May 2010 - Posts
By Peter Della Penna
80 years after Don Bradman had a meeting with Babe Ruth at Yankee
Stadium, the cricket and baseball universes collided once more at Sun
Life Stadium in Miami as the New Zealand Black Caps paid a visit to the
home turf of the Florida Marlins to have some fun and learn a little
about each other’s sports.
Pic (Right): Tim Southee with Cody Ross [Courtesy: Robert Vigon]
“I’ve never been to this stadium or seen these guys play so it’s going
to be exciting,” said New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris when
interviewed on camera by a Palm Beach Post reporter during batting
practice. “There’s a few, maybe two or three of our guys that enjoy
baseball so they know who’s who, but it’s not really big [in New
Zealand]. None of us have ever swung a bat before. It’s just not played
in New Zealand.”
It’s the second game inside of a week that Black Caps players have
attended after being knocked out of the World Twenty20 in the West
Indies. Several players were present at Thursday night’s game between
the Marlins and the New York Mets, which the Marlins won 2-1.
Monday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was more special
though as Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori and all-rounder Jacob Oram
got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. On this occasion, the
Marlins wound up losing 5-1.
However, it appears that the Marlins enjoyed their time before the game
getting a little bit of cultural enrichment from their Kiwi guests.
Reigning National League batting champion and two-time NL All-Star
shortstop Hanley Ramirez padded up in some Black Caps kit to take a few
slogs while pitcher Josh Johnson’s interest was piqued after finding
out that cricket bowlers are allowed to aim at batsmen on purpose.
“I didn't know much about cricket before these guys came to visit, but
I've got a good lesson now,” said Johnson in an article posted on the
Miami Herald web site. “They're pretty cool.” The teams hung out and
traded tips for about an hour and also exchanged autographed jerseys
with each other.
is not the first time the Black Caps have dealt with a professional
baseball player on a first-hand basis. Former Black Caps fielding coach
Travis Wilson was the first player from New Zealand to play in the
minor leagues according to Baseball-Reference.com. Wilson was in the
Atlanta Braves farm system from 1997-2003, getting as high as Triple-A
Richmond. He then played for the Cincinnati Reds Double-A affiliate in
Chattanooga for the 2004 season before heading back to New Zealand.
Pic(Left): Jacob Oram had Josh Johnson on his fantasy baseball
team. Josh does not play fantasy cricket! [Courtesy: Robert Vigon]
New Zealand will be taking on Sri Lanka in the Pearls Cup this weekend
at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. A pair of
Twenty20 Internationals are scheduled to take place on Saturday and
Sunday as part of a doubleheader on each day.
The other matchups will be a set of Twenty20 games between USA and
Jamaica. USA will also be taking on Jamaica in a 50-over encounter on
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1800-745-3000.
Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna
Mishra and Clain Williams have been added to USA’s roster for this
weekend’s three matches against Jamaica at the Central Broward Regional
Park in Lauderhill, Florida. The two Atlantic Region players have been
added after Sushil Nadkarni and Rashard Marshall had to withdraw due to
Pic (Right): Aditya Mishra at DreamCricket's Radiant Info T20.
The addition of Mishra means that half of the 14-man squad against
Jamaica is uncapped for USA at the senior level. However, Nadkarni and
Marshall are still scheduled to travel to Bermuda to play for USA in
the ICC Americas Division One Tournament at the end of the month.
“It’s a great feeling to represent the national side, to get to play
against a very good team,” said Mishra. “I think it’s the result of all
the effort that I’m putting in and I’m glad that I made it so I’m very
Mishra, a 28-year-old right-handed opening batsman, was in Florida in
November at USACA Nationals and played in the T20 trial matches while
competing for a spot on USA’s recent tour to the UAE and Nepal. He was
also at the recent trials in New York for the team picked to go to
Bermuda but just missed the cut. He is a highly regarded player having
played in the Ranji Trophy, India’s domestic first-class competition,
for Karnataka in 2002.
