(Celebrating 40th Anniversary – Match #1091):- On another sweltering day in New York, Spice Island on their visit made a snack of Cosmos as they cantered to an emphatic 8-wicket victory when the two teams met at Bayswater Park last Sunday. It was almost thirty years ago that Cosmos had inflicted a similar defeat on Spice Island at Miller Field in Staten Island, and now it was time for Spice to return the favor. But these results are not a rarity for either team, and Cosmos has had a few tough seasons like this before in its forty year history but managed to bounced back to being stronger and even earn their ranks as a championship team.
It is a small price for the more indispensable objective to encourage the younger generation of cricketers the opportunity to play the game despite being bombarded by the many challenges in an activity loaded environment. But Cosmos kept their purpose very simple and as a result has ‘blooded’ and produced more young cricketers than any in this area, and perhaps across this land. It was an eye-opener when a senior international umpire who officiated in one of the game said that ‘to have so many youths in one team at this level being given the opportunity to play is worth more than any number of championship trophies.’ That is an invariable mark of wisdom from an experienced campaigner in identifying the real purpose of playing, and it was an encouraging advice to the boys for them to continue to forge ahead and wrestle with the challenges that may come.
And so on this day Cosmos won the toss, thank god, and did not hesitate to take first strike as Shane Grand and Suren Singh, two ‘green’ batsmen, padded up and strolled to the wicket ready for the opponent opening bowling attack which had troubled them earlier in the season. On this occasion there were hardly any resistance from Cosmos batsmen as the six footer Hopkins kept teasing the outside edge until he drew blood from Singh who was first to go when Hopkins rearranged his furniture. Cosmos lone soldier, Devon McCarthy, the one who rose to the challenges throughout this season was unfortunate to be given out in what should have been a six.
Thereafter, the inning then went into a free fall as Cosmos middle order appeared quite Irish and at sea, actually the middle order has been at sea since the beginning of the season trying to get to shore. They are perhaps a little low on fuel after forty years, and on this day with 35 runs on the board the day looked rather gloomy with no shoreline in sight. But Cosmos boys are lion-hearted, and are determination to fight to the end kept forging ahead despite having a tame season so far. Spice Island batsmen didn’t break a sweat despite Temal Singh creating a slight hiccup picking up two quick wickets, however Spice raced passed the target in only five overs.
While being totally outdone, and for whatever it is worth, Cosmos summoned more comfort in creating opportunities for their younger players by giving them a chance to compete against the more senior players rather than having them to sit on the sidelines and watch. Clearly, there is a wide gap in the batting department when facing the opponents, but that will certainly get better. However, the Cosmos bowling department is quite impressive, and one that will yield results in time. And while it is necessary to emphasize on the need to win it is imperative that one does not loose sight of the real purpose of playing the game of cricket; that is for the mere love and enjoyment and as such the highlights of the day appeared to be the camaraderie and refreshments shared between these two teams in the end.
Cosmos will play Suburbia next Sunday at Beach 58th street.