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The inaugural Ambassadors' Cricket Cup was held in Washington DC on September 7th. The tournament featured teams representing the local diaspora of Australia, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Seven 10-over games of one-hour duration were played at the South Germantown Recreational Park (SGRP) in Maryland and a reception was held at the Embassy of New Zealand that evening. The tournament was conducted with the assistance of the Washington Cricket League.
The tournament, first of its kind in USA, was jointly organised by the embassies of New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago. In the final, Bangladesh Embassy Tigers defeated the Australian Embassy team by nine wickets after dominating the proceedings from the beginning.
In the run-up to the final, Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in the preliminary match and followed that up with a victory against Sri Lanka by four wickets. The other finalist, Australia won their preliminary match against UK by 8 wickets and defeated the Indian Embassy in the semi-final by a 10 run margin.
In the final, the Aussies scored a total of 76 for six wickets in their allocated ten overs. Hard-hitting batsman Gillum scored 36. In response, Tigers scored 77 for the loss of only one wicket in 7 overs. Tauhidul Islam Rocy (45 including 3 sixes and 5 fours) topped the batting chart in Bangladesh's reply. Rocy also took home the tournament's highest-run scorer award (84 runs in three matches) and Muhammad Saqlain was the highest wicket-taker (six wickets in three matches).
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Akramul Qader, the Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States of America, noted that the tournament enabled people-to-people contacts among the diaspora of cricket-loving nations in the USA.
Following the tournament's success, envoys of the participating countries agreed to conduct the tournament annually. The Embassy of Bangladesh, as the champion team, agreed to organize the next Ambassadors’ Cup Cricket Tournament in Washington, DC.
[Pictures Courtesy: Embassy of Australia in USA Facebook Page]