Atlantis Women to Host Atlanta Pearls
By John L. Aaron
Atlantis Cricket Club – NY women’s team will host an Atlanta Pearls XI over this Labor Day weekend, in a series of limited overs matches at Erskine Cricket Ground, Gateway Plaza, in Brooklyn, NY. The set of matches get underway this Saturday, August 31 at 1:00pm with a 30-overs fixture, followed by two T20s on Sunday, September 1, with the first match scheduled to start at 10:00am.

Joan Alexander-Serrano bowls.

Atlantis will welcome the visitors at a Caribbean-style Poolside Cocktail Reception at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Glendon Archer at Ossining, NY on Friday night. The two teams last met, this past Memorial Day Weekend in the Georgia Women Cricket Association’s (GWCA) 3rd Annual Women’s T20 tournament sponsored by the American Cricket Federation.  Atlantis emerged T20 champions in that tournament, and for the second straight year, defeated the Atlantic Region Lady Eagles in the championship final.

The Atlanta Pearls is a developmental team, not unlike the Atlantis Women’s XI, now in its second year as a fledgling initiative that has featured talented women cricketers from around the country. Atlantis is expected to field an XI that is sans its regular skipper USA national player Nadia Gruny and a few others, who are unavailable for the tournament. However, the club will seek to give more players at the local area level, a chance to participate and grow.

According to Atlantis’ president Steve Welcome, “Atlantis embraces the concept of the national development of women’s cricket, but it is a costly venture to shepherd players across the continental United States on a regular basis. We have been fortunate to have very generous sponsors and volunteers, who support the initiative of women’s cricket development.” The two-term president added, “It is our intention to offer all of our members, whether in the New York Tri-state area or across the country, the opportunity to represent the club at all times, however, since we have been a New York based club for the past 47 years, we would like to develop a cadre of women players, particularly at the early developmental stages here in New York, and to build upon that, as we move forward.”

Atlanta Pearls Player/Manager and Tournament Coordinator of the 2013 GWCA Women’s T20 tournament said, “The Atlanta Pearls team is excited to be visiting New York and engaging our Atlantis cricket sisters in the weekend series of matches. We are taking a very confident team, even if it may not be viewed as the strongest team. We expect to do well in all of the matches, as our contribution to the development of women’s cricket in the US.”

The Atlanta Pearls and Atlantis teams will vie for the 2013 Metallica Cup in the featured 30-overs encounter this Saturday. The Cup and tournament is being sponsored by Metallica Commodities Corporation.

The teams will be selected from the following lists of players:
Atlantis – Olga Charles, Sasha Crawford, Sara Farooq (Capt.), Shenika Halley, Catherine Joy Jones, Triholder Marshall, Lisa Persaud, Beulah Pidakala, Samantha Ramataur, Diana Richelieu, Joan Alexander-Serrano, Neha Sukhija, and Sihle Wilson.

Atlanta Pearls – Cachetne Barrett, Catherine Crowe, Alexis Davis, Jermaine Douglas, Roselyn Emmanuel (Capt.), Shariel Felicien, Marquita Kellogg, India Nichols, Judith Norton, Mandy Prime, Petal Samuels, and Onika Wallerson.

Atlanta Pearls:  Player Profiles
Cachetne Barrett – A native of Kingston, Jamaica, she is the first Jamaican to receive a softball scholarship which covered her undergraduate college expenses. After graduating from college, she was offered a scholarship to complete her Ph.D. in molecular biology. A softball pitcher turned fast bowler, Cachetne is a devoted Christian, cricketer and friend.

Catherine Crowe – Grew up in Bairnsdale, Australia with three brothers and no sisters, so she played a lot of backyard cricket with the boys as a child, as well as at school. She took a break for a few years after moving to New York City, but eventually joined the Hoboken Cricket Club in New Jersey, playing on the men’s team as a wicket keeper. Catherine has enjoyed playing on a few different women’s teams in New York and she is now with the Atlanta Region Lady Eagles. She says, “When I get home (to Australia) I try to get in some training sessions with Graham Yallop, the former Australian cricket captain.

