Friday, October 22, 2010

Catching UP!!

Wow...its been a good 3 months or so that I have blogged. And these 3 months have been - to put it very simply - a roller-coaster of ride.

The last time I wrote something here was towards the end of round 1 of the MichCA league. Since then we have marched ahead and in style... winning the MichCA 2010! And the victory is even more meaningful as it was our second consecutive title. And nothing seems better than a repeat crown. It reassures your class and quality. It takes away any 'flukeness' that may have crept in some doubting thomases.

I had taken the responsibility to write up on our cricket team/club site and whatever little time I used to have to blog was consumed doing just that.

The reason it has also been very difficult to take out time is our daily work routine and add to that handling the well-being of parents back home... Mom has been unwell but improved. I pray she continues to improve and that we can spend more quality time with her as a family.

Cricket just seems to have been one good friend over the last 12 months (especially if you are a fan of Indian cricket)...sorry but can't say the same about Pakistan or for that matter Aussie fans out there. Man, what a tough time Pak cricket is going through. I can only wish and pray that they come out strong out of this as I do believe that there is only one thing that can help them - focus on the game and the game will take care of the rest. I feel really bad about the talent being wasted. And I am stunned with the news we got of Mohammed Amir getting involved. If there was one thing that was bringing back smiles - and some sort of comfort to a country that has been ravaged by fighting and the brutal flood - was this young guy and lo and behold he gets dragged into a mess. I am not close enough to all this to know exactly what goes on but whatever it is, the heartbreak of seeing such a talent being impacted by this is a shame, however you look at it. I wish and pray that we get to see the return of Pakistan cricket. The competitive spirit and the talent that country has needs to be restored. And for that I hope the players, the people associated and the powers be, work tirelessly to come out clean and give no chance for any finger to be raised. I wish to see that day soon.

Back to why Indian fans have had a blessed time - there are several reasons:
  • Sachin's unbelievable run festival,
  • Laxman inching towards glory. And (if not already) becoming a legend,
  • Youngsters in the Indian team stepping up.
All this has meant we saw some amazing test cricket and continue to rule as Numero Uno in world cricket. I feel that the upcoming test series with SA will be another classic litmus test. Can't wait for that. And ofcourse I back my nation. Watch out SA.... and I am saying so, mindful of the SA wickets, as I think the lineup we have now has seen it all.. So just beware SA.

On a personal/cricket front, we had a gratifying 2010 season. And had some of the best times as a team. We dominated the final rounds at MichCA, although the games were all tricky. But the Final was a thoroughly professional performance.  What was so endearing of our efforts was that we looked and played like a champ. Yes we did lost couple of games that we could have played better in but overall the season was by far my most satisfying and enjoyable.
Cleveland - Micha Champion 2010

I congratulate Viggy - for picking up the captaincy this year and doing a terriffic job of keeping us on the right track. He led from the front and always cared to ensure that the team mates are having a good time as well as we are progressing towards the goal. A silent crusader, he did show signs of aggression when needed. Apart from that all the other team mates stepped up and helped each other. Goldy had a tough year but he tried to make best use of the learning experience. I am sure he will come back strong.

Another thing that needs to get acknowledged and we all do so is that a winning team does not happen overnight or over one year, it takes some years of playing together to get the combination right. And for that, Ani (the previous captain) has played a big role. I wish he was playing with us in the final, he would have been really proud. But he did keep ball-by-ball contact with us even from India in the wee hours there.

Apart from Ani, the club seniors and alumni need to take a bow and I am sure they are proud as we have now shown twice in a row that some things do get done and get done right when hard work and support is there.

I need to run now but I will keep this space update more - hopefully. :)


Monday, August 2, 2010

end of round 1

Life has been real busy over the past several weeks keeping me away from cricket greens. I could not participate in the past couple of games - one against Canton and the other against Troy (a rescheduled game). The results were odd… an extraordinary game with a sweet result against Canton but the other an ordinary performance from our collected 11 that resulted in a loss.