The 29-year-old Williams will get another crack at making an impact
after limited opportunities in Nepal. The right-handed batsman played
in the opening match of the World Cricket League Division Five
Tournament, scoring 9 not out in a win over Fiji, but was not selected
for any other matches on tour. He was routinely used as a substitute
fielder though and demonstrated a good deal of athleticism patrolling
USA will play three matches against Jamaica beginning with a 50-over
contest on Friday scheduled for a 10 a.m. start. Saturday and Sunday
the two teams will face off in Twenty20 fixtures as part of a
doubleheader with the Pearls Cup contests between New Zealand and Sri
USA Squad vs. Jamaica -
Steve Massiah (captain, New York), Ashhar Mehdi (wk, Central East),
Carl Wright (wk, New York), Timroy Allen (South East), Orlando Baker
(Central West), Lennox Cush (New York), Muhammad Ghous (Atlantic),
Adrian Gordon (Atlantic), Moazzam Imtiaz (South East), Bilal Khan
(North West), Aditya Mishra (Atlantic), Andy Mohammed (North East),
Aditya Thyagarajan (South West), Clain Williams (Atlantic).
Manager: Imran Khan
Coach: Clayton Lambert
Physio: Akhtar “Chik” Masood Syed
National Team Selectors: Abrar Ahmad (North West), Mohammad Sunny Khan (Central East), Sew Shivnarine (New York).
Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Jamie Harrison
I’ve spent a lot of time talking and
writing about how to get kids playing cricket in America, and the
importance of taking the game to them while they are still in
I’ve discovered in the past few months is that I was not alone in my
view of things; in fact, it seems as if there were literally hundreds
of you who had the same idea, but were just waiting for someone to
raise a flag somewhere to rally around. For many of you, the USYCA has
become that flag, and for that I am deeply grateful.
As the USYCA has rapidly expanded, I am often asked for my broader view
of cricket development in America. In other words: “OK, so you teach
them the game while they’re young. Then what?” Sometimes, this question
disguises a deeper concern that the USYCA intends to replace or
supplant existing academies, clinics and youth leagues.
Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth.
In my “cricket worldview,” I see the USYCA, academies, clinics, clubs
and youth teams as partners in a harmoniously synchronized process, by
which small children who know nothing about cricket become young adults
competing for spots on national teams. As I see it, everyone has a
specific, and very important role to play, and if the process fails at
any point along the way, the end objective is not met.
Let me explain.
The process I will describe can be separated into six unique stages,
each with its own place and clientele. If we try to cheat the system by
skipping stages, the result will usually be less than satisfying. On
the other hand, if we adhere tightly to the developmental process, we
will, with patience and in time, produce a generation of Americans that
can compete with, and win matches against, any nation in the world.
Here are the stages, described:
Stage 1 – Young children are introduced to a
low-intensity, fun-filled version of cricket in places such as
elementary schools, summer camps or public demonstrations. In this
stage, the emphasis is on teaching the simplest forms of the game, and
allowing the children to quickly play the game with very little
pressure or technical instruction. Here we nurture their love for
cricket by letting them enjoy it; in Stage 1, it’s all about the fun.
Stage 2 – Here children are formed into
community softball cricket leagues, where the fun can continue outside
of the limitations of gym class. By expanding the time when they can
play, we are allowed to do some rudimentary instruction and we can
devote more resources to nurturing not just their love for the game,
but also their understanding of it. It is in Stage 2 where some
children will begin to separate themselves from their peers, and many
of these children will yearn for something more challenging; these we
will channel toward local academies, indoor facilities and other
Stage 3 – This is where we will find our our
indoor training facilities and specialist coaching clinics. These are
the places where parents will bring their aspiring young cricketer to
learn the proper way to play a pull shot, to stump a batter or to bowl
with leg spin. Here the children will first put on their cricket armor
and stride clumsily into the nets, where, with the patient
encouragement of a dedicated coach, they will learn to be of value to
This is the stage where the hard, “nitty-gritty” work of cricket
development takes place. Here much sweat and frustration will be
invested, and trusting parents will spend many dollars. Here, the raw,
unskilled youngster will become the promising new talent of tomorrow.
Stage 3, then, is the factory floor where the raw material supplied by
Stages 1 and 2 become products ready for the finishing work of Stages 4
Stage 4 – Now our young prospect is finally
ready be placed on youth hardball teams, playing in youth hardball
leagues. This is a critical development, because we all know that there
is only so much coaching that is possible in the nets; much of what is
learned must be discovered under fire, in the lonely 22 yards that
rests between the wickets.