Alexis Davis – A German born, California native and Auburn University Ph.D. candidate is an all-around athlete. She is an advanced softball player, and was a semi-pro cheerleader. She is also an intermediate-beginner tennis player and recently picked up playing cricket. She played in her first and only cricket tournament with the Atlanta Pearls in May, and is very enthusiastic about developing her skills in the sport.

Jermaine Chelsea Douglas – Is a left-handed batswoman and former vice-captain of Trinidad & Tobago’s Under-23 national team. Her personal goal is to help push women’s cricket in the United States, “…so that little girls can see that nothing is only for men, that they too can play whatever sport they like and feel proud doing so.” Jermaine also served as the vice-captain of the Atlanta Pearls team at the just concluded 3rd Annual Atlanta Women’s T20 tournament, in Atlanta, GA.

Roselyn Emmanuel has 13 years experience at the international level.

Roselyn Emmanuel (Capt.) – A former West Indies Women’s (1997/98 ODI and limited overs) player, Roselyn is a right-hand opening batswoman and wicket keeper, who represented the West Indies at the 1997-1998 Women’s Cricket World Cup in India. In 2009 she skippered three teams – a USA Conference XI, the USA national XI, and the Americas XI, at the Americas Championship Cup played at Ft. Lauderdale, FL,

Roselyn was the captain of Sparklite Women’s Cricket Club in St. Lucia, and served as that nation’s national vice-captain, before migrating to the USA, where she has been a member of the Lucas Sports Club in New York, playing on the club’s men’s cricket team. She represented the Atlanta Pearls team as that squad’s opening bat at this year’s Atlanta Women’s T20 Tournament, in Atlanta, GA and was adjudged the tournament’s best wicket keeper.

Judith Norton – Is a New Yorker, who was born in France and has a quiet and shy personality. She is an advanced-Pro tennis player, who has trained with two of the world’s most famous women tennis players – Venus and Serena Williams. She was offered the opportunity to go Pro on the tennis circuit at the tour level with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), but turned it down for a career in medicine as an obstetrician. Judith recently picked up playing cricket – a sport she had never heard about before, and her first cricket tournament was with the Atlanta Pearls women’s team.

Shariel Felicien – Originally from St. Lucia, but now residing in Georgia, is a Band major at her Fine Arts Magnet High School where she plays the flute. In Middle school she participated in a different array of sports, including volleyball and basketball. However, as she matured, her mother Petal Samuels-Felicien refused to have her live in a West Indian household and not play cricket, and soon she began her athletic journey as a cricketer. Presently she is the youngest player on the Atlanta Pearls cricket team, and recently picked up the wicket keeping gloves and stood strong, whilst her team’s fast bowler hurled her signature fast balls towards Shariel and the wicket.

Marquita Kellog – Hails from Rome, Georgia and is currently a graduate student at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) where she’s completing a Master’s degree. A former member of CAU women’s softball team, she has been very excited about the transition to cricket, and the opportunity to compete at a high caliber level. Marquita hit the first six of the 2013 cricket season, in Georgia.

Debbie Ann Maxwell – Captain of Atlanta Pearls since the team’s inception in 2011, is a left-handed batswoman who bowls a slow off-break. She says, “My family supports my cricketing career, and they are my biggest fans.” Debbie Ann is one of the pillars of support for the Atlanta Pearls team and the development of women’s cricket in the USA. She has represented the Atlanta Pearls at the annual Atlanta Women’s T20 Tournaments over the past three years.

India Sade Nichols – Was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and lived there until she started college at Spelman College in Atlanta. She now attends Clark Atlanta University, and is on her way to obtaining a Ph.D. in Biology. The eldest of four children, India is an active member of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Georgia. She says she values her friends, family, and God, adding, “I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to learn and play Cricket. I played with the Atlanta Pearls team at the recently concluded Atlanta 3rd Annual Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament.”

