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Hat-trick Countdown Underway For Team New York

By Orin Davidson
May 19th, 2009
The countdown for Team New York’s defense of its United States Under-19 cricket title got underway Friday evening at an official team function where the players were exhorted to win it for the third straight year.

Hat-trick was on the minds of impromptu speakers who delivered pep talks of varying intensity at the Naresa Palace restaurant and lounge.

The New York Under-19 team and officials decked out in blazers at Naresa Palaace on Friday evening.

The Gregory Sewdial led New York squad will be under pressure to create history by pulling off the first hat-trick in the competition’s history, after title triumphs in 2007 and 2008, but for the most part the squad seemed unaffected by all the hype.

Sewdial said they are happy to be the first team to play in the competition at home in New York and are looking forward to upholding the rich tradition this city has developed in cricket over the years.

Coach Linden Fraser said he would’ve like to have his team engage in more practice matches but the weather and unavailability of some players restricted them to just one, which they duly won two weeks ago.

Among the team supporters present on Friday were former national junior players Andre Kirton and Romano Dean who were part of the first United States under-19 team that contested the ICC World Cup in 2006 in Sri Lanka.

Former New York regional director Clifford Hinds check-listed the conditions under which the players will undertake the four-day competition. They will assemble with the visiting teams at the Ramada Hotel from Thursday. Prominent New York cricket personality Roy Sweeney and Sham Ali, the longstanding player/administrator of the Metropolitan League were among the lot invited to give words of advice to the squad Friday evening.

Once again the U.S. players will be decked out in blazers bought by themselves. They were also presented with contracts – an unprecedented act of professionalism for U.S. national teams.

Eight teams, with four each from the Eastern and Western conferences respectively will contest the series, comprising playoffs to determine the eventual champion team .New York, Florida/Georgia, New Jersey/Washington (Atlantic) and Connecticut/Massachusetts make up the Eastern Conference.
Northern California (West Coast North) South California (West Coast South), Texas/Louisiana ( Central West) and Michigan/Ohio (Central East) are in the Western Conference.
New York will open its campaign against Connecticut (North East Region) on Friday from 10.30, after an opening ceremony at Gateway Park – one of three venues to be used. On Saturday they take on Florida at the 108 Street Park in Brooklyn and New Jersey on Sunday at Gateway.

The two top teams from each conference will play for the title on Monday from 10 a.m at Gateway along with a third place playoff game.

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