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Cosmos Celebrates 26th Anniversary
Dec. 24th, 2008
(Cosmos 26th Anniversary) - Cosmos has done it again! Celebrating cricket and their achievements for more than a quarter of a century. It was a night filled with entertainment for the more than two hundred in attendance as an exquisite awards ceremony, dinner and dance brought sparkles and smiles to the faces of the youthful and aged alike, especially the parents of the young Kings (the Club’s youth organization) who seemed to relish the gala affair acutely focused on their progenies. If the measure of a club’s character is reflected by its surroundings, then on this celebratory 26th anniversary occasion Cosmos was firmly on the right track. It was a sentiment echoed throughout the evening by many in attendance.

Cosmos Kings

It was an enlightening moment for the parents and a breath of fresh air for Cosmos as they watched their youths take center stage, from Thakur Singh’s eloquent and concise in opening remarks to Hugh Craig’s comforting invocation then to Cosmos’ secretary Atiq Baksh’s scholarly introduction of the Master of Ceremony, Carl Bennett. Bennett was forced to be epigrammatic in responding to the youngsters who made him visibly proud. The youngsters brought an invigorating spirit and an element of pride to the Awards presentation as they set an exuberant tone for the evening.

The commitment to excellence was echoed emphatically in Cosmos’ president Sham Ali’s keynote address in which he reminded the young members, “As long as you are here, we will ensure that you receive guidance in your academic endeavors, that you maintain a high level of discipline and are guided along the way to becoming respectable young men.” The modest college stipend awarded to the two college freshmen, Wajied Hakim and Atiq Baksh, was a giant step for the club and a reminder to the youths that their academic endeavors is of paramount importance to the organization. The president also asked for nothing less from the senior members, stating poignantly, “There are a few who reached beyond themselves to make certain that the administrative tenets of this organization are respected and executed with precision extending to ensure that members are held to a higher standard.” It was a defining message imparted for all to take a serious look at the current state of their organizations. Ultimately, great organizations are the lifeblood of any hopes of elevating the sport, particularly in the United States.

When co-host Leonard Achaibar joined Bennett, the bar was already set at a very high level and the two were left with a tough act to follow. Like they have done so brilliantly on so many occasions in their own Cosmos way, the two professional broadcasters lit up the evening with statistics, nostalgia, history and humor.

For the Kings, the awards for all-round performances went to Kamaljit Singh, Wajeid Hakim, Abdullah Sheikh, Yogendra Dass, Narine Kristof, Alfaz Ali, Fazim Bacchus, Brandon Datt and Tyrell Datt. Kings’ captain Leikram Latchman walked away with the award for Best Batsman, Dominic Gomes won Best All-rounder and Rasheem James was recognized as the Most Valuable Player. The Kings also reveled in their front-page championship memorabilia captured after taking first lien on the magnificent and prestigious almost 4-foot tall New York Police Department Athletic League trophy, while senior team members received historical picture portraits. Cosmos also recognized Metropolitan Cricket League president Mascelles Bailey with a biographical sketch acknowledging his recent induction into the United States Cricket Hall of Fame -- presented by another Hall of Famer Cosmos’ manager, Shadi Khan. Jeff James (Progressive C.C.), Glen Philip (Spice Island C.C.), Kirwyn Sutherland (International C. C.), Rudy Persaud (EACA President), Mahabir Ramsahoye (Creative Beds), Sunita Travel, Eatwell Bakery and Ravi Etwaroo ( Cricket Zone) were among those recognized for their support to the Cosmos youths over the years. The New York City Public School Cricket Commissioner, Mr. Bassett Thompson, and New York City Police Athletic League Community Affairs Officer, Mr. Jeff Thompson, were on hand to present the NYPD Championship Trophy to the Kings. With the Cosmos senior team having also won the 2008 Metropolitan Cricket League championship, the atmosphere was electric as the entire Cosmos delegation raised their double crown, signaling a highly successful 2008 season realizing a remarkable and unprecedented feat for any club.

On this evening, Cosmos conveyed a deep sense of purpose, commitment to injecting youth, re-emphasize discipline and all-important camaraderie that was reflective of the atmosphere in which Cosmos have flourished on the cricket field over the last two and one-half decades. Cosmos continue to set the standard and leading by example as the first and currently only club in the New York Region developing a dedicated youth team. The crowd enjoyed every moment of the evening, ringing in the holiday season with peace, cheer and goodwill to all.

Cosmos will always be appreciative of the many friendships and deep-rooted relationships that have been built over the years. Like it was in the beginning, so it is now that a cricket club with modest beginnings that has paved the way and provided so many priceless opportunities for its members is now on a path of an even higher trajectory to attain outsize achievement.

Many thanks and happy holidays to our friends and to the staff at newyorkcricket.com for their generous support.
Contributed by S. Ali, C. Bennett and A. Baksh.

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