On July 17, we played and won against Canton. They have played great cricket this season and are certainly the top 2 teams to beat. I safely would have said ours would be the other but since I am writing this – kind of post cast :) - I know that we cannot claim, any longer to be the top 2 teams to beat. I will spell what I mean in a minute.

But back to the game against Canton, the one guy they probably hate the most now is Devin Patel, for this is the second time in a row he scored a century against them! It’s a punishing feeling to be the best team but to be sought out by the same guy. Devin's brilliant century (114*) along with solid performances from Sujay (60+), Puru (51*) and Chirag (30) left Canton to chase 295. It’s a really tough ask and they folded at 242 after giving an equally tough fight.

Next we played Troy on July 25 with a depleted side as most of our guys were not playing including me. We scored 181 and they got that with 4 wickets left. Our bowlers, I heard, struggled to find the rhythm.

Anyways, with that game, we completed our 1st round. 8 games – won 6, lost 2. But more importantly I see somewhat of degradation in our performance going into the next round.

=suhail =
July 2010

the first loss!

It’s terrible. The pain of a loss lingers mentally longer than the physical aches. It is more personally agonizing when you can’t forget that you could have played a part in getting the team out of the woods. And there on, each passing moment, you want to get back out there and make amends. That is the beauty of the game of cricket. You always feel you can do better.

On Saturday, July 10, 2010, we hosted Metro Detroit CC at our home ground in Cleveland.

MDCC is a new team this year. And they certainly were playing for the first time at our ground. But if you watched them in action or review the scorecard, they played at ease with us and played a solid game.

Winning the toss, they batted first and scored 210 in 40 overs. An assured 130 plus run 3rd wicket partnership between Kumar and Nadeem was the underpinning act behind their above par score. Kumar went on to get a deserved century. He had luck on his side too, getting a couple of good lives. But their ‘chanderpaul-stance’ left handed captain Nadeem () played a calm and composed inning to anchor them along. We had a target of 211 to get but ended up getting all out for 165!

What caused the break to our winning ‘habit’?
To sum it up - We looked lazy on the field. Bowlers lacked purpose and failed to find that one delivery that could break a partnership and when our bowlers did find a way, our fielding did not finish it. We looked less hungry to win than MDCC. And it would be safe to say we may have been over-confident when we batted.

So we were below our standards in all aspects and MDCC thoroughly deserved to win.

I know it’s better said than done but I will still say it….barring a few good testing slower ones, our bowlers did not show any attempt to mix it up. We could not adjust quickly to the left-right combination and kept feeding into the width areas preferred by the batsmen (especially Kumar).

One glaring problem I see is that our bowlers are not bowling to the fields they themselves set. We need to be more mindful and do justice to the fields. Another thing is bowlers are not working together. So to say, they are not ‘hunting in a pack’. Every time a new spell begins, the bowlers put in several useless deliveries slicing away any pressure that may have been built by the peer bowlers. That cannot happen, especially in the games going forward. So the sooner the bowlers get this right, the better. I am sure each of the bowlers would like to put this game into perspective and come up with way to perform better.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wrapping Grand Rapids..

I got news that, on June 26, we will be playing ‘hosts’ to Grand Rapids on a ‘new’ cricket ground in Canton. Anytime you are driving to a new field or to a field that you have never played cricket on, there is a sense of excitement and happiness that the game you love most is spreading and growing.

Then when you drive around a park – it was called the Heritage Park - with umpteen fields – baseball, soccer, basketball etc – it makes you even more eager. As you drive around this park you come to a crowded parking lot. The anticipation grows. The lush green ageless tall trees provide even more encouragement and build up. You park and begin a brisk walk through the walking trail, eager to see it – the cricket field..

