By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 42nd Anniversary – Match #1184):-
Cosmos has had their fair share of successes over the years and this season was just a continuation of those earlier years. After last year’s hiatus due to the pandemic and after playing for thirty-seven in the highly competitive Metropolitan Cricket League, Cosmos decided to join the newly formed New York National Cricket League for the 2021 season.

Doneshwar Dayanand
Doneshwar Dayanand, one of the young and dedicated player of Cosmos team.

This new environment was a welcomed experience for this youthful Cosmos contingent and they certainly gave a good account of themselves. If they can maintain their current core of players, they will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with in seasons to come.

It was a testing season, however, the boys persevered and they have been competitive throughout the season in the premier 40-over competition. Some inexperience played a major role in their performances, and was a key factor why they narrowly missed a spot in the playoffs. In the Deo&Sons T20 competition, they ended on top of the table and earned a spot in the semi-finals against NY Centurions last Sunday at Flushing Meadows Park.

This Semi final was a good match-up between these two teams. Cosmos decision to field appeared to be a good one as they managed to pegged back Centurions early in the inning, and with the score on 84 for 8 in the 16th over, Cosmos held the reins, however, Carlos Baker kept Cosmos from making any further inroads as he produced a match-winning late inning blitz scoring 41 off just 26 balls to give his team a fighting total of 136 for 9 off their allotted 20 overs. Marlon Mangroo got 16 and Mark Gomes 15. Dixeith Palmer picked up 3 for 17, Naresh Persaud 2 for 29, and Alex Chunilall 1 for 16 in his 4 overs.

Cosmos in their reply got off to a reasonable start at 30 for 1 in the 5th over, but then lost another two wickets by the 10th over with the score on 46 for 3. It was an uphill battle thereafter as Centurions ceased the opportunity to keep the pressure with 91 runs needed in 10 overs with 7 wickets remaining.

It was all Centurions thereafter as Cosmos inexperience middle-order wobbled and began to swing-in-the-wind for glory and suffered the eventual collapse to 102 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. The 33 extras conceded by Cosmos bowlers in the 1st inning were sinful in the context of this match in boosting the opposition’s total, and that was perhaps the difference in this match. Centurions took every opportunity that was given to them whilst creating some of their own, and played well in defense of their total as the deserved winner.

This Semi final though it had the moments of competitiveness and camaraderie throughout the match, and it could not have been played in a friendlier atmosphere between these two teams. These two teams knew their limitations and strengths and it was evident in the end as Centurions emerged winners. Unfortunately, they lost in the finals, in a good match-up against Coast Warriors who had defeated Phoenix earlier in the other semi finals. Congratulations to West Coast Warriors.

One would like to think that that is what defines the game at its best is when it is free from any infestation by the claim-to-fame holier-than-thou characters who sadly tried to manipulate every situation to satisfy their own selfishness needs just to win a cricket match; that is everything that is not cricket. The NYNCL was quite weary of some of the attempts to weaken it during the season and the executives dealt with those accordingly. They did not cower to any attempts to derail their purpose, but stood firm in their objectives, and to the teams that are true in values, and as a result enjoyed a successful season of cricket. The New York National Cricket League executives must be pleased with their efforts, in only their first year, in administering a very successful season. Though the undertaking to start a new league was a bold initiative and a thankless job, the NYNCL officials were determined to move forward. They did so despite all the backlash and obstacles that were thrown in their direction.

No league in the history of New York Cricket, albeit a new league, with a healthy purse for the winners and runners-up, has ever attempted to pencil four competitions on the schedule, two on Saturday and two on Sunday, and in addition schedule two additional T20’s competition to keep the teams playing that didn’t earn a playoffs spot. Clearly, the vision and intent of the NYNCL President, Ramesh Arunasalam, Cricket Director, Sharma Sookdeo, Leroy Jackman, and all the officials must be admired and commended. Stay tuned.