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On December 17th, DreamCricket.com announced that it was launching a Best Photo Award as part of the annual New Inning Foundation USA Cricket Awards.
The award recognizes those who have captured the spirit of cricket in the USA through their lens. The New Inning Foundation Best USA Cricket Photo Award comprises a plaque and a DreamCricket.com gift certificate worth $250 sponsored by the New Inning Foundation.
The contest was announced and conducted on DreamCricket's Facebook page and the photo that received the highest number of "Likes" from among the 21 photos in the contest was declared the winner.
Among the submissions were several photos that, as a result of splendid timing, brilliantly captured a magical moment such as a diving catch, a stumping or a direct hit. Some other photos reflected sheer photographic artistry and a few others were compelling because the lens captured a story.
Chicago based professional photographer and cricket fan, Beenish Rezavi, accounted for a third of all nominations and three of her photos finished among the top five.
The winning photo, titled "Water for the Batsman" featuring Salman Chikni was captured at Hanover Park in Chicago during the Midwest Cricket Conference Division II Final (Rovers versus Titans). The photo was capturing using a Nikon D300s and a 70-300mm lens (set at 195mm). This photo received 552 Likes by January 20th and was shared 58 times during the ten day period.
When asked about her involvement with cricket, Ms. Rezavi said: "I'm a cricket fanatic and since I do photography professionally, the two together in one word would be Love. My two passions together."
As expected, the photos in the contest were taken across the length and breadth of the country. An attempted stumping if NCCA wicketkeeper batsman Saami Siddiqui in NWCL's match against NCCA finished second with 453 Likes and 51 shares. This photo was taken by NWCL's Vishwa Gaddamanugu.
A photo of a batsman returning to the crease in Chicago, a capture of the first woman to play league cricket in New Jersey and direct hit finished among the top five photos.
[Photographers own all copyrights for these photos. Inquiries can be made via email@example.com]
Winner of New Inning Foundation Best USA Cricket Photo Award for 2012: Water for the Batsman (Beenish Rezavi)
The photo captures a moment during the Midwest Cricket Conference Division II Finals when Salman Chikni ran in with some water for the batsmen. According to his teammates, along with the water came some crucial advice.
Second Place: The Stumping - Set of 3 (Vishwa Gaddamanugu)
Northwest Cricket League's Deepak Rajendran (wicketkeeper) effecting a brilliant stumping of the Northern California Cricket Association wicketkeeper batsman Saami Siddiqui as bowler Raghu Kanchikeri and umpire Kartheek Kankanala look on.
Third Place: Batsman Returns (Beenish Rezavi)
Fourth Place: Making History (Venu Palaparthi)
USA Women's Cricketer Delkash Shahriarian opens the innings with Rohan Aravindh becoming the first woman to play a league match in CLNJ.
Fifth Place: That's Gone (Beenish Rezavi)
A direct hit on the opening day at the Shekhar Aravind Unity Cup at Washington Park, Chicago.
Then and Now (When I grow up, I want to play for USA) - Submitted by Murali Hanabe
Run Out - Submitted by Beenish Rezavi
Jasdeep Singh Celebrates a Hat Trick - Photographs by Peter Della Penna (Set of 2)
Gotcha - Submitted by Beenish Rezavi
Not so complicated: Students of St. Columbkille Middle School in Omaha play a game of cricket - Submitted by Omaha Cricket Association
School of Thought: Long Island City High School wins the 2012 PSAL Cricket Championship. Who said there is no cricket in American schools? Photograph by Peter Della Penna
Coming Full Circle: Grassroots cricket returns to Maryland on a baseball field some 100 years after cricket was pushed to the background. Credit: USYCA
Hallowed Turf: This turf has been mowed for 158 years. A ball crosses the rope at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The club was founded in 1854. Credit: Venu Palaparthi
Got turf: Akhilesh Shridar of CCA bowls on a turf wicket at SCCA's Buena Park Cricket Field during a U-17 face-off between CCA and SCCA. Credit: Dr. Srikantan Nagarajan
Shashank Vithaladevverman taking a well judged diving catch at the CCA Invitational U-13 tournament in Cupertino, CA. Credit: California Cricket Academy.
Rain or Shine: The Bebos watch the action on Day 1 of the 2012 Shekhar Aravind Unity Cup organized by the Midwest Cricket Conference. Credit: Beenish Rezavi
Barrington Bartley at the MCL final as Westbury faces off against Progressive. Credit: Shiek Mohamed, NewYorkCricket.com
Azurdeen Mohammed at the Guyana Inter-County Games in NY. Credit: Shiek Mohamed, NewYorkCricket.com
Zaheer Saffie tries the scoop shot in New York during the Sweeney Cup. Credit: Shiek Mohamed, NewYorkCricket.com
Raining Sixes: Redmond Knights bowl to Pacific Sounders with the rain falling and temperatures in the 30s at the Seattle Super Sixes. Credit: Vishwa Gaddamanugu, NWCL.
Clicks and Shots: Parents click away and kids look in awe as the legendary Sunil Gavaskar explains cricketing basics at the DreamCricket Academy in Hillsborough. Credit: Shankar Kolinjavadi
Non-competitive Entries: Submitted by Chandan Naik of Philadelphia