As you mound your way up and close to the cricketing ‘area’, suddenly all that excitement and joy comes to a grinding halt and converts to sheer disappointment. This is just sad. All the promising 15 minutes fade and it is sad to see that a small piece of land is allocated to cricket, with no decent room for boundary. If something is better than nothing then yes it is something. But I wish cricket was given some importance. I am sure the people involved in putting this place together may have tried their best and succeeded to whatever they could land their hand on. So not taking anything away from the folks who put this ground up to play but I wish there was more room and justice for cricket in such a setting...

Well, enough about the ground, and game should go on... Due to bad weather and delayed start, it was a reduced 35-over game.

We batted first and opened with a new pair – Chirag and Suraj. Unfortunately, Suraj did not last long. Pratik walked in one-down for his first game of the season with us. He is a vital cog in our wheel and the conditions seemed ideal for him to get his eye in. He played a nice chip over the midwicket in his cool and casual style but unfortunately could not time another loft well and holed out. Bad blow for the team and more so for Pratik but I am sure he will be eager to harvest some time and runs come next game.

Viggy joined Chirag for what ended up being a trailblazing partnership. Chirag played freely from the get go, with clean hits over long on, midwicket and straight down the ground. Viggy had bat and timing issues to deal with initially but eventually set into his usual self with an elegant and assuring knock.

Cleveland was cruising consistently at a rate of above 7 an over. Chirag fell after a well-made 67. And Manu was promoted so we can silence him up :)…. But he came back soon cramped up for room to play his shot. Navdeep went in and played sensibly picking his shots and spots.

At 140 odd in about 20 overs, we were eyeing a huge score as we still had about 15 overs and 6 wickets in hand. Viggy along with Navdeep kept up the scoring and we were 180 odd in 27 overs. Viggy fell after a good 60 runs. I went in to join Navdeep and we continued to keep the score board busy. But Navdeep was stumped out for 20.

Chandu walked in and we knew it could be his day as it’s been long time coming. With the conditions ideal for his kind of hitting, he played out some balls and he and I rotated well for 15 odd runs. But I was needlessly run-out attempting a risky one. I drove to long-off and was running to the danger end but didn’t realize Chandu had not taken off. And by the time our calls matched up I had come too far down the track and could not return. But Chandu continued on and we sensed something big was in the making.

....[chandu pic here]..

With 6 or so overs remaining and 7 wickets down, usually the bowlers think they have had already faced tackled all the batsmen and they are eager to wrap up the overs. And in comes Chandu and shocks them out of their socks. He pasted the bowlers to all sides specially the long on, midwicket fence. And they had no answer. When big-hitters get going field setting or size does not matter and that’s exactly what we saw. In a matter of 20 odd balls Chandu passed his half century with awesome strikes and running :) and our score touched 258 in 35 overs.

Chasing 258 in 35 overs is tough on any day. It becomes even tougher when you have been drilled to all parts of the ground. The Grand Rapid openers looked good to begin with and played some good shots but our opening bowlers Manu and Deepak didn’t allow too much room, especially Manu bowling his accurate line and length. And once we got the initial breakthrough there was no looking back. We kept getting wickets at regular intervals. And with rain in the forecast, our slow blowers (Ishant, Murali, and Viggy) operated most of the starting 18 overs to ensure game is on.

All the bowlers bowled well with some being unlucky not to get more wickets. But overall it was a good performance. I kept wickets with new Kookaburra Neon gloves  and new pads. Did get a simple catch behind the stumps but need to improve on leg side collection. Hopefully it will improve after the Soccer World Cup when I stop seeing goal-keepers.

Grand Rapids was wrapped up in 23 overs for 105.

Post-game, I overheard the Grand Rapids captain talking highly of certain Canton players and their stats and that we need to watch out etc but honestly we treat every team with dignity per merit on any given day and play every game with equal seriousness. Unfortunately this season and humbly speaking with no disrespect to any team, we have not faced a stiff competitor yet this season. Of course every game presents some challenges and we are not bigger than the game but I must admit we have not come across a team that looked threatening enough to blow us off. And we eagerly look forward to playing against Canton.