In Stage 4 we discover whether the promise that was displayed in
practice will be carried over into live matches; in Stage 4 we get to
see which players will be solid performers, which will be
disappointing, and yes, every now and again, which will be considered
as top prospects for our national teams. In Stage 4, as we watch
certain players execute to perfection, we begin to get excited.
Stage 5 – In this stage, the most talented
young players compete for, and are selected to, regional and national
youth teams. Here, the kid we’ve “had our eye on” since the age of
eight is selected to represent his country against the world’s best
youth players. This stage also continues, and elevates, the coaching
continuum that our youngster has been receiving; now, as a member of a
regional or national squad, the player receives the absolute best
coaching that is available to someone at that age.
In Stage 5, the United States begins to reap the rewards for all of the
time, hard work and dedication put forward in Stages 1-4. Those who
aren’t selected for a regional or national team will continue to play
for local clubs as they pursue their dream, or simply their passion.
Stage 6 – And now, at last, we get the big
payoff for all that has come before. In Stage 6, our little boy or girl
of yesterday is elevated to the national senior team that will carry
the flag of the United States into battle against the best cricketers
on the face of the earth. In Stage 6, we will debate the wisdom of
having the boy from Texas as one of the opening batsmen; we will argue
over whether the girl from Ohio should have bowled the final over; and
we will rejoice as a nation when the kid from Kansas hits a
match-winning six against Australia. In Stage 6, the process is
complete, and America has taken its place beside the other cricketing
nations of the world.
In examining these stages, it becomes easy to identify what programs
fit into what stages. While USYCA is clearly focused on Stages 1 and 2;
other organizations have varying objectives. While some organizations
like DreamCricket Academy run Stage 1 and Stage 2 programs in addition
to Stage 3 clinics, many other academies are mostly focused on Stage 3
programs, while the teams they sponsor fall squarely into Stage 4.
In this hierarchy, the role of the USYCA is to provide guidance,
structure and support for Stage 1 and 2 programs, including, but not
limited to, material support, networking, sharing of resources and
practical advice, such as developing “best practices.” By partnering
with the USYCA, programs are able to leverage a powerful resource that
will enable them to accomplish much more, much faster.
The distinctions between stages are not arbitrary, in fact, they are
terribly important, because when it comes to introducing the game of
cricket to a child with no previous knowledge of it, we can see that
there is a clear correlation between the stage at which that child
discovers cricket and the likelihood that the child will adopt the game
and play it well.
For example, a child who first learns the game at age seven in school,
and then methodically ascends the stages of development will
undoubtedly be more likely to stay with cricket than a child of the
same age who is introduced to the game at a Stage 3 facility. There’s
nothing wrong with the Stage 3 program, it just serves a different
purpose and is not a place for discovering the joy of cricket.
In a Stage 3 facility, the focus is on coaching and perfecting
technique more so than having fun; a novice, especially a young one,
will quickly tire of spending hours on his grip and stance when he’d
rather be running and playing with wild abandon.
In the past, we have expended far too much time and energy trying to
“game the system” by thinking we can jump to Stage 3, and turn kids on
to cricket by putting them in helmet and pads and then spending a half
an hour with them trying to perfect their swing.
Think about the way you first played the game when you were a child.
How long was it before you first put on the heavy gear? And in the
meantime, how many hours did you spend racing back and forth between
the wickets? (Even if the wickets were your mother’s kitchen chairs.)
We must first fall in love with cricket by playing it, before we can
find the determination to work hard enough at it to become good. And
don’t think, not even for a minute, that children new to the game will
look forward to the prospect of standing around in pads being coached
on their technique. Children want to run; children want to shout;
children want to play – not to be coached.
This is where the stages help us to recognize the truth: It becomes
incrementally more difficult to convert someone to cricket as we move
up the stages. While it is easy to create cricket lovers from novices
in Stage 1 and even Stage 2 programs, it is considerably more difficult
in a Stage 3 program, and impossible beyond that point. (Let’s face it:
placing a novice in a Stage 4 program might just get him killed). And
the wonderful thing about following the program in stages is that the
child will almost always tell you when it’s time to move up a level.
