CANTON, Mich. - On Sunday, Sept. 14, the Ford Asian Indian Association (FAIA)*, in collaboration withand the Ford Cricket League and Ford India, sponsored a tennis ball “Double-Wicket Cricket” tournament to raise funds for underprivileged women and children in India.
Although rain caused the game to be delayed, it did not dampen the spirits of the players or the family members and friends that came to cheer them on that evening at Victory Park, in Canton, Mich.
Teams were formed and took on the names of favorite Ford cars (Figo and Mustang Boss) and professional Indian Premier League (IPL) sports teams (Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royal Challengers (RC)). When the games began, the enthusiasm and passion of the players was quickly taken up by fans on the sidelines. Soon, every one was in good spirits. The enjoyment of the game was increased even more, with the knowledge that it supported a worthy cause that benefited people in need.
In the first round, Boss went up against the RC. Although RC played a good game and their bowling was excellent, the Boss team (84+) beat the RC (60 +). Those familiar with cricket should keep in mind that the game was played with a tennis ball. When the ball was bowled, it appeared closer to the bat than it actually was. A great deal of force was needed to clear the boundary, even though the boundary in this game had been shortened.
The Boss team included: Sai Viswanatha, Rao Ghanta, Vijaya (V.) Rudraraju, Sandeep Gopu, Milind Kulkarni, Sagar Pawar and Alag Sundarakesari. Amit Singhi, Sri Ganapathy, Murugesh, Jayaprakash (JP), Mian and Deo played for the Figo team.
In an adjacent field, the Figo team dominated CSK. The Figo team won their game with a staggering 106 runs.
During the break between games, FIAI provided pizza and beverages for everyone. Players and fans also had an opportunity during the intermission, to get a good look at a brand new Ford Figo that was prominently displayed near the playing fields.
In the final playoff game, between Boss and Figo, Team Boss won the coin toss and elected to bat. They made 48 runs in 8 overs. Amit Singhi, the FAIA president, surprised everyone by using some classic bowling techniques. Excellent bowling from Sai, Rao, and Vijay won the game for the Boss team. Team Boss did have an advantage over the other teams, in that they regularly play cricket (soft ball, leather ball) and the other teams did not.
At one point in game, Team FIGO was winning and then, their start, JP, got run out. Even though they lost the game, Figo Team put up a good fight and managed an impressive 43 runs.
After a night filled with many exciting moments and a final game that ended with a nail biting finish, the tournament came to an end around 10 p.m. EDT.
Thiayaga Arum, Sri Ganapathy and Sai Prasad Viswanatha earned special thanks for their efforts in planning and organizing this enjoyable event. Amit Singhi, FAIA President, also deserves recognition for his vision in taking on this initiative and supporting a great cause!
If you were unable to attend the tournament and want to make an online contribution to aid needy women and children in India, go to the Charity Cricket Fund site.
*Links only available from inside the Ford firewall.