But before that game we have a game against Metro Detroit CC at Cleveland on July 10 and we look forward to that encounter and make no mistake we are in no mood to give up the winning habit.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So, finally Yuvi is rested and Sachin asked to be rested :)...
Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, R Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary.

Team India for the Asia Cup, looks good. I don't necessarily think Tiwary  is ready for it but no harm in trying. It just seems that now a days its become much more easier for players to get into the India team. The Gambhir's and the Sehwag's had to struggle (in my view) more than the like of Tiwary, Ashwin. I may be wrong but it just seems that they are getting picked as they are performing somewhat well in the Ranji and then IPL gives them the extra boost or attention. This extra boost was not available when say Gmbhir or Sehwag were making their attempts. I wont even go towards outside India (meaning one Mr Cricket - Mike Hussey scored 10000 first class runs prior to getting into Team Australia :).... Having said that, I dont see why we need to fuss about it, its the sign of changing times. So be it.

Coming back to the team :), Rohit, Raina and Kohli have the chance to show who emerges out of the shadows. I think 2 of these will be certain to play in the World Cup. All 3 is possible but its upto them.

People have said that Uthappa should be in the team. I dont think he fits in. I think he is an excellent player at T20 level. I am eager to see how Ashwin evolves. I hope the 'allrounder' seekers dont punish by using that tag or expecting him to be that. He can be one but only results should drive that. In the recent past we have lost couple of good players due to the hype that they are allrounders - Irfan Pathan is a case in point. Its a shame we lost him. Coz he certainly began well as a bowler who could bat but now his bowling is mediocore and we cannot afford to pick him for his batting.

 Coming to Yuvi, I think the selectors dd the right thing by dropping Yuvi. Having seen the talent he possesses, its only his fitness (physical and mental) that needs adjustments. And if he gets those adjustments done, he can resume/fully blossom in his career. I think we will get to see him more. I believe in talent. As far as his off-cricket activities, I dont really care what he does and where he goes. So long as he performs for the country on the cricket ground.

The media coverage of any cricketers' non-cricket life is ridiculous and simple annoying. The news outlets are destroying our country's sportsmen. I wish these media houses take up that time slots to cover up and coming athletes, sponsor the time to showcase new talent that can some day win our country some medals in Olympics. No, I guess that is a 'waste' of thier time, they would rather show Sreesanth walking the ramp or Yuvi dancing at a party. Or Dhoni eating an aalo-chat.


Game 4 Rained out

The much awaited Game 4 on Sunday (June 6) against 6-time champs Greater Detroit Cricket Club was washed out due to heavy rains and tornadoes that struck parts of Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. This game most likely will be replayed at a later date this season. Looking forward to that encounter. Update - this game has beeen called as a 'draw'. and the points have been split. Nevertheless - look forward to play GDCC hopefully in the next round.

GDCC is always fun to play, primarily due to them being a strong team but also since they are very passionate bunch of cricketers. People like Shahid Ahmed, Faisal and others who have done so much for the cricket in this region play in that team, so its always a good time in the middle. Thr fun is even more as we have beaten them :), albiet closely, every time we have played them (twice so far).... So GDCC will be coming strong at us and also they have been there where we are now and I am sure they would like to regain that spot. So can't wait to play them.

Next weekend  (June 12/13) we have a bye. So no game.Sometime its good to grt that break but this season has so far turned out to be a slow one, especially the weather has been quite erratic, and we are also loosing practice sessions due to the rain. If not weather then maybe its Sujay (practice coordinator) or maybe its Viggy (skipper) ....:). Kuch karo yaar, we need mroe cricket.

Pratik - I am not sure what you are upto, maybe 'inventing' something special... :)?
Chandu - yes you are correct, my scores this season have been due to your bat. You know some one has to do it. Since you were mostly hitting the air with it I thought I will put it to better use :)... But seriosly, thank you.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Make it 3!