As a teacher at Cardinal Gibbons School, I watched cricket become an
overnight phenomenon for dozens of teenagers. Luckily for them, I
didn’t know enough about cricket at the time to be able to think I
could coach them; otherwise I probably would have wrecked their fun and
ruined their enthusiasm.
In April-May of 2008, they played Stage 1 cricket; in
September-November, they played Stage 2 cricket; over the winter, they
played Stage 3 cricket and in the spring they played Stage 4 cricket –
and it worked at every step along the way. Within 12 months, twenty
kids went from knowing nothing about the game to being fanatics who
were willing to pay $150 each for the chance to be annihilated on a
weekly basis by experienced players. That experience was my cricket
laboratory, and I’m pleased to say that the elixir has been perfected.
All we need now are enough doctors to distribute the medicine or to
help facilitate its distribution; many have volunteered already – I
hope that you will join us in this sport revolution.
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USA Cricket - NZ Cricket Media Release
May 14 - Next week's historic series of international cricket matches
scheduled for Florida has been re-shaped to include two double headers,
featuring the New Zealand BLACKCAPS vs. Sri Lanka and the USA vs.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka were originally
scheduled to play three international Twenty20 matches to launch the
hosting of full international cricket in the USA. However, the
International Cricket Council has ruled that the lights available at
the Broward County Regional Park are not quite up to the standard
required for the broadcast and hosting of full international cricket.
"Ideally the inaugural game in the Pearls Cup series would have been a
night game on Thursday, May 20th. The lights at the stadium are fine
for most levels of cricket, but they need to be of a higher standard
for the playing and broadcast of international cricket" said New
Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.
“And added to this, there is a high probability of rain and
thunderstorms in the region on Thursday which added weight to our
decision. Because of these factors, we have decided, along with our
partner USA Cricket, to focus all of the attention on the weekend with
the two double headers as well a full One Day International between USA
and Jamaica on Friday the 21st.”
"The BLACKCAPS are tremendously excited about the opportunity of
launching international cricket in the United States and it promises to
be an amazing weekend of cricket. The BLACKCAPS have had fantastically
close games against the Sri Lankan team in recent times and the Pearls
Cup series promises to be a great spectacle.
It is also great to see that Jamaica have sent a full-strength
squad, including a number of players who have played for the West
Indies. Their games against the top USA team should also add a lot to
the event" Vaughan said.
Anyone who had purchased a ticket for Thursday's game should contact
Ticketmaster for a reallocation to the weekend or a refund.
The On Drive reported today that the visiting New Zealand BlackCaps will have a mixer with Florida Marlins at one of the Marlins home games in the days preceding the Pearls Cup series between NZ and Sri Lanka.
The report quoted Brendon McCullum as saying: "I’m looking forward to going along to see the Florida Marlins. Baseball is such a huge sport in the U.S., it will be interesting to see how the game is structured compared to cricket."
"They are excited about playing somewhere as interesting as Florida, and taking the game to a new destination and fan-base," the player said.
For full report, please click here.
By Peter Della Penna
surprises are in a 14-man squad selected for USA as they attempt to
become repeat champions of the ICC Americas Division One Tournament at
the end of the month in Bermuda. Six new players will be in the squad,
including two players from USA’s 2010 U-19 World Cup squad in New
Zealand. The squad will be coached by Clayton Lambert and managed by
Imran Khan with Akhtar Masood “Chik” Syed going along as the team
Pic (Right): Andy Mohammed hooks on his way to a heroic 70 in the match against Australia [Picture Courtesy: Daniela Zaharia]
Andy Mohammed, Muhammad Ghous, Ashhar Mehdi, Bilal Khan, Adrian Gordon
and Moazzam Imtiaz are the fresh faces who will be representing USA
from May 29-June 7 in Bermuda to play a series of 50-over matches
followed by a two-day Twenty20 tournament against Canada, Argentina,
Cayman Islands, Bahamas and the host team. Several of the matches will
be telecast live on Fresh TV (www.Fresh.bm).
The group of 14 will also be playing two matches against Jamaica in
Florida on May 21 and 22 prior to departing for Bermuda. Glen Hall,
Clain Williams, Saurabh Verma, Usman Shuja, Kevin Darlington, Sudesh
Dhaniram and Imran Awan are the members from February’s touring squad
that will not be traveling to Bermuda.
