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MBA tests cricket ace

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Jacob Kooran

The last thing Jacob Kooran expected when he swapped India for Australia — and a master’s in business at the Australian Maritime College — was that twelve months later he’d be gearing up to play cricket in the Tasmanian premier league.

He thought he’d swapped Mumbai, and the professional-level cricket he had played for the city’s Under 25s team, to focus on his two-year, career-boosting Master of Business Administration (MBA) course.

“Once I hit 25, I decided to give up cricket and focus on my career,” Jacob explained. “That’s when I decided to do an MBA and came to Australia for the first time.”

But almost a year on and he’s one of Northern Tasmania’s star cricket players, helping his team, Westbury Cricket Club, reach the top of their league. What’s more, he’s making preparations to play for the University of Tasmania Cricket Club in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League later this year.

“I really wasn’t planning to play cricket in Tasmania — I thought those days were over and I was totally focused on my MBA,” Jacob said. “But then I found out about the different types of cricket played in Australia, and then someone introduced me to Westbury Cricket Club… and I just kind of fell into it!”

Having cricket as a constant could be a good thing, considering the otherwise dramatic change in his circumstances. He’s gone from a life he describes as “extremely busy” in the mega-city of Mumbai (population: over 20 million) to a more relaxed pace of life in Launceston (population: under 100,000).  

“Launceston is pretty different to Mumbai; fewer people and such beautiful, accessible nature. It was a shock at first, but now I’m really enjoying it, and it’s great to have time to play cricket as well as study.”

Before his MBA, Jacob worked for Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL). Having experienced the maritime world, he’s hoping that his MBA will help him land a port-focused role in Australia once he’s graduated.

“I’d love to work with ports. They’re fascinating because there’s constant innovation and always something to learn and explore.”

It seems that Australia, with its maritime opportunities and sporting preferences, might yet come to feel like home for this particular cricket devotee.

Published on: 09 Feb 2017