Sunday May 23 was our third league round game. This was against a highly rated team - Greater Toledo CC. The venue was the Beatty Park at Toledo.

When we reached the ground, the outfield was quite wet and the bowler’s run-up areas had puddles of water. Not a good sight. But the good news was weather expected to be in the 80's all day and sun beating down. So the anticipation was it would get better. This was a 'home' game for GTCC and so they brought in saw-dust and mulch etc to make the playing areas playable... especially the run-ups/wk areas. And since one area side of the wickets was relatively was decided to play from only the better side..

The toss was going to be tricky. to bat first or not is always confusing in such conditions... But luckily for Viggy, he lost the toss and so the deciding was to be done by GTCC and they put us in. And I think I would have done the same (inserted the opposition in and chase with slightly faster/dry outfield).

The start was delayed by 45 minutes; Sunny and Kranti were set to open our batting. But the pair had to deal with the swinging ball in slow ground conditions. Unfortunately the scoreboard did not see much movement in the first 5 over’s…runs coming in mostly 1’s and the odd 2’s.

Sunny seemed to have come to terms – with a swivel pull shot, which ‘stopped’ near the ropes, but soon he played across and missed, LBW was the call, and unfortunately for him, the decision seemed tough as the ball was probably going over the wickets. Kranti also couldn’t get going as he chipped one straight down gully’s throat.

Gaurav went in 1-drop and was joined by Devin (playing his first game of the season). But before we could see Devin blossom, he played all over and inswinging full deliver that rattled the stumps. Viggy and Gaurav had to play in and get us to stability but the slow outfield and some bad calling ended up causing a run out. With Gaurav back under the tree, the score was around 35 for 4 in 12 or so overs. Not a good start by any means.

Sujay and Viggy then played in but the runs were still hard to come. The outfield played a huge role as a large number of possible singles/twos got converted to dots. Sujay tried to break the shackles by hitting a few good lofted shots, which unfortunately landed deep but stay put right where they landed. Nevertheless, Sujay got some 20 odd runs before getting out.

Chirag and Ishan (just fresh from some 20-over action) were padded to boost the score/break the bowling rhythm but unfortunately that didn’t help much. Chirag caught behind and CLCC was in deep trouble – 85 odd for 6 wickets and still about 14-15 overs remaining. Soon Ishan too was back. And I went to join Viggy. And the thoughts of the first game were flying past my mind (where we at the same ground, were 80 odd for 5 but Ani and I were to able to build a good one). I believed we still can do the same as Viggy was settled in and we had Bunny and Deepak still to come.

But we had a blow when Viggy was caught while trying to force the pace. Unfortunately we did not take the power play then (and in hindsight we should have). Nevertheless, Bunny joined me and I told him we have 10 overs to bat, you will not get that in practice. Our target – 6 to 8 runs an over. We did that for a couple of over’s, rotating and running well. I was seeing and timing the ball well. And so we debated about the power play. We decided to take it and that kind of helped and we ended up scoring another 20 odd runs in 3 over’s. Not bad.

Bunny and I had taken us from 90 odd to 135 plus and with another 4 over’s remaining, I was confident we will get another 30 odd runs. And with the outfield the way it was and with our bowling strength I reckoned 160 was a good score on that day.

But unfortunately the first ball of the next over, Bunny played across and was bowled. Slightly pre-determined shot that but a costly mistake. Deepak was unable to resist the spinner and was stumped. We folded at 137. And hurting to have missed out on 3 crucial over’s. I wish we had stuck around. And since I was timing well, I wish I played more balls.

Nevertheless we had 137 to defend and believe me that is tricky total on such a day or anyday for that matter as the batting side sees that as easily attainable and may end up slightly relaxed and on the flip side the bowlers know they are defending a small total so they try and give (in good teams) that extra bit.

