By Lloyd Jodah | Photo Gallery
Bright sunshine and a beautiful summer day in New York, a perfect day for the NYPD to… cricket. Yes, the newly formed NYPD Cricket Club made its debut against a hastily put together team by American College Cricket’s Lloyd Jodah, called the American College Cricket Jodah XI.
George Washington and the Revolutionary troops played cricket as a break between battles, and the world’s first International sporting event of any kind was a cricket game, USA vs Canada, in 1844, in New York City. Therefore one could say it’s about time the NYPD had a cricket Team.

Umer Alam plays a reverse shot. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

In another bit of serendipity the games were played at John Adams High School. John Adams, our 2nd President had declared during the Constitutional debates “If cricket clubs can have Presidents, then why not these United States of America? “

Two 10 over games (60 pitches each) were played. Officer Jeff Thompson of the NYPD and Lloyd Jodah of American College Cricket called the toss spun by Sergeant Mahaan Chandu who had arranged the games. Jodah won the toss and decided to bat. Sheik Mohammed of did double duties as Official Photographer and player.

Jodah and Arsalan (BMCC) opened the batting and Jodah showed flashes of a previous batting career with a couple of cuts & cover drives, forcing the NYPD to flood the off side with officers. Jodah, off the backfoot scored the first boundary with a late cut for 4 (Editor’s note: it was an edge), then evaded the off-side cordon with a flick through mid-wicket.

With none of the bowlers troubling him, Jodah seemed set to score a century before he was stumped because he mistakenly thought the ball was a dead ball, for 10. Adnan Muznib (BMCC) then came in and assaulted the bowlers. The NYPD could not arrest the flow of runs as he hit 4 sixes and 1 four in his 36 before getting bowled.

Basdeo Ramnarain meanwhile was holding his end up, as Devin Graham (Coastal Carolina) strode purposefully to the wicket. Graham had had the nation in suspense, as to which team he would play for when he became a free agent. Debates raged to the last minute before Grahan announced he was man enough to play in New York.

First ball, Graham hit well but there was no run. On the last ball of the innings Graham swung, made good contact and went for the run, but the fielder hit the stumps with a direct hit to run out Graham. American College Cricket Jodah XI made a very good total of 96 in its 10 overs (60 pitches). Ramnarain made 25 not out.

Officers Umer Alam and Arif Bangush opened the batting for the NYPD, and took some runs off Muznib but Lloyd Jodah opened the bowling from the other end swung one back in to clean bowl Arif, giving ACC Jodah XI the breakthrough it was looking for. After Jodah finished his spell however the NYPD batsmen, especially Alam could not be restrained.

Alam’s shots pierced the legside as he cracked 3 fours and 2 sixes in his 43 not out. His partner in crime fighting, Rehman made a solid 14* as the game came down to the wire. ACC Jodah XI seemed likely to win until a bad 9th over, full of wides gave the NYPD hope, and NYPD got a very exciting win in the last over.

MVP of the game was Officer Umer Alam of the NYPD.

NYPD won the toss and batted first. The ACC bowlers, Muneer, Arsalan (BMCC) and Muznib kept it tight as Arsalan yorked Raj. Then Jodah came on and took another NYPD wicket. Still considering their batting performance in the first game the NYPD appeared likely to put up a big total.

Basdeo Ramnarain was the most successful batsman for American College Cricket. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

However Azhar Choudhury (John Adams HS) put the handcuffs on the batting. The left hander clean bowled Jeff Thompson with an inswinger. Sergeant Mahaan Chandu reported for duty but was summarily dismissed. Chowdhury took 8 wickets, including 4 wickets in 4 balls. He missed getting 5 in 5 when Jodah narrowly missed an athletic attempt to get a very difficult catch (Editor: he missed an easy catch). Ahmed Cohen made 17.

Matthew Patel (Junior High), opened the batting with Jodah for ACC, and quickly scored his first run. Jodah then straight drove one hard and Ehtasham Khan took a tremendous leaping catch off his own bowling. Devin Graham came in and smashed one past the bowler for a run.

But then Wasi Baig arrested the flow of runs, taking 3 wickets with his pace. Arif Bagush claimed 2 wickets to put the NYPD close to a win. But Basdeo Ramnarain smashed the ball all over, to get 4 fours in his 32 not out and narrowly carry the American College Cricket team to a nail-biting close victory, with 1 wicket left.

Joint MVP’s were Azhar Chowdhury & Basdeo Ramnarain of the ACC Jodah XI.

Andre Kirton was not able to play because he was at the hospital with his girlfriend, and his new born son – Congratulations to the new parents!

So on a historic July 11th, the NYPD Cricket team made its debut and showed potential. A deciding 3rd game will be played to determine the winner of this, the first of what could be an annual Independence Cricket Series between the NYPD and American College Cricket.

Great job by Sergeant Mahaan Chandu, Officer Jeff Thompson and the NYPD Cricket team. The team was: Jeff Thomson, Chandu Mahaan, Umer Alam, Ehtasham Khan, Wasi Baig, MD Rahman, Ahmed Cohen, Arif Bangush, Hassan Syed, and Raj.