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5 best Caribbean cricketers of Indian origin

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New Delhi: Indian diaspora is the largest in the world according to a report recently released by the United Nations. In Caribbean islands, Indian diaspora is a lot different to others in the world. It is not a new diaspora.

This diaspora consisted of the people sent there by British for sugarcane plantation labor in the mid-eighteenth century. These people, with time, have developed a new identity there. Everything from their accent to their food, from the festival to attire, is not same to India or the other Indian diasporas in the world.

British control brought the cricket wherever they went and the Caribbean islands were no different. These islands made a united cricket team named Westindies. The team is known for its fierce fast bowlers, aggressive batsman and funky style of playing the game. No team in cricket world is as enjoyed a WestIndian team. Between 1970 to 1995, they were by far the best team in the world. They won the first two world cups.

The West Indian team not only had India in its name but some of its greatest cricketers were of Indian origin. We profile 5 of the best and most known Indian-origin Westindies cricketers.

1 Sonny Ramadhin

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The first east Indian to play for the Westindies. An off spinner who turned bowling leg spin in between and with the same control baffled many batsmen. He was a tidy bowler who could bowl long spells. In a test match in England, he bowled 98 overs in an inning which showed his stamina and patience. Ramadhin can be seen sitting on the left. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)

2 Rohan Kanhai

Perhaps one of the greatest batsman that Westindies ever produced. 6000 runs at the average of 47 in the era of uncovered pitches, no helmets speaks volume about Kanhai’s talent. An occasional wicketkeeper, he was overshadowed as the team had greats like Sir Gary Sobers but still his contribution was immense in the making of a world champion team. (picture courtesy: indocaribbeanworld.com)

 

3 Alvin Kallicharan

This little left-handed gutsy fellow was one of the main strength of windies batting line up in the 70s. A career of 66 test matches in which he made more than 4000 test runs at an average of 44 was made of some great batting performance especially on swinging decks in England.

“You have to learn about survival, then think about the opposition”, this quote sums up his career and attitude. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)

4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul

A batsman with the most awkward batting stance but still ended up with the best statistical career after Brian Lara. Almost 12000 runs in test cricket, more than 8000 runs in one day cricket, Chanderpaul played in an era when his team got weaker and weaker only. He could play for time. On 2007 England tour he just refused to lose his wicket. Most of the times he saw wickets falling at the other end in his career. Surprisingly he also smashed a 69-balls test hundred. (picture courtesy: expressnewsgy.com)

5 Ramnaresh Sarwan

 

A batsman picked in his teens was supposed to have a great career. He did play 87 test matches for Westindies but just when he was nearing his peak, controversies ended his career. Sarwan was a batsman who made batting beautiful when in the flow. An average of 40 in test cricket does not do justice with his talent. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)

(image courtesy: guyanatimesinternational.com)

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Cricket madness in Chicago

People sacrifice other chores just to enjoy this beautiful game and to keep it alive in countries outside India where cricket is not a major sport.

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Cricket has become a popular sport in Chicago. Around 900 people play the game in the windy city.

By West Loop Cricket Association, Chicago

WLCA Working Committee

Hari Mohan, Harshavardhna Hedge, Kunal Tembhurne, Niranjan Kulkarni, Saurabh Nigam, Shreenidhi Bharadwaj, Shekar Reddy Palla, Shwetabh Gaurav, Sunil Saini, Vivek Sarkar

About:

Cricket is more a religion, less a sport in India. People are obsessed with the sport and magnitude of love cannot be defined in words.

In the United States, Baseball, Basketball and Soccer are obviously more popular. However, Cricket has a strong presence due to the passion and love of Indians for the game. The Indian community in USA avidly plays and promotes cricket and, in the process comes closer to each other.

 

Cricket
The tournament played between Chicago Centaurs and Arrigo Avengers.

 

The passion for the game is unreal in USA too. Working men enjoy the sport in their free time. They even book grounds (baseball/soccer grounds) to practice and conduct tournament matches. The players are from all backgrounds – students, businessmen, lawyers, IT professionals to doctors. They all take out time out of their busy schedules and come together to rejoice the gentleman’s game in the windy city.

Tournaments in Chicago

As cricket has a strong presence in Chicago, many friendly yet competitive tournaments are conducted by cricket fanatics to keep the game alive.