With all humility I must say that winning the championship definitely changes your mindset. It makes you believe that you can win from anywhere and that belief is exactly what we displayed throughout the hot and humid afternoon.

Viggys’ onset message was clear and simple, an all-out attack, no use trying to save runs. So mission – let’s go get 10 wickets.

Deepak, Sujay, Chirag combined to bowl with aggressive pace and Devin, Viggy and Ishan providing provided the slow cutting edge. And every one gave their best to keep the score in check. Their captain (John Jacobs) is well known match winner but we did well to restrict him. Deepak’s inswingers did not give him room and almost always he mistimed his swipes. Chirag then fooled him brilliantly with a beautiful slower one which hit John on the full. He did not like the LBW decision but he was a goner. And we knew we had chance.

Some of the middle order batsmen looked good and threatened to take it away but situations like these is
what Devin comes to love. I remember, in 2007 (or maybe it was 06), Cleveland Team 2 had reached the semi finals of the Midwest tournament. We were playing ECC and Devin was playing for ECC then. We got ECC allout for 130 (yep ironically it was 130 odd). And we knew that we can chase it down with the batting we had. But Devin foiled us by dishing out slow turners and closing out the boundaries. We fell agonizingly short by 10 or so runs. And that was mainly due to the confidence Devin had provided to his team.

Coming back to yesterday, here he was again but the good news this time around was that he was in our team  and I his deceptive slow bowling was hard to tackle. Ishan (left arm orthodox spin) was bowling really well too. He is making a debut here and I feel if guided, we will certainly be a valuable asset to the team. They kept getting the breakthroughs and we slowly but surely were chipping away – at the wickets.

They eventually folded for 100 odd. Devin – 4, Ishan – 2, Chirag – 2 got the wickets but I think every bowler deserved wickets as each bowled well.

Kudos to all our bowlers for a terrific performance. But there are a lot of lessons to learn. And I think this win as well as the situation we were in this game will teach us well.

This game – Cricket - is the best teacher!

May 24, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Take 2, Win 2

Saturday (May 15) - we played and beat Motown at Lyon Oaks.

Score - Cleveland: 224 (Goldy 50+, Sujay 44, Puru 30) beat Motown 140 odd.

I will update this blog with details... .gtg now..

Game 1, Win 1...

After a long long wait, we finally played our 2010 season opener at Toledo on Sunday May 9th. Against Michigan Cricket Club.

It was not a 'sun'day at all. Cold and windy lower 50's, not ideal cricketing weather but we will take that over a rainy day. So began our journey to defend our championship.

Note - Ani (who captained us last year) has decided to return to India for good. But before he leaves, he is able to get some games under the belt. We wish him well. Viggy (Vignesh) is our new captain. Good luck and I am sure he will be an inspiration.

Toss - Viggy won the toss and decided to bat first. Reasoning - the wet outfield will make bowling and fielding quite challenging. And give ourselves 40 overs to bat...

Goldy and Sujay opened the innings and were treated to some excellent pace bowling especially from one of their opening bowlers (Pedro). He is a true West Indian bowler, perfect rhythymic action and delivers at a good line/lenght and pace. He got one to get through Goldy's defence and on the other end Sujay nicked one soon to the keeper. Not a good start.

Ani went one down and was joined by Bunny at the fall of Sujay's wicket. Bunny's is playing his first season with our team (he has played for our other team before). They both rotated the strike well and seem to be settling in. The score at this time: .

Viggy stopped by and he and I had a chat about specific roles he had in mind. For me, he wanted me to play lower in the order and ensure we have stability there. rotate the strike, play well with big hitters. That way the upper order can play freely.

In the middle the score was ticking slowly, with a wet outfield and with this being the first game, batsmen needed time to adjust, get settled in and roll. Bunny, unfortunately lost his wicket after spending some good time in the middle. Viggy sent in Gaurav, but he could not get going and played on. Suddenly we had lost 4 wickets with not much on the board. Viggy then joined Ani.

