By Sam Sooppersaud
From all reports, it is official, the 2014 cricket season for all the cricket leagues in the New York area, is over. Speaking to officials of the various leagues, I was told emphatically, that their season has been a complete success. The plans and goals of their organizations have been achieved. They are eagerly looking forward to getting together to start streamlining things for next year. In most of the leagues the term of office holders is for a one-year period. Most of the leagues would be holding their elections by the end of January 2015. This would give the new (and/or reelected) officers enough time to plan for 2015.
From the reports it is heartening to learn that more youths are getting into the game. Whereas in the past, the average age of the players was in the upper 20′s – lower 30′s, now the average age is in the lower 20′s. Kudos must go out to the various organizations and persons who have spent much time working with the youths and staging youth competitions. To name a few: the NYPD Cricket League, New York Youth Cricket, New York Cricket Academy, Melbourne/Alliance Cricket Program, Public Schools Athletic League, and several others. Credit must be given to the various persons who spent hours upon hours each week to work with the youths: Ricky Kissoon, Coach John, Milton Pydanna, Coach Fraser, Joe Siewharack, Glynne Hurley, Frankie, Bassett Thompson, Joji, Dr. Sham Ali, and Venelda Wallace. I am sure that I am missing numerous names. Guys/gals, forgive me. I just do not know all of your names. Of course, I am known to lend a helping hand in many areas.
Many of our players (from the NY area) are on the national squad now in Malaysia, competing in the ICC Pepsi Division 3 tournament. Karan Ganesh from the Eastern American Cricket Association, Jermaine Lawson and skipper Steve Massiah from the Metropolitan League. Many others were placed on the standby list. Hope they make it the next time. So our cricket this season has been productive.
Other factors that contributed significantly to the improvement of our cricket are the use of trained umpires from the United States of America Cricket Umpires Association (USACUA), the availability of better cricket fields, the sponsorship of clubs, and tournaments. I cannot discount the support of the hundreds of cricket lovers who turned out each week to cheer their favorite teams on. It must be noted that at a few “important” tournaments, fans turned out in the thousands.
What about the enormous amount of time and resources spent by the cricket administrators of the various leagues. The presidents, V/P’s, secretaries, Committee Members, etc. These are guys and gals who are at the forefront of getting the leagues moving. These are the folks who get things done. Many a times in getting things done they open themselves to criticisms, and at times, personal verbal attacks. Yet, they continue to function. (May I add here that there are persons who would not avail themselves to assist in running things. Once someone else has done the job, these same persons have all sorts of adverse criticisms. But, our stalwart administrators do not allow detractors to deter them. They continue to serve their leagues and cricket.
From what you have read so far, it is apparent that “all’s well on the cricket front.” No. The various leagues are still encountering some problems. At times there is a shortage of umpires. A significant number of players are not familiar with the rules (either of cricket or of the particular tournaments). However, a malady (of the game) that still persists is the frequency in which players question umpires. (Players showing dissent to umpires, many times in a distasteful manner). I will address this issue in a later article. The Spirit of the Game is many times “thrown off the cricket field.”
So folks, readers, if you have in any way or form thrown in “your piece” to help make the 2014 cricket season the success that it has been, give yourself a pat on the back. Better yet, have a drink to celebrate.