Ghous and Mohammed will be the youngest players in the new look squad.
Ghous turned 20 on the first day of the trials that took place in New
York on April 24-25 while Mohammed is still a teenager at 19. Ghous had
an impressive 3.77 economy rate bowling off-spin in New Zealand while
Mohammed produced USA’s highest individual batting performances at the
U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Toronto as well as the main event, scoring
90 against Afghanistan in September and 70 against Australia in
January. The addition of Mohammed also gives the team another sorely
needed left-handed batsman as Sushil Nadkarni was the only one in USA’s
touring squad to the UAE and Nepal.
Ghous will be relied upon to fill the role of containing off-spinner
formerly occupied by 43-year-old Dhaniram, who is still recovering
after a broken finger sustained while diving for a catch vs. Singapore
at the World Cricket League Division Five. The leg-spinner Verma
suffered a back injury playing against the MCC in California in March
and more recently broke a finger playing in a North West Cricket League
match so was unavailable for selection. Mohammed comes in for Hall, who
has a nagging leg injury, and Williams.
Ashhar Mehdi has been included as a wicketkeeper. The 34-year old from
the Central East Region had the highest score at USACA Nationals in
November with 80 in a losing cause versus New York in the championship
match. He will provide relief behind the stumps for Carl Wright, who
battled with a hand injury in Nepal, and for Orlando Baker who will be
able to focus more on bowling and batting after having to keep wicket
in Nepal due to Wright’s injury.
Bilal Khan makes the cut along with Adrian Gordon in a new look fast
bowling attack. The 28-year-old Khan was never far from selectors
thoughts after impressing with 9 wickets in three matches bowling
right-arm fast-medium for the North West Region at the Western
Conference Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., last year. Gordon, a
22-year-old international student at NYU-Poly, took three wickets
against the South East Region in the Eastern Conference Tournament in
Washington, D.C., last July and is currently one of the fastest bowlers
in the country. Darlington is unavailable due to work and Shuja because
of graduation from Kellogg.
Awan’s non-selection is believed to be a result of his poor
performances in February. Of the nine bowlers USA used in Nepal, Awan
had the most wides bowled (15) in his 13 overs. His fielding was
erratic and he dropped numerous chances which frustrated his teammates.
most curious selection is that of Moazzam Imtiaz, especially ahead of
players such as Ravi Timbawala and Akeem Dodson. The non-selection of
Timbawala and Dodson, members of USA’s 2006 U-19 World Cup squad, means
that there are still no American-born players in the squad.
Pic (Left): Muhammad Asad Ghous [Courtesy: Daniela Zaharia]
Imtiaz only played one of three matches for South East at the Eastern
Conference Tournament in 2009 and was not in the November 40-man list
of probables for selection to represent USA on the tour of the UAE and
Nepal. He played for the South East versus the MCC in March, coming in
at number 10 in the Twenty20 match to score 1 run and did not bowl.
In the 50-over game, he was the seventh bowler used, bowling three
overs of medium pace for 14 runs without taking a wicket and scored 11
not out coming in at number eight. Imtiaz is currently ranked 31st in
the top run scorers column for the Florida Southeast Cricket League
(FSCL) with 171 runs and a high score of 51 to go along with 5 wickets
in eight matches.
Imtiaz plays for Coconut Creek Vikings in his league, a team that is
captained by FSCL president Rizwan Mohammed and vice-captained by
former USA player and South East Region USACA Board member Nasir
USA squad: Steve Massiah (captain, NY), Ashhar Mehdi (wk, Central
East), Carl Wright (wk, NY), Timroy Allen (South East), Orlando Baker
(Central West), Lennox Cush (NY), Muhammad Ghous (Atlantic), Adrian
Gordon (Atlantic), Moazzam Imtiaz (South East), Bilal Khan (North
West), Rashard Marshall (New York), Andy Mohammed (North East), Sushil
Nadkarni (Central West), Aditya Thyagarajan (South West).
Manager: Imran Khan
Coach: Clayton Lambert
Physio: Akhtar “Chik” Masood Syed
National Team Selectors: Abrar Ahmad (Western Region), Mohammad Sunny
Khan (Central East Region), Sew Shivnarine (New York Region).