This was going to be a crucial pair. And as they have done several times, were playing sensibly. Ani was certainly moving his feet well and timing the ball. Several of his hits landed and stayed put near the ropes.
Viggy looked good with a wristly boundary over square leg. But when the score was about 89 we lost Viggy too. Big blow that.

I joined Ani. And I felt confident going knowing exactly what I had to do and what we needed as a team. And we began to rebuild our innings. Ani, who was well set scoring freely and I dropped anchor to ensure stability. I must say, I felt good, although was not playing the shots clean and timing well but nevertheless I knew it was not important as long as I dont play a silly shot. And as long as I stayed on the ball.

We rotated the strike to perfection. Ani brought up his well deserved 50. And stepped up the pace thereafter, playing some good shots all over the park, especially square and around the cow-corner. We took 3 to 5 overs at a time., targeting to get about 6 or 8 an over. We went about our job. Ani looked all set for a ton and he did it with style! - well done and wll timed, some excellent shots and his timing was absolutely fun to watch. And as he did that we moved out of danger and knew that we were looking for a good score. Ani eventually was out for caught brilliantly in the deep. He made 135 memorable runs.

Our partnership was a calm and assured 100 plus runs and in hindsight a game changer. Enjoyed every minute of it.

Chandu, Navdeep, Kranthi and I saw through the last few over of our innings and we ended up at 258/8.

Michigan did not offer to much as a batting unit. Except for a couple of batsmen who played in for some time. Our bowling looked good but fielding was certainly ways to go. As the next games come up, hope we get better on the field. At the end Michigan managed onto 124 allout.

The cold and blistering weather was a tough one to deal with. But the hosts treated us to a post-match meal (steaming hot rice, daal and west indies chicken curry) - they always have been a fun host. very friendly and unique love for the game. By the end of the game we had about 30 or odd spectators all talking in typically Jamican/West Indian accent and huddled into high-pitched conversations. Always enjoy playing this team. And they congratulated us for a good game.... and so began our drive back to town!

All was happy and well until the next day or so when the body started acting up... sore from the running between and behind the wickets ....:but all is well that begins with a win :)!! ..


Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome to Season 2010

A new summer, a new season and some new goals....

The long winding Cleveland winter seems to have finally given way for the much awaited summer. And with that it freshens up the passion for some cricket action. Hope we all have a good season ahead. Lets enjoy the journey....

I hope to keep this blog updated as much as possible but finding time between loved ones, work, travel, weekend games etc sometimes become tough. I will try nevertheless to blog up.

May 10/10

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Sachin

I hope and pray that this letter finds you doing well :) ...

I am writing this to thank you for being what you are and for giving me and all the followers of the game of cricket so much to be proud of. Your cricketing actions have brought cheer and joy to millions and only time will tell the impact you would have on the generations to come. But for now we - this generation- is enjoyng the pleasure of watching you 'Live'! - Thank you!

Sachin, your cricketing journey is certainly one of the most well documented stories in the history of the game. And right fully so. This is just an attempt to Thank you :)...
People speak about comparisons, and say that batsmen of this generation cannot be compared to previous generations. And some say that todays times are more batsmen friendly etc. All I can say is, yes that is all probably true but another simple truth is that no other player (in my opinion) has played under such scrutiny and intense pressure for so long - the whole nation watches/breathes along with you!

You have carried the hopes of such a huge nation on your shoulders now for over a period of 20 years. That is just incredible. And so yes, sure we cannot compare the previous generations to you. But comparisons are never apt. I have read you say the same...Each batsmen is different. And you sure are certainly unique! - So thank you for being unique.

There were times when injuries (especially the tennis elbow) seemed to be taking over and we all were slowly getting to accept that perhaps we were nearing the end of the journey. But my dear Sachin, the way you have handled that pain (and I am sure it still pains you) but the way you have worked things out speaks to the mental strength, the passion and your dedication. Thank you, for you inspire us all to carry on, in our own struggles and in our own lives. Thank you.