Mandy Prime – Grew up in South Africa and lived in England for 11 years, where she began playing and coaching cricket (Level 2), both at the club and county levels, before migrating to the USA. She said, “I was so excited to find a thriving ladies cricket community in America. I have since joined a great group of Ladies in New Jersey and currently play for the Atlantic Region New Jersey Lady Eagles cricket team.” Mandy recently played in the Atlanta Women’s 3rd Annual T20 Tournament and was the recipient of the Most Wickets Taken award. Mandy is a right arm medium pace bowler, who, according to her, “…will sometimes get some swing going.” She is still working on her batting and looks forward to the 2014 Atlanta Women’s T20 Tournament, while enjoying seeing the sport grow and develop in the USA, especially with regard to women’s cricket.

Onika Wallerson – Has been playing cricket for approximately 11 years, and represented her native Guyana for most of those years, playing on the national women’s cricket team. Onika has about 15-20 half centuries and has been the recipient of numerous awards, such as Player of the Tournament, and Best Fielder, among others. She is a part holder of the inter-county record for both male and female cricketers in Guyana, for the best opening partnership of 208 runs. She represented the Atlantic Region Lady Eagles at this year’s Atlanta Women’s T20 Tournament, where she was presented with the Best Batswoman award.

Atlantis: Player Profiles
Olga Charles – Was born in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, where she played cricket in high school.  After relocating to the USA, she found a group of West Indians who were playing wind ball cricket every Sunday, and she quickly got involved. After a few years, the wind ball cricket activity dwindled, and then one day she got a call from someone looking to form a ladies hardball cricket team. Olga, who had never played hardball cricket before, decided to give it a try. She is now a right-arm medium pace bowler, and according to her, “Can hold my own with the bat.”

Sara Farooq (Capt.) – Born in Pakistan, Sara played cricket for Garrison Academy for Girls School, Lahore, Pakistan in 2004, Queen Mary College, Lahore, Pakistan in 2005 and 2006, and Punjab University in 2006 and 2007, where she played in the All-Pakistan Inter-University tournaments. At the Pakistan national level, she played on the 2007 and 2008 Higher Education Commission (HEC) teams. Since relocating to the USA, she has represented the USA twice, having been selected to play in the 2011 ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket Qualifier in Bangladesh, as well as the Cayman Islands. Her performance in Bangladesh against Zimbabwe helped the USA win that match.

The right-hand bat and right-arm medium pacer, is the Atlantis women’s vice-captain, but will skipper the squad in the absence of Nadia Gruny. Sara has twice represented Atlantis in the Atlanta Women’s Annual T20 Tournament, helping the club to win both championships.

Catherine Joy Jones – Has represented the USA national women’s cricket team in 2009 against Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, Canada and Brazil. The right-hand fast bowler previously represented her native Grenada (1987-1989) and represented the West Indies during the same period. She subsequently moved to the USA and played for a number of clubs, before joining Atlantis and helping the club win the 2013 Atlanta Women’s T20 championship.

Triholder Marshall represented West Indies Under-23 team. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Triholder Marshall – Still recalls the quiet mid-day when she walked into her school’s auditorium and her P.E. teacher looked at her and threw a taped ball to her, telling her to run and bowl overhand. At the time she was only familiar with underarm bowling. She made the transition so well, that the next weekend she opened the bowling for her school, and a few months later was selected to the Guyana national women’s cricket team, and later the West Indies Under-23 team.  That was just the beginning of her love affair with cricket.

In Guyana, Triholder played for East Zone Warriors, and later the well-known Malteenoes Sports Club, before migrating to America, where she joined the very successful Tri-State Lynx women’s cricket team coached by Linden Fraser, before representing the USA at home and internationally at ICC tournaments. Ms. Marshall is a right-hand all-rounder who bowls medium pace. She does an amazing job in the field, and also enjoys fielding in front of the bat.  According to her, “I enjoy every moment I spend around cricket. Cricket plays an integral part in my life.”

Lisa Persaud – Started playing cricket on the street with her dad since she was five years old.  She has played cricket throughout her school years, and proudly boasts that while attending and playing for Bygeval Secondary School in Guyana, “…the school always emerged victorious, never losing a match.” She remembers one day being approached by a woman she recalls only as Dolly, who said to her, “I want you to be my wicket keeper.” That really began her love affair with the sport, as she practiced very hard, leading to her participation in several small tournaments, between ages 14 and 15.

