December 14, 2017

Cricket: A useful tool to nourish community spirit in NY

By Son de Anancy

The communal spirit was fully aglow at the Eastern American Cricket Association’s (EACA) 2017 T20 final held at the Cage / Baisley Park ground on Sunday, October 1. If the great things we saw are nurtured and promoted it would augur well for the future of cricket in New York.

Galaxy team with members of the Legend Social Club and other supporters

Adeel Rana of the NYPD bowls the first ball.

Former Guyana and West Indies player Mahendra Nagamootoo (white top standing) poses with 3 members of the business community

Galaxy players and members of the Legend Social Club celebrate at a dinner hosted by the management of Legend Cookhouse

Outstanding talent has long been a feature of New York cricket and this was certainly evident in the T20 A Division final that pitted Galaxy CC against Richmond Hill / Liberty CC.
Galaxy, led by veteran player, Vejay Seonarine won the toss and sent Richmond Hill / Liberty in to bat. Openers Wahid Ward and Dominique Rikhi were in an anticipated punishing mood as they rushed to an even 100 in 7.5 overs. At the century mark of his team’s innings Rikhi on 50 was caught by Shafiq Shaw off the bowling of Yudesh Bissnauth. While wickets did fall at regular intervals the runs kept flowing and at the end of their 20th over Richmond Hill had amassed 212 for 8.
Anyone familiar with the T20 format will know that a run chase over 200 runs is a formidable task. Galaxy lost opener Akshay Homraj in the first over but not before he had blasted 18 runs consisting of 3 (4s) and 1 (6). Shafiq the other opener went for 7 before a brilliant 176-run partnership between Kevin Nazeer (109*) and Rajiv Ivan (79*) saw Galaxy over the finish line in 17.2 overs. We will speak more of this great partnership in a follow-up article.
What was also evident last Sunday was the fact that the support offered by individual members of the business and service community have continued unabated. James Manbahal of Manbahal Custom Homes, Builders, Demolition Experts and General Contractors provided the trophies while Hafeez Ali, CEO of the Rockaway Group of Companies offered the cash prizes for both the EACA B Division T20 final won by and the A Division final won by Galaxy.
Adeel Rana, a Lieutenant Commanding Officer of the NYPD was on hand to throw the first ball. Rana had come at the invitation of EACA president, Rudy Persaud.
But beyond the great cricketing display and continuing evidence of business support what made Sunday’s match truly special was the overriding sense that an entire community had come out to enjoy and support a game of cricket. At the Cage / Baisley Park ground there were mothers and their children, fathers and sons, cricketers from other leagues and teams, former local cricketers, former test players, businesspersons from a range of commercial and service sectors, fashion models, dozens of folks who had never come to a cricket match in New York, and of course, the regular fans who are never afraid to voice their moments of joy and despair. Hundreds congregated just within and without the borders of the Cage and for four or so hours bonded as a singular cricket loving unit.
This overwhelming communal display was primarily due to the efforts of the Legend Social Club (LSC), an organization comprising of a small group of businesspersons who are seeking to give back to their community. The members of the LSC would like to, promote the game of cricket in the New York area and throughout the USA, build a professional cricket facility in New York, build a professional team that can tour other cricketing communities. encourage youths to participate in the game and create fun and safe entertainment environments for the entire family. Incidentally, the LSC is the unit that supports the Galaxy Cricket Club allowing players the opportunity to focus on cricket while they address monetary and other business matters. In coming stories in this publication we will meet the members of the Legend Social Club, we will learn how they brought a team that was on the verge of being disbanded to a championship, we will detail their plans for cricket development and community outreach and provide instructions on how one can become a member.