened earlier this month, is the first indoor cricket facility in the U.S. The facility also offers soccer, and has plans to open similar facilities in other states.

“When [Rahul] was alive, we had discussed this as a club, saying we are going to conduct a tournament in his honor,” said Arun.

It was because of hard work by Rahul and others that cricket is now poised to become even more popular stateside.

“This is the most opportune moment for the sport,” Arun said. “The parent body of cricket in this world is the ICC, the International Cricket Council. They have taken a very deep interest in the United States, obviously because of its marketing power. They want to penetrate the U.S. market. The U.S. now has a team that is fairly competitive. They want to pour money into this country and to grow [the sport].”

Rahul Kukreti clearly loved life, his family, friends and cricket. He was someone whose efforts helped his beloved sport grow, not just in the DFW Metroplex, but across the country.

Donate to the Kukreti Family > Dallas County Cricket Club > Lords Indoor Sports >
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