By Peter Della Penna
In terms of American cricket history, Philadelphia was one of the great strongholds of the game in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Now, the city is rekindling its spirit for the game in the 21st century. The 18th annual Philadelphia International Cricket Festival is a big reason why.
The event is a mixture of tight-knit friends and small communities but with a big-time feel because of the glorious facilities on offer, not to mention a lengthy list of special guests over the years. It has helped establish a tradition of excellence that makes this a cricket tournament that is equal parts competitive and social, the latter of which is not always easy to find in the scrappy nature of most amateur leagues in the USA.
Toronto CC celebrate their win at the Philadelphia Cricket Festival
“We have a pretty good ground back in Toronto with good turf wickets, where international cricket can basically be played in Canada, but to come here, the clubhouses are amazing,” said Hassan Choghtai, captain of Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club, who won the tournament final over Sarasota International CC by four wickets. “We got a huge response, a huge welcome in the hotel and knowing new people, you chat around with a lot of new guys. To come and meet the special guest, Michael Kasprowicz this year, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling and that’s what keeps on motivating us.”
Past special guests have made a habit of getting out onto the pitch to mix in with the amateur clubs, giving players the thrill of a lifetime. Kasprowicz was no exception. The 38-year-old fast bowler, who played 38 Tests for Australia, played in two matches at the festival.
“Philadelphia had a great time with Kasper,” said Howard Chinn, member of Germantown CC and a co-organizer of the event. “Most of the current or just past current players have played in games. [Mark] Boucher played quite a few games. Jonty Rhodes played two years ago. He played and he enjoyed it. We all loved playing with him. Hey listen, what’s it like being on the field with a guy who’s one of the best fielders ever in the game?”
This year’s event was a 14-team, four day event of 20-over matches played from April 29-May 2 at four different grounds in the Philadelphia area, including the Great Lawn at Merion Cricket Club and St. Martin’s Field at Philadelphia Cricket Club, by all accounts two of the most beautiful club facilities in America.
Hassan Choghtai holds the trophy
Teams come from as far as Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Montreal, and the UK to have fun on the pitch with clubs from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The final was played at the PCC, whose long and stately pavilion backdrop makes it feel as though the players are competing at a Test match venue.
“We have unbelievable venues where we hold the festival,” said Missy Heely, co-organizer and secretary of the PICF. “People remember every ball of every over and every catch and you have these magnificent venues where we play and they get to see old friends and they get to be a little bit more competitive.”
Heely, American born and raised, first learned about cricket after getting involved with the event 14 years ago because her husband was friends with a fellow organizer, Craig Joss. However, Heely says that it didn’t take long to pick up the game and credits the social rewards that come from it as a big reason why she keeps with it.
“It’s the people. I have friends around the world now because of a little tiny cricket festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have friends in South Africa and California and they’re all brought together on the cricket pitch.”
The organizers also recognize the need to give back to the game to help make it grow at the grassroots level. The Lads of New Jersey, a youth focused roster comprising kids from DreamCricket Academy and Indoor Cricket USA, was one of the 14 teams in the event. Lads of NJ also played an exhibition match against Germantown Academy, a squad from the suburban Philadelphia high school, on the last day immediately before the final. Perhaps most significantly, a silent auction was held with autographed jerseys and other memorabilia up for bidding to raise money for Philadelphia Junior Cricket.
Post Match Interview with Choghtai and Zia from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
“What we try and do is every year whatever we can give to youth cricket we give to them,” said Chinn. “It’s usually around $2000-$3000.” One of the items on offer at the auction this year was a Chennai Super Kings jersey signed by six players including captain MS Dhoni that went for a winning bid of $2700.
Even though the festival has a strong expat flavor, American accents can be heard all around the festival grounds in Philadelphia. Contrary to popular belief, Heely believes that it’s not hard for Americans to learn if they take an analytical approach to the game.
“I’ve fallen in love. I’ve learned to keep score,” said Heely. “We’re a statistics driven society. I can do ERAs in baseball. It’s the same thing as strikes and balls. You’ve got wides and dot balls and everything and you’re calculating the run rate. In a game like today, it came down to the last ball of the last over and if you’re paying attention, you’re calculating the run rate. You’re hoping for a two. You’re hoping for a catch. It’s just as exciting as any other sport and you have these beautiful places in which to play it.”
