2013 Dallas T20 Championship
After a competitive series, the Smart Choice Sports Club beat the AFI Gladiators in the finals by 82 runs to clinch the title of the 2013 Dallas T20 Champions. The tournament took place at the Russell Creek Park in Texas with 16 teams playing more than 30 matches in a span of four days.
Batting first, Smart Choice witnessed early dismissals of Usman Rafique (4) and Kamran Akmal (6) but managed to establish a strong foundation through Shehzar Mohammad (30) and Steve Massiah (33). Despite being 85/4 in 12 overs, Majid Rizvi (32 not out) and Timroy Allen (56 not out) kept the score board ticking and added close to a ton on the scoreboard in the last 8 overs. Timroy Allen’s contribution of 5 sixes steered Smart Choice to a 171 – 4 finish, cementing their innings with a solid total.
With a strong battling line up consisting of William Perkins, Davian and Damian Ebanks, the Gladiators were quite optimistic of their asking rate of over 8 runs per over. However, Smart Choice’s bowling was no less resilient as Usman Shujah struck in the very first over by getting Perkins’ wicket and continued to trouble the Gladiator’s innings by getting 3 wickets for only 11 runs in 3 overs. The Gladiators ended their innings at 91 all out.
The ironic loss against the AFT Gladiators in the first match motivated Smart Choice to bounce back and ultimately defeat the Indian Lions by 78 runs in the quarter finals and BPL United Chicago by 83 runs in the semi-finals. Thanks to a brilliant unbeaten century by Steve Massiah in the semi-finals, Smart Choice made it to playoffs with Massiah being declared MVP of the Dallas T20.
The arrangements by Smart Choice surpassed no other. Smart Choice came with a full ‘‘PLATOON’’ consisting of one motor home, numerous SUV’s and trucks to manage the whole team. Due to the intense heat during the tournament, the team and players enjoyed the motor home which was modified to fit in the pavilion area.
Involvement of the USA National Players and International Players
The Dallas tournament witnessed numerous players from USA’s national team including Steve Massiah, Timroy Allen, Usman Shujah, Asad Ghous and Adil Bhatti. In addition, Kamran Akmal, a talented Pakistani Test Cricketer was also included in tournament. The USA players displayed their talent and high performance, drawing large crowds and spectators. In particular, Steve Massiah and Timroy Allen had world class performances, bringing in energy, excitement and popularity to the tournament. Massiah, right from the initial stages looked superb on the pitch. Supporters witnessed some scintillating T20 batting, from him and eventually his first century in the tournament. Timroy Allen, who was the “master blaster” of Smart Choice, contributed with Steve Massiah by reaching the half-century mark.
In addition, Kamran Akmal brought his international experience and exposure to the squad, assisting in the batting, bowling, and fielding departments. The players were incredibly impressed by the professionalism and hospitality of the Smart Choice Auto Group:
“To say it was a pleasure playing for Smart Choice Sports Club and Mr. Sakhi Muhammad is an understatement. Players are able to perform at their highest level because of the professionalism and respect shown to both the players and the game itself. Clearly we are very pleased to have a wonderful sponsor in Mr. Sakhi Muhammad and Smart Choice Auto Group. A lot of my colleagues have shown interest to play for Smart Choice.” – Steve Massiah
“I must say it was a privilege representing Smart Choice Sports Club; they all went above and beyond my expectations. The experience could not have been better. The most amazing part of the tour is to see us lifting Championship Trophy.” – Timroy Allen
“I joined Smart Choice because I believed in their philosophy and commitment to support US National Players and to groom local talent. My first experience playing with them confirmed to me that Smart Choice is fully committed to supporting and developing players in America.” – Usman Shujah
“l am very impressed with Steve Massiah and other US National players but very surprised for such a big country not to have an international presence. I am also impressed with Smart Choice’s hospitality, staff, management and supporters. It is amazing to see the efforts being put together to have two cricket training facilities in Pasadena and Northwest dealerships. I will never hesitate to come and play for Smart Choice, I feel like I am part of the Smart Choice family. Above all I like the wisdom of putting together a very well balanced team who has ultimately won the championship and made my Texas stay memorable.” – Kamran Akmal
Smart Choice Houston Expansion
Smart Choice has been a pioneer in expanding cricket in the United States over the past few years. With the recent collaboration between Smart Choice Auto Club and the United States Cricket Association, Smart Choice is now the first official sponsor for USA’s Men’s National Team. With the sponsorship of the USACA and the Smart Choice Sports Club, Smart Choice Auto Group continues to support its vision to grow cricket in the United States as well as train and groom future players. Smart Choice management has capitalized on the potential growth Houston has to offer, with Smart Choice now being the top cricketing organization in the city. The Houston Summer League is now known as Smart Choice
HCL League, Central West Trophy has been converted to Smart Choice Central West Trophy, and the construction of Moosa Cricket Field in Pearland, Texas is underway.
The tournament has helped Smart Choice to gain a great level of confidence and support from the team and local communities. Smart Choice will continue to support USA National Players and groom talented prospects for a potential spot in the National team.