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Ahmad 2006 Twenty/20 Tournament
No-Shows Mar Mixed Tournament’s Excitement

By John L. Aaron
Guyana versus Windward Islands
Guyana earned its second victory in the Twenty/20 tournament last Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, defeating Windward Islands by five wickets.

Batting first, Windwards reached 155 all out in the allotted 20 overs. Ezra James top scored with 64, M. Anthony, 12 and David Williams, 15. Bowling for Guyana, veteran Zamin Amin was most successful grabbing 3 for 24.

In reply Guyana raced to 158 for 5 and the victory, losing Marlon Kallicharran, 42, Andrew Gonsalves, 29, skipper Steve Massiah, 28, Sudesh Dhaniram, 22, and Tamesh Balwant, 12, along the way. Barbados’ L. Davis snatched 2 for 27.

Guyana with its depth of batting and bowling are favored to capture the Ed Ahmad Twenty/20 tournament, as well as the traditional 50 -overs competition. However, do not rule out the powerful Jamaica team and the always-lurking Trinidad & Tobago. Barbados experiencing some mixed fortunes in the premier competition cannot be ruled out in either tournament.

Trinidad & Tobago versus Leeward Islands
Trinidad & Tobago easily defeated the Leeward Islands in their Twenty/20 encounter last Saturday at Idlewild Park, Rosedale, Queens.

The officiating umpire penalized Leeward Islands three overs and the toss, for arriving late at the park.

Batting first Trinidad & Tobago reached 155 for 7 off the 20 overs, with Denis Rampersaud hitting a half-century (53), followed by S. Samuels, 41 and Dave Mohammed, 15 n.o.

The Leeward Islands in reply could only reach 130 in their allotted 17 overs. Leewards’ Foster launched a gallant attack on the T&T bowlers. However, his contribution of 65 was not enough for a win over the New York soca boys.

Trinidad & Tobago’s bowlers D. James 2 for 15, D. Rampersaud 2 for 18 and H. Khan 2 for 25 sealed the T&T victory.

Barbados versus Pakistan
Cricket International was unable to obtain scores in this contest, as of press time.

Jamaica versus US Development XI
Jamaica showed up at Van Cortlandt Park, but the much-touted US DevelopmentTeam did not. Thus, Jamaica earned a walkover. The US Development team appears to be plagued by logistical setbacks, as the team backed by the governing organization of cricket in the United States fails to show.

USACA is failing to capitalize on an excellent opportunity, not to win the tournament, but to expose the future of cricket in the USA, by the exposure of some young talented players. It must be embarrassing to USACA and the Ed Ahmad tournament officials, but even more painful for all those young players who have shown so much promise through their participation in the tournament, so far.

The 2006 Ed Ahmad Tournament continues this weekend with the traditional 50-Overs segment of the competition featuring the following match-ups.
Barbados versus Trinidad & Tobago at 88th Street Canarsie, Brooklyn
Pakistan versus Leeward Islands at 108th Street Canarsie, Brooklyn
Guyana versus Jamaica at Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Windward Islands versus U.S. Development XI* at 223rd St. Rosedale, Queens

Footnote:
It must be very frustrating for the organizers and sponsors to see such an opportunity go wasted by the players representing the assigned tournament teams.

The Ed Ahmad New York Caribbean Cricket Cup 2006 is the premier cricket tournament in North America and must set stringent standards for teams participating in the tournament. Granted some teams receive much more financial sponsorship from their fan-base, to participate in the tournament, but the quality and branding identity of the tournament is tarnished by the no showing of advertised teams. The consoling factor is that no gate receipts are lost from the games, since none is charged. However, it does leave a bad taste in the mouths of the avid cricket fans and cricket supporters, when teams do not show up for the matches. One has to wonder what else is needed to get the players to turn up at the grounds, except some white clothing and basic cricket equipment, which I am sure they already posses.

The quality of the tournament will suffer if this situation is not remedied soon. The organizers must be more careful in inviting teams to participate in the tournament, with assurances that they are indeed serious about participating.

*A New York Region Youth XI is expected to replace the US Development XI in the 2006 Ed Ahmad Tournament.
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