Lisa would later be selected to represent the Guyana national women’s team and the West Indies Under-25 team. She hopes to play for the USA and one day make it to ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. “It’s a dream of mine.” The right-hand batswoman and wicket keeper added, “I love playing cricket because fundamentally you gain experience, and every day you get to learn more about the sport. And most of all I like to be out on the field doing what I do best.”

Beulah Pidakala – Fell in love with the game of cricket at age five. She initially began playing with her siblings, and then fell in with the neighborhood kids who became her cricket posse. She continued her enthusiasm for the game, by fearlessly joining with the boys to sneak in games of cricket after school. Her passion for the sport was rekindled in 2010 when she got the opportunity to play in the USA. Beulah made her One-Day cricket debut in 2010 at the USA National Women’s Cricket Tournament – a five Regional team series in Cupertino, CA. She represented the Atlantic Region as a batswoman and an off-spinner. The crucial wickets taken in the matches she played, won her the 2010 National Best bowler Award.  In 2012 she went on to make her debut in International cricket in the ICC Americas Women’s T20 Championship in Cayman Islands. Since 2010 she has played in 12 international and national women’s tournaments, and one men’s Tournament. She has played all over the USA, and never passes up on an opportunity to play cricket.

Samantha Ramautar has represented USA on a few occasions. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Samantha Ramataur – Moved to the USA from Guyana at age 13, and played softball and volleyball in High School. She went on to become captain at both sports in High School, playing at all positions in softball, and as a pitcher. Sam as she is familiarly called, played backyard cricket as a child in Guyana, but started playing organized hardball cricket in the summer of 2011 in the USA. In two short years she has represented the USA at every ICC tournament. Sam was the recipient of the Best Bowler Award at the 2012 ICC Americas Women’s Tournament in Cayman Islands. She has also represented Atlantis at the 2013 Atlanta Women’s T20 tournament.

Diana Richelieu – Last represented the USA in the 2009 Women’s Americas Championship Cup played at Lauderhill, FL. A former St. Lucia national women’s cricketer, the right-hand middle order batswoman is considered as having a safe pair of hands, in the field. She played club cricket for the Sparklite Women’s Cricket XI in St. Lucia, and alongside Pearls’ Roselyn Emmanuel. Richelieu has also represented the New York Cricket Region.

Joan Alexander-Serrano – First represented the USA in 2010, wearing the US national colors against Canada in the ICC Americas 2010 tournament for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh. A right-hand bat and right-arm medium pacer, she subsequently represented the USA against South Africa and the Netherlands in Bangladesh. Prior to playing for the USA, Joan had a lengthy cricketing career, first representing the West Indies in India at age 16, and her native Grenada.

The passionate cricket enthusiast and mother joined Atlantis in 2012 and have since represented the club twice in the Atlanta Women’s Annual T20 tournaments, helping Atlantis secure the championship on both occasions.  Neha Sukhija – Is an Indian national right arm seam bowler and top order batswoman, who grew up playing street cricket with the boys, and advanced to the collegiate level in her native India. Upon arrival in the USA she was given the opportunity to represent various clubs and participated in regional and national cricket tournaments. In 2011 she was extended an opportunity to play for the USA national women’s team. Since then her focus has been to represent the USA and help them reach unprecedented levels of success. Neha wants to help develop the game of cricket with younger players, especially girls.

Sihle Wilson – A Trinidad and Tobago national, is currently pursuing her Masters degree in software engineering at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. She first played league cricket for her high school, Holy Faith Convent Couva, in Trinidad, where she developed the passion for opening the batting. Due to her success in the inter-collegiate league in Trinidad and Tobago, she got the opportunity to represent Trinidad and Tobago in 2003 as the vice-captain of that country’s team in the West Indies Under-23 Women’s Cricket Tournament, held in St. Lucia the same year. In 2004, she captained the team at the same tournament held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Sihle has been with the New York based Atlantis Cricket Club for the past two years, and she currently enjoys opening the batting for the side, and at times, dabbling as their wicket keeper. She loves streaming all forms of the game and studying the merits of team strategies during matches at the regional and international levels.