By Sam Sooppersaud
There are three distinct topics I want to touch on in this article. Firstly, I commence by extending felicitations to the Galaxy Sports Club for winning the 2019 Eastern American Cricket Association 40-Overs competition. It must be very gratifying to the players, officials, and support staff that the club has achieved such a feat. Everyone worked so hard during the season to ensure that the club was fully prepared for a run to the end. The hard work has certainly paid off with Galaxy grabbling the coveted championship trophy. At this time I want to extend best wishes to Liberty Sports Club and to applaud them for putting up such a good fight during the season. It was fitting that they were in the championship final, although they fell short to Galaxy, they have a lot to be proud of. Nothing to hang their heads about!
The final was played out on Sunday, August 18, 2019, at the Baisley Park cricket field in Queens, the ground affectionately referred to as The Cage, because of the 18-feet high chain link fence that surrounds the field. Both Liberty and Galaxy played with great intensity and excitement during the season, and posted some very big team scores. In fact, in one of its preliminary round matches Liberty scored in excess of 400 runs in their allotted 40 overs of batting.
The championship match although billed as a “dogfight” did not really materialize as such. Not to say that it was devoid of intensity. There were moments of anxiety and excitement, and disappointment. There were anxious moments, twice for the Galaxy entourage when Jonathan Foo skied the ball to backward point and again to short mid-off. They were simple offerings, but both times the fieldsman grassed the ball. The disappointment was retched on the faces of the Liberty players and supporters. Letting Foo off the hook may very well have been the deciding factor for Galaxy winning the game. He was put down on 9 and again on 23.
Chasing 270 for victory, opener Dino Chowenaam started “like a house on fire.” In the third over of the inning he bombarded four consecutive maximums. There was great excitement in the Liberty camp, however, in attempting another big hit he offered a simple catch which was taken. Liberty tried their very best, falling short by 56 runs. I enjoyed filling in by doing some ball-by-ball commentary, alongside another cricket fan.
Secondly, I want to refer to some feedback comments I received on an earlier article I had written: The Spirit of the Game, which was posted on USACRICKETERS.COM on Saturday, August 17th. I will not here again, rewrite the article but will give a brief synopsis. It simply spells out the friendliness and sportsmanship in which the game should be played. Also, that the umpire is the judge of fair and unfair play and his decision is final. Players showing dissent with an umpire’s decision, serves only to bring disrepute to the game. You, the readers, can see the full article by logging on to the website.
On the day of the EACA championship final I received some very interesting comments from a few cricket fans who read the article. A few agreed with me that the game should be played in a manner that is consistent with good sportsmanship, while two readers complained that “sometimes the umpires don’t know what they are doing,” and they make some unfair decisions. I pointed out to them that that may be so, but even the professional umpires make their share of mistakes.
Another gentleman pulled me to one side and told me he has something to say to me. He asked me, “Did you see me go on the field last week at Lido Beach?” He was referring to the semi-final game at Lido Beach where there were some displays of unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of several persons. I told him, “Yes, you did go on to the field.” He reiterated that he did not go on to the filed during an ensuing altercation, and that my information was wrong. In my article I did not mention the names of the persons involved, so I inquired how he concluded I was referring to him. I got not answer to that inquiry. He simply said that my information was wrong and I should change it. I told him that I stand by what I wrote.
Another fan who was nearby and may have overheard our conversation commented, “You write wrong things.” He admitted not having read my article, so I advised him to read the article, and the next time we meet we can discuss it. He continued to give me his version of a critique of my article.
About 10 minutes later I got another critique of my article. The manner in which these comments were directed at me sort of “caught me by surprise.” It was from someone with whom I have kept company with watching cricket at The Cage year after year. I count him as being one of my very close acquaintances at the cricket parks, and someone for whom I have the highest regard and respect. I will not identify him here. However, if he reads this article he would realize that I am referring to him. His comments to me were, “F… you Sam. You write sheer sk..t.” He continued his diatribe interjecting more expletives. I told him that I will not listen to him if he continued to express himself in such a foul manner. He continued, so I walked away from him.
I am passionate about the game of cricket. I played the game. I administered the game. Now, I try to contribute to the sport by doing some freelance writing. I have always invited my readers to give me their responses to my articles, and I always assure them that they do not have to necessarily agree with my points of view. I pay attention to all comments as long as they are made in good faith and not with the intention to belittle or abuse. The comments I received from the latter acquaintance mentioned above were very inappropriate, it was a very bad choice of words, to say the least.
The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of www.usacricketers.com.