Philadelphia Cricket Festival Awards Presentation from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
More than anything, the humility and good hospitality of the organizers make the Philadelphia International Cricket Festival a truly worthwhile event that has teams eager to return year after year.
“We’ve been fairly lucky over 18 years that I would say we’ve had fun at every one of them,” said Chinn. “Every one’s worked out, whether we’ve had rain or whatever circumstance, it’s worked out pretty well.”
For a blog covering the matches, please visit http://pcccricket2010.blogspot.com/
Final in progress between Sarasota and Toronto CC
The scoreboard tells it all
Jubiliant Toronto CC
The Festival Trophy and the Hamish Miller Shield
The hallowed grounds of the PCC!
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By Ricardo Inniss
Before a bumper crowd of enthusiastic Florida cricket fans, most of them favoring the favorites Jamaica, and in conditions ideally suited for cricket, Guyana, the underdogs, sprung a surprise by completely outplaying Jamaica in every capacity, to convincingly capture the first ever 2010 SFCA Sims cup. All the action took place at the North Dade Middle School, on Sunday April 25.
Mr. Sims presents the Sims Cup to Guyana captain Masood Mohamed
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Jamaica was in big trouble early, as Guyana’s right-arm opening medium-fast bowler Faizul Shareef, sent back Jermaine Thompson, who was caught by Masood Mohamed at long-off for 6, Steven Taylor, caught by Masood at short-mid-wicket before he could open his account, and Sunil Mittoo, who was caught by wicketer-keeper Rasheed Bacchus for a duck, to leave the “Reggae Boys” reeling on 13 for 3, after only 6 of the regulated 40 overs.
It took a well measured and resolute fourth wicket partnership worth 50 runs, between Mark Johnson who banged 4 fours in a solid 33 off 47 balls and Ken Wright, who cracked 3 fours in a just as solid 21 off 33 balls, to pull things around. Fredrick Redwood, batting at number six topscored with a well played 61, spiced with 5 fours and 4 sixes, off 43 balls. Keyonie Gayle scored 14 (2 fours) and was associated in a 41 run seventh wicket partnership with Redwood, that put a bit of respectability on the scoreboard. After this there was not much resistance, and the Jamaica innings folded for a modest 155 off 34.3 overs.
Bowling for Guyana, Shareef prised out 3 for 26 from 6 overs, one of which was a maiden, left-arm orthodox leg-spinner Vickram Ramoutar captured 2 for 20 from 7 overs, Skipper Masood scalped 2 for 21 with his leg-spin from 5.3 overs including 2 maidens and Imran Saddick, took 1 for 28 from 5 overs, also bowling leg-spin.
Redwood receives a trophy from the legendary West Indian batsman - Lawrence 'Yagga' Rowe
In a positive reply, Guyana, led at the top by a solid 63 ball 56, decorated with 7 elegantly stroked fours and 2 sixes from the consistent Earl Stephen, and later backed up by a solid invaluable fifth wicket stand worth 62 match-winning runs(after being 87 for 4), between Kayume Mohamed in a defiant 54 ball knock of 34, including 3 fours, and solid 31 (1 four and a six) off 51 balls from Vickram Kumar, and with Riad Mohamed and Andrew Permaul, both not out on 6 and 3 respectively, reached 157 for six, and a convincing four wicket victory that gave them the 2010 SFCA Sims cup.
The best of the bowlers for Jamaica, were left-arm orthodox leg-spinner Gayle, who bagged 3 for 32 from 7 overs, fast-man Redwood with 2 For 43 from 8 and medium-pacer Owen Roper with 1 for 12 from 7, including 1 maiden.
In summation, Guyana’s captain Masood Mohamed said “we won because we bowled and batted much better, our fielding was excellent, and we took every opportunity offered. I guess it was our day, and we grabbed it with both hands.”
Unable to get hold of Ricardo Wilson, Jamaica’s captain, I spoke with Mark Johnson who said, “we batted poorly. For a team with at least six batsmen capable of big scores, and a team that has been averaging over 250 per innings in the competition, we just failed in our batting performance. Our shot-selection was very poor.” Congrats are in order to Guyana. This is the first time they have won a major (Trophy) competition.
