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The Price Of Cosmos Progress

By S. Ali
Feb. 9th, 2009
(Celebrates 27 Anniversary)
- The passage of a memorable two and a half decades of Cosmos cricket complemented by another good year in 2008 has been dealt an unceremonious occurrence immediately after a most successful recent presentation ceremony. At the beginning of the end of an incredible day for Cosmos, the only semblance of sanity came in the identity of a club that has been burdened with the duty of preserving its character and reuniting its membership that has been splintered by actions that are unbecoming of any noble cricketer.

When Cosmos General Manager Shadi Khan expressed his firm commitment to persevering Cosmos’s rich history and to move the club forward, he reminded the club’s executives that “cricket clubs need real men who are willing to work for the betterment of their club and for the good name of the game and not those who talk and fail to show when required.” Khan is precisely the sort of rational, unflustered character that Cosmos need right now, a conciliatory cricketer and a United States cricket hall of fame inductee - whose finest performances invariably take place right in the eye of the storm. If 2008 was perceived to be one of his finest hours, it's nothing compared to the patient innings he may be required to play right now.

The 27 year old Cosmos cricket team.

It is hard to recall a more needless and self-immolating row than the one that has escalated from the refusal to follow simple protocol or to respect what is right to the rampant bushfire that has apparently consumed Cosmos. So, instead of preparing for brighter days for the club, Cosmos is being asked to pamper the disgruntled. While the senior team, which has been successful throughout the years regardless of its dynamics and is expected to continue to be a force to be reckoned with; the newly formed youth team (Cosmos Kings) comprised largely of innocent minds has been undermined and lured with untruths in a different direction.

It is quite sad that these youths have been led to believe that if they leave and follow a particular group only then will they be entitled for selection to play for the New York region, and the United States. That is a reckless indictment of the tireless work of the officials around the New York cricket region area and a remarkably dangerous development. However, like all rebel groups, they are convenient unions made in hell that will exhaust all means to justify a mission. To associate and even subscribe to these types of actions is to endorse a chilling precedence. Cosmos coach Ashmul Ali has expressed his disappointment that “after spending so much time to coach young players over the years and last season in particular, that some would influence the youths and engage in such negative actions.” Credit to the youths who have remained steadfast as they have demonstrated wisdom beyond their years in choosing stability over disloyalty. It is only a matter of time before the not so fortunate youths will realize the spread of indiscipline and how they were ill-advised. It will be sad for the youths but more so the reason for the demise of their young careers in cricket -- maybe only then may reality prick the consciousness, if there is any, for practicing dim-witted methods.
For a full season of cricket, Cosmos funded their youths (Cosmos Kings) in the New York Tri-state Twenty/20 and 45 overs competitions and the NYPD Twenty/20, also creating some opportunities for a few of the youths to play in Cosmos’ senior team in an effort to provide some exposure and the opportunity to play at a higher level. Those good intentions have been undermined and some avenues for growth have been badly compromised. However, the club has defiantly proffered that the continuity of its youth program will not be derailed. The current development may in the end turn out to be a blessing in disguise in that the air in the Cosmos camp will be a lot healthier. However, to orchestrate the calculated dismantling of Cosmos Youths (Cosmos Kings) is an act that is a disappointment to the efforts of dedicated individuals in the club. It is also damaging to the dedicated officials around the region and across the country who volunteered their time to ensure that there is some stability in promoting the game among the youths.

In an overly devious cricket arena, cricket clubs are susceptible to the wrath of division. Cosmos has been exposed to such occurrences twice in its history and some relatively immaterial dissent throughout the years. The club rallied through those times reinforced its rules of operation and emerged with distinction. The rapid demise of the two previous occurrences was predictable. In hindsight, Cosmos is not beyond reproach, however, if the club had any mechanisms within its framework to dilute certain types of tactlessness faced perhaps they would have able to lance the boils of discontent that had erupted and some of the defecting players could have been saved. However, under the circumstances the responsibility lies solely with the individual since the efforts made by Cosmos were ineffective and now in 2009, the landscape may appear a little different unfortunately, indiscipline by another name is still the same.

The development is staggering evidence of the current dysfunction that has engulfed not only Cosmos but the local cricket scene. Cosmos could not have imagined that their next step into the next quarter century would coincide with a saga that makes other clubs habitual infighting look like a gentle bout of fraternal sparring. Cosmos cricket always imagined itself to be above such squabbles. Instead it has set a new benchmark for internal strife where compromise has become a dirty word and camaraderie a thing of the past. When the game is exposed to such incendiary behavior, cricket will suffer its darkest days and such hands of time cannot be rewound. The end result is a travesty of insurmountable consequence leaving a permanently gaping wound that will continue to bleed uncontrollably in the years ahead.

Cricket administrators in the New York region and the many clubs must be wary of acquisitive personalities that fed on the innocence of young cricketers. The young cricketer must be taught discipline, respect, and must be able to enjoy the game. They should not be tugged around, paraded, and be used as pawns simply because they are eager to play the game. To do so is a grave and dangerous act that will ultimately destroy their early development that is crucial to them becoming ambassadors of the game and good citizens in society.

The movement of players from one club to the next or the breakaway to form new clubs is within an individual’s right, unfortunately for the most part, it is attached with a degree of pompousness. The method is prevalent throughout the region and therefore suppresses the development of the game. While the vast majority of players know exactly the requirements needed to run an organization, for some unexplained reasons, they do not attend meetings or support functions at a club, league, and region level but offer the excuses at a dime a dozen. Clubs for untold reasons must be a charitable entity for players to enjoy while its financial obligations must be met only by a few good men.

The make-up of clubs is not by any means a perfect entity and as such the occasional divergent discourses are expected. It is not a reason to trumpet the horns of tribulations and resentment as the hurrah to the ears of the innocent. Dissenting minds can be healthy for an organization and should be used to encourage and strengthen the establishment, rather than attempting to maliciously destroy the goodness by infecting and influencing those that are weak whilst one is close to the exit door. It was the hope that the passing of two generations would have reduced, and may have warded off such behavior. However, it is still alive and not surprising that there still lingers the few who lack civility and are numb to the basic knowledge that gracefulness has always carried volumes of unwritten inscriptions of dignity, and to now expose the youths to the same is creating a new breed of such, and that is an unfortunate development.

As the many organizations officials – Region, Leagues, and Clubs- become entwined and entangled in the tentacles of transitions from one season to the next because proper administrative procedures are not respected, the normal progression of their organizations efforts become fractured and the future progress become inhibited to an almost crawling pace. Unless there is a written consensus among the cricket fraternity to have the proper administrative procedures in place and are respected and the rules clearly written to avoid ineptitude, the game will continue to suffer the quandary it has experienced over the many years.

The ever growing need for progress of cricket in the area is vital for the future of the sport and that must be foremost on any agenda. To initiate ‘progress’ based on the current development is really dragging the sport backward and history has proven time and again that the implementation of such methods is a view of the future through clouded lens with a design for failure and all such efforts simply pale into insignificance. So when modern history will pencil in its annals the story of cricket in the United States, Cosmos will surely be judged from the volumes they have contributed. Their hands clean from sowing seeds of division and will be revealed as the club with a pure heart from beginning, suffered the occasional bouts of infections through the years but held its head high at all times. Cosmos will emerge from this unfortunate scenario with its dignity strongly sutured together. The game has brought too many cherished moments among cricketers in the area for cosmos to release the reins now and allow disruptive behavior to shroud the fun and excitement of a gentleman’s game.

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