[edit] Dunwoody All Stars Takes The Maharaja

CRYcket Cup 2002 Nail Biting Finish In The Finals On The Third Day

By Safi Quadri

Atlanta, GA – 11 May: The Maharaja CRYcket Cup, organized by CRY Inc at the Student Athletic Center (SAC) Field, Georgia Tech. campus concluded this Saturday with Dunwoody All Stars taking the cup in a nail biting finish which ended in a tie on the last ball. Dunwoody All Stars were declared winners for losing less number of wickets.

The tension and the excitement that prevailed in the air and hearts of the players, audience, and of course the organizers were un-debatable. The pressure on the teams to compete with one another and be the Winners was evident in every ball that was bowled and every run that was made. None could discount the spirit and the sportsmanship exhibited by all the players and the supporters during this Maharaja CRYcket Cup 2002.

The tension and the pressure were seen on both the sides, as they needed 6 runs off 6 balls. It was in this over that the Chattanooga Vols was under tremendous pressure and lost three wickets at this crucial time. Now they needed just two runs to win in only one ball remaining.

Pin drop silence. Anticipation. Silent Prayers. Mid-pitch meetings. The stage is set for the do-or-die scenario. The ball is bowled, the batsman misses it, the keeper fumbles, and the run is taken. It’s a Tie!! And, the “Gang of Dunwoody” takes the cup, based on losing less number of wickets.

That’s the stuff remembered for years to come. The Maharaja CRYcket Cup 2002 had all the elements of a great tournament - tremendous participation, great sportsmanship, smooth organization, nail biting finishes, the ecstasy of the winners, and the Champaign. The fact that both semi-finals and the finals were decided on the last ball is unbelievable.

The Fourth annual cricket tournament received tremendous response and support from the CRY supporters and cricket lovers of Atlanta. The tournament was conducted on Astroturf field at Georgia Tech campus. The organizers received the maximum allowed 40 teams, each of 8 players, two weeks before the start of the tournament. In spite of the heavy showers on May 4th, the organizers were able to coordinate the schedules for all the teams, some coming all the way from Chattanooga, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama. The final phase was held on May 11th and the tournament ended on a huge positive note.

The winning team Dunwoody All Stars (Suresh (captain), Chilka, Arpit, Ashok, Chanakya, Haneef, Vijay, Naresh) defeated the Chattanooga Vols (Radhakrishnan (captain), Bindu, Ravi, Murali, Satish, Bali, Renni, Arvind) in a match that proved that both teams deserved to be in the finals.

The excited and happy Suresh, captain of Dunwoody All Stars, while speaking to Atlanta Samachar said, “ Oh, this is amazing, I was playing for the last three years and missed last two years and finally this year we wanted to win this. I thank Srinivas for organizing this tournament. I am very excited and all the players are very happy.”

All the 320 players who participated in this tournament were given a commemorative T-shirt. The funds raised will be sent to support grass-roots projects helping the underprivileged children in India. The event coordinator, Srinivas Vemulapalli told Atlanta Samachar, “I am very happy and things went on very smoothly and everybody exhibited their sportsman spirit. Even though the weather played a major role, it went on very smoothly. I thank all the players for their cooperation, thus making it a pleasant experience for all the volunteers and me”.

Radhakrishnan, captain of Chattanooga Vols team, who lost despite putting in a lot of effort, though it was a tie, told Atlanta Samachar, “We guys really played well. It was just a matter of luck. It was a tie and they just won it by less number of wickets. Hope we guys perform well in the next year.”

Bindu Madhav, player of the Chattanooga Vols team summed up their reaction and said “Starting from posting the fixtures for all the games well in advance with timings, and reworking them because of the weather, the organizers did an excellent job. Since we came all the way from Chattanooga, we thank Srinivas for being very considerate and prompt in updating us with match timings. We had great fun. Above all, we feel proud to contribute to this noble cause of child relief”. “We are very happy to be associated with this organization and the event and wish them continued success”, said JT Ahluwalia, the title sponsor and owner of the Maharaja Restaurants.

The co- sponsors, India Sports and Recreation Center, Global Mall, gave the winners one-month free memberships of their recreation center.

Best bowler of the tournament - Suresh (captain of the winning team) Best batsman - Murali of Chattanooga Vols Best all-rounder of the tournament - Ravi Joshi.

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