[edit] Celebration of CRYcket in Atlanta

GiriMohan Coneti

Just as the Indians were basking in the Caribbeans, reminiscing their incredible Test match success at Port of Spain and the infuriating loss at Barbados, not far away, across the pond right in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, a bunch of furiously motivated volunteers of the Atlanta chapter of CRY Inc (Child Relief and You), celebrated the spirit of cricket for an impeccably noble cause -- that of helping grass-roots projects for the underprivileged children in India.

In a country where baseball is the only game that's thought of as a ball and stick game, a country where fans are religiously searching underwater for Babe Ruth's piano to restore good luck charm for the Boston Sox, cricket takes a backseat -- a sore in the eye for the plethora of Indian immigrants who are craving to relive their Bombay maidan days and the delusional effect of stump graffiti on the wall.

The astroturf pitch on which the tournament was played.CRY Inc-Atlanta organized their annual cricket jamboree - MAHARAJA CRYcket Cup 2002. It sure redefined cricket and its spirit -- and that doesn't mean you get credits in a spelling bee spelling it the way it's spelt. The redefining piece is the fact that it was an eight-a-team game, played on an astroturf with non-stop action from 8 am to 8 pm and, probably, the only cricket tournament that encourages co-ed teams.

Since its inception, this event has graduated from 16 teams participating in 1999 to 48 teams last year (2001). With a record participation, this year's event brought out the best cricketing talent on this side of the world. CRYcket 2002 drew participation from students and professionals both in and around Atlanta, including a few entries from Tennessee and Alabama. In fact, the youngest team (17-year-olds) drove a good three hours to Atlanta from Columbus, Georgia

Every year after the event, the participants and their families have carried home some memorable moments -- moments long lost in the narrow streets, alleys and parks of deep suburban India. For a few other Indians who were born and lived here all their lives, these are moments that they can finally relate to of what the cricketing ambience and exuberance is all about. For the silent onlooker, the American, whose sporting experiences just don't seem to span out of NFL, NBA and MLB, it's the proverbial fascination for a game that's euphemistically put as "interesting". It's moments like these that CRY Inc - Atlanta is delivering to the masses together with educating them about the profound causes for which CRY Inc - Atlanta is striving to raise money for.

Back in 1999, the event raised a humble $1000 that saw the number grow to $4000 in 2001. The finals of this year's CRYcket had all the histrionics and the gut wrenching action to ask for. The ambience was akin an English league soccer game, with a boisterous group from Dunwoody supporting their team. With a not-so-imposing total of 58 in eight overs put up by the team from Chattanooga (VOLS), the team from Dunwoody (Dunwoody Gang) started their innings on a bright note with a steady flow of runs. At the end of the fifth over, the Dunwoody team had to score 21 runs to win off the remaining three overs. That equation soon changed to 8 balls and 13 runs, thanks to some clean line and length that the Chattanooga bowlers found.

The victorious Dunwoody teamAt the fall of the fourth wicket, just when victory was slipping away from the Dunwoody team, in walked Suresh, skipper of the Dunwoody team and lofted one for a huge six. The last over started with 6 runs to win. The penchant for scoring singles saw 3 run-outs in the next 5 balls. With two wickets in hand and two runs to score off the last ball, the Dunwoody team made a run of a perfect ball that found its way to a tense pair of hands that fumbled behind the wickets. And so, the game was tied. As the Dunwoody team had lost less wickets, they emerged winners.

The tournament this year had to be played over two weekends, thanks to the rains playing spoilsport and stealing one whole morning's session. In spite of this inadvertence, the teams remained unfazed and the organizers / volunteers were even more resilient to oversee the successful completion of the tournament. The 150-odd audience turn-out for the event may sound pittance in comparison to the Adelaide Oval or Chepauk, but they had the hearts and vocal chords that had all the makings of a cricket carnival.

Had it not been for the spirit of the volunteers, this tournament wouldn't be wildly successful year after year. CRY Inc - Atlanta volunteers bring with them the same professionalism that they exhibit in their work lives. Together with this professionalism comes the ability to make it fun and endearing. This is, in fact, what makes the Atlanta action center of CRY a great organization to volunteer for. CRY Atlanta volunteers come from diverse professional backgrounds - including financial analysts, bio-statisticians and software engineers. Across the other spectrum are volunteers who are teenagers who are doing their bit for the organization.

Reflecting the thoughts of many CRY volunteers, Srinivas Vemulapalli, who was the coordinator for this year's event, said: "Organizing this event gave me a lot of satisfaction because it gave me a chance to share the work of CRY Inc. with new sections of people."

[GiriMohan Coneti is based out of Atlanta and is a CRY Inc volunteer. He can be reached at .]

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[edit] Upcoming Events

Volunteer Meeting - July 9th, 2016 Saturday 2:00 to 4:00PM Johns Creek Fire Station

Local volunteering @ Fostercare Support Foundation – Saturday July 30, 2016 – 10am-Noon

Dream Mile 2016 – Sep 17, 2016

[edit] Recent Events

Volunteer Meeting - June 12th, 2016 Sunday 2:00 to 4:00PM OCEE Library

Volunteer Meeting - April 2nd, 2016 , Saturday 2:00 to 4:00PM Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming 20041 GA

Vibha Cricket Cup 2016, April 16th

Volunteer Meeting - May 14th, 2016 , Saturday 3:00 to 5:00PM Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming 20041 GA

Volunteer Meeting - Oct 10th, 2015 Saturday 2:00 to 4:00PM OCEE Library

Dream Mile 2015 - Sept 19th

Foster Care Volunteering, August 1, 2015

Volunteer Meeting - July 11th, Saturday 2:00 to 4:00PM

Volunteer Meeting - June 7th, Sunday 2:00 to 4:00PM, Johns Creek Fire Station No. 62

Vibha Cricket 2015 - April 2015

Youth Volunteer Meeting - April 26th, Sunday 12 to 2PM, Shakerag Firestation (Near Shakerag Elementary)

Vibha Chess 2015 - February 7th 2015

Volunteer Meeting - February 14th, 2015 - 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm @ OCEE Library

Vibha Table Tennis 2015 - February 28th 2015

Volunteer Meeting - January 10th, 2015 - 2:30 pm @ OCEE Library

Local Volunteering @CRN Gift Wrapping, December 20th 2014

Volunteer Meeting - December 6th 2014

Dream Mile 2014 - Sept 20th

Vibha Cricket 2014

Dream Play 2014

Dream Mile 2013

FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2013

Dream Play 2013 - February 16th, 2013

Paramount Software Dream Mile 2012

FutureTech Cricket Cup 2012

Dream Play 2012 (Khel Mela) - March 24th, 2012

Hands-On Volunteering - Dec. 18th, 2011

Paramount Software Dream Mile 2011 - Oct 1st

Vibha Open - Tennis Tournament - Aug 20th

Krishna Kanhaiya - June 19th

FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2011

Vibe - March 5th 2011

Past Events

[edit] In the Press

Cricket and Service: A Perfect Duo

FutureTech commits $50K in the next 5 years to Vibha Cricket Cup

K-MACS Dream Play 2012

FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2011 - Khabar (July 2011)

International Dance Festival raises funds for children’s causes! - Khabar (February 2011)

12th Annual Dream Mile - Khabar (October 2010)

FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2010 - Khabar (July 2010)

11th Annual Dream Mile - Khabar (October 2009)

Pyramid Consulting Super16 (July 2009)

FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2009 - Khabar (June 2009)

Sanket Systems Khel Mela 2009 - Khabar (May 2009)

Older Press Releases

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