The Umpires were, Max Diah and Winston Lewis. The scorers were Sylvan Taylor and Mrs. Laxami Ramoutar. All photos were taken by Ivor Henry.
Online ticket vendor Ticketmaster has begun selling tickets for the forthcoming Pearls Cup International T20 series featuring New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
In addition to three T20 matches between the two international sides, the event includes two exciting matches - an ODI and a T20 - between USA and Jamaica.
The venue for the event is USA's first ICC certified cricket stadium - the Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida.
The event kicks off at 4:00PM ET on Thursday, May 20th, with a T20 match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Following that, on Friday, May 21st, USA will play an ODI match against Jamaica which begins at 10:00 AM.
On Saturday, May 22nd, the spectator is going to be in for a treat with back-to-back T20 matches followed by an entertainment event. The day begins at 10:00 AM with a match between USA and Jamaica. Following that, New Zealand will play Sri Lanka at 3:00 PM. According to Ticketmaster, the Jamaican reggae band Third World, will perform at 7:30 following the second T20 match.
The event ends on Sunday with a T20 match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka that begins at 12:30 PM. This third match of the Pearls Cup series between the two nations will be followed by a prize ceremony.
Ticketmaster has listed the tickets at prices ranging from $5 (general admission for USA vs Jamaica ODI) to $95 (hospitality seating on Saturday). Prices for the full package price for all four days are $55 (general admission - lawn seating), $90 (chairbacks in the East and West stands) and $255 (hospitality seating - not including USA vs Jamaica ODI on Friday).
The hospitality tickets will be located within the hospitality tent that will be setup in the general admission lawn, which will be a premium ticketed area that is exclusive to hospitality ticket holders only. All purchasers of the hospitality tickets will receive food and drinks within the hospitality tent.
The series, follows on the heels of the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies - with the finals in Barbados on 16th May.
Sri Lanka was a finalist in the 2009 event while the New Zealand Black Caps were semi-finalists in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and made it through to the Super Eight stage of the 2009 event. The two sides include some of the greatest names in cricket. Indian real estate developer, Pearls Infrastructure is the title sponsor for the event.
Third World, which calls itself 'one of the longest running Reggae band' performs music that is 'internationally relevant.'
Formed in 1973, the group has released a total of 22 albums not including their latest album entitled "Patriots".
They have received numerous awards, including most recent New York City Ambassador Award in November 2009 at Brooklyn Academy of Music ("BAM"), the 1986 "United Nations Peace Medal," 1992 and 1996 Jamaica Music Industry Awards for Best Show Band and 10 Grammy nominations.
Third World has collaborated with top acts such as the Jackson Five, Bob Marley and The Wailers and Stevie Wonder. International hit singles include: the cover version of "Now That We've Found Love," "96 Degrees in the Shade," "Cool Meditation," "Dancing on the Floor," "Try Jah Love," "Sense of Purpose," "Forbidden Love," "Reggae Ambassador," "Committed," and "Reggae Party."
The ICC ODI certified cricket facility is capable of accommodating 20,000 patrons, with fixed seating for 5,000. All tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
Times of India reported yesterday that top international stars were being approached as part of efforts to build a solid international contingent for the eagerly anticipated North American Cricket League (NACL) T20.
"[L]eading Indian and international stars are being approached," Times of India reported. As noted earlier, the league's website, which features a photo of promising American U-19 cricketer Ryan Corns, claims that “team composition rules [which] are geared towards a 60% - 40% domestic/international contingent to ensure the participation of and the development of American talent.”
The paper quoted an unnamed former Indian cricketer as saying: "Like me, there are other ex-cricketers from different countries who have been approached to popularise the league and work on the operations bit."
"We are keen to have the participation of top cricketers if their boards allow it," the Times source revealed. The league, which says it “will adhere to all ICC and USACA rules and regulations [..and will] work in cooperation with USACA to develop, organize and manage major cricket events as part of USACA’s “Destination USA” strategy,” should have no trouble getting board approvals in its efforts to recruit well known cricketers.
USACA President Gladstone Dainty first broke the news about NACL on April 19th but several USACA officials that were contacted have reserved their comments because the commercial arrangement was undergoing legal review. This point too was corroborated by the Times source: "The legal documents and contracts are about to be finalised."
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