From the day you've made your debut to now, I have watched you along with the billions. Your guru said it perfectly, that you always try to learn new skills. And so its not a surprise that you are able to succeed. May you continue to do so.

For your humility, for your endurance, loyalty and sportsmanship, I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. May you continue as long as you feel alright and may God bless you...

Thank you!

Humbly yours..
March 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cleveland Cricket and 2010...

As we get into February, the thoughts of the upcoming cricket season ping my mind. For months now, we have not had an opportunity to step on to the cricket green. There is this burning urge to get to cricket soon...

Last year we ended up being the champion side in the Michigan League. I get flash backs of some of our cricketing moments we had this past year and it feels great because we ended up on top.

Ani and some of our team mates took time to go to the Michigan League presentation ceremony held in MI. I could not go due to work commitements. Ani was kind enough to hand me my little cup of joy! Its a pretty thing with marble base having our name/clubname engraved. It went right into the spot where Tahreem (wifey) can see it often so she is supportive as the next season unfolds :) ..that my friend is the key....

Winngin the Michigan League was great no doubt, but when I turn around and look at our club's status in Ohio (at the Midwest Tournament), unfortunately its not that great. Infact over the last 3 years or so our Club's reckoning in Ohio has not been that uplifting.

There are probably many reasons of why we arent that big a force in Ohio nowadays and we can debate on it but before that I ask myself why is the Midwest Tournament important to me as an individual and to the club as an organization?

Several reasons come to mind.
1. We live in this state - and not sure if this is a good metaphor but there is meaning to when people say 'charity starts at home', similarly I would say 'recognition and respect begins at home'. So when immediate cricketing circles in this state talk they relate easily to the Midwest Tournament as the battle ground (atleast at this time). So for me as an individual I get to compete with folks from this region (some of whom I have come to know over the past few years). And as a club it means - we need to stamp our authority in our home region and do so on a consistent basis before we become a force in the greater regional spectrum.

2. We have invested a lot of our time and attention to the Midwest Tournament, and it is safe to say that it is that participation from teams like us, which has taken Midwest Tournament to the levels it is at today. And if we as a club do not work hard, we will be talked in the 'past' and 'lost' tense. Something I dont want to be associated with and something which I dont think the Club wants to take as a tag going forward We need to step up our levels.  

3. Yes playing in other tournaments is definetly an important thing - for us to grow, to try something new and to experience different conditions. So make no mistake, we will need to continue expanding but at the same time, we need to put proper emphasis within our state

With the above said, and having played couple of seasons at the Michigan League, I am planning to take part in the Midwest this season. I know that I will miss the Michigan League (as I have come to enjoy a great deal of professionalism, fairness, and passion in that league). But I think for my own reasons and for my club I want to see us do really well at the Midwest. Whatever it takes....

Feb 2, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome 2010!

As we take a break from the cricket field, Cleveland winter is truly ON and so is 2010. I got a text from Goldy the other day, asking why I was not on the blog. And I was thinking about it, so here I am....

We are in the 'champion' mode at this time:)... but as the days fly by, I wonder what the guys are up to ... I know some are out there enjoying indoor sports, while some are making their investment in the couches and TV's count. Some in guilt of the rising waist sizes and yet there are some who are making most of the family time...whatever be the case, I hope ALL IZZ WELL!!

Party in the Club! -

We got together in November for our Club's end-of-the-season party! - it was a great evening that brought past and present members together with a DJ on deck, delicious food and tons of masti. The floor @Ford Union 420 was rocking!!! I did not carry my camera that day so I am waiting to get some pictures from that evening... I am wondering if who has some.... Goldy/Anyone?

There is catching up to do .... I hope to hear from the guys. So, COMMENT in your haal-chaal! :)

Signing off for now...