Chicagotwenty20 tournament

Chicagotwenty20 is the oldest cricket tournament that was conducted in Chicago. It’s first season took place in 2009 and the tenth season was played in 2018. The league is played in 20 overs format. 56 teams participate from Chicago and are divided into groups 4 with 14 teams in each group.  Each team has a squad of 16 players with 11 playing and rest 5 as extras. Each team has a home ground. 7 matches are played at home ground and the rest at the opponent’s ground. The top eight teams from each group are qualified for the quarter finals. The tournament is almost four months long. The best player of the winning team is awarded the man of the match in every match. Best Batsman, Best bowler, MVP ( most valuable player) awards are given at the end of the season.

The 2018 season was won by team Yorkers. The Best Batsman, Highest score and the MVP award was given to Mr Pavan Shetty of team Yorkers, who scored 418 runs. The best bowler award was given to Sivakumar for taking 27 wickets.

 

Cricket
This is the team who connected via the meetup link which has more than 300 members.

 

WLCA Super 8 tournament

WLCA (West Loop Cricket Association, Chicago) was formed by four IT professionals in 2016 with the sole objective of promoting the game of cricket in Chicago City area. Based out of vibrant and affluent Chicago West Loop, WLCA is an assemblage of 300+ cricket players. These cricket enthusiasts come from different walks of life being corporate professionals, UIC/IIT students and local businessmen. There are hundreds of followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

WLCA mainly involve in:

  • Organize annual cricket tournament
  • Coordinate weekly cricket games in different Chicago City park locations
  • Coordinating friendly games with other known Chicago Suburban teams
  • WLCA team represented Chicago City in other Chicagoland tournaments including Chicago T20 League and Soha Cup
  • Maintaining and making available Cricket Equipment Kit free of cost to playing group

The WLCA hosts Super 8 Cricket tournament which started in 2017 by the West Loop cricket association (WLCA). It is played under the format of 8 overs and 8 players in each team. This concept of tournament was the first to be launched by WLCA in Chicago. This is the shortest time-consuming format (2 days) and the played at the heart of Chicago Downtown. The first season was extremely successful (12 teams) and participating teams called out as the best organized cricket tournament amongst many happening in Chicago.

Season 2 played in 2018 organized by WLCA had 16 teams divided into four groups with four teams in each group. The semi-finals and final are played with 10 overs. There is a man of the match, best bowler, best fielder award for every match

Cricket
Westloop Wolves Team.

 

Here is the fixture and schedule of Season 2:

There are 16 teams participating in this short format cricket tournament.

16 team is divided into 4 groups.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Winter Wolves (A1) Chicago Wild Kittens(B1) Arrigo Avengers(C1) Super 9s(D1)
Dark Knights (A2) Challengers(B2) Cook County(C2) Chicago Super Kings(D2)
Chicago Centaurs(A3) Hunters (B3) Westside Wolves(C3) River City (D3)
International Khiladies (A4) Ballers(B4) Knights(C4) CSK+(D4)

Each team in the group will play only two matches with the other two teams.

From each group top two teams will be qualified for the quarterfinals, then semis and finals.

Chicago Centaurs were the Champions and Super 9s were the runners up.

The tournament has become a big deal in no time. It was sponsored by big names like USBank (thanks to Susan Brown), Lodha Group (this group was also the associated sponsor of Ind vs, Eng Test Series in 2018) and Metra Spice Mart (Only Indian Grocery Store in Chicago Downtown). The tournament has gained momentum in no time and is likely to do so in the years to come.

Keeping the game alive overseas

Cricket has become a huge deal in Chicago. Around 900 people play the game in the windy city. Tournaments like above help in maintaining healthy competition and something to be excited for.

People sacrifice other chores just to enjoy this beautiful game and to keep it alive in countries outside India where cricket is not a major sport.

 

Cricket
Dark Knights Led by Pranjal Chauhan

 

“My favourite sport and always loved to watch and play the game anywhere in the world anytime. Always loved to organize these kinds of tournament from childhood so continuing the same thing outside the country”, Says Harshavardhna Hedge, Organizer, WLCA super 8 tournament.

“Well I love the sport and love my country. We get to relive our childhood and impart love for the game to the next generation. The community comes together and enjoy, and we also return to the society through charity”, Says Hari Mohan, Organizer, WLCA super 8 tournament.