The Global IT Kerala Cricket League kicked off last Saturday with a glittering opening ceremony and All-Star Game in Queens, NY.

The star-studded opening ceremony and action-packed All-Star game featuring some of the best Malayalee players in the United States marked the beginning of the Global IT Kerala Cricket League USA’s (KCL USA) first-ever cricket league exclusively featuring players of Kerala origin. Kerala is a state on the southern tip of India. Seven teams from across the tri-state region will battle it out in the first season of KCL USA.

Kerala Cricket League All-Star teams.

Kerala Cricket League All-Star teams.

The first edition of KCL USA commenced on a warm and sunny Saturday morning at Cunningham Park in Queens, NY. The opening ceremony was attended by several prominent guests. The chief guests were NYPD Captain Liju Thotam, Indian movie star Josekutty Valiyakallumkal, and Lesly Lowe, President of Commonwealth Cricket League.

The opening ceremony began with the Indian tradition of lighting the lamp. The lamp was lit by all the chief guests, and was followed by the unveiling of the KCL logo. Soon after, all seven KCL captains were welcomed to the stage, and all the team members introduced. In a show of friendship and unity, the seven captains together released balloons of their respective team colors into the air.

Hundreds of cricket enthusiasts from all walks of life attended the opening ceremony. Live music, entertainment, and games made the opening ceremony more attractive to the buzzing crowd. The icing on the cake was the thrilling All-Star game which capped off the historic opening day. The best Malayalee players from the seven teams represented the two All-Star teams. KCL Red, led by Swaroop Boban was pitted against KCL Blue, led by Sabin Jacob.

KCL Red won the toss and decided to bat first. KCL Red batsmen put on a show, scoring 265 in the allotted 25 overs for the loss of 8 wickets. Arun Thomas was at his destructive best, scoring 70 off just 28 balls. Anoop Nair also provided some pyrotechnics in his blitzkrieg knock, scoring 60 off just 33 balls. For KCL Blue, Justin Joseph picked up three wickets.

Kerala Cricket league  Inauguration Ceremony.

Kerala Cricket league Inauguration Ceremony.

Chasing a daunting target of 266, KCL Blue openers provided a steady start. But losing wickets at regular intervals derailed the chase and put them off track. But a late burst from Noble Thomas (36 off 18) and captain Sabin Jacob (43 off 34) made sure they went down fighting. In the end, KCL Blue could only muster up 193 in 25 overs and KCL Red won by 72 runs. For KCL Red, Arun Gireesh picked up three wickets and Anoop Nair picked up two wickets.

The first league match of KCL USA will take place on Saturday, April 25 where Millennium Cricket Club will take on Staten Island Strikers. KCL USA will be played on grounds across the tri-state region on Saturdays and Sundays.

The seven participating teams in the first edition are Flaming Tigers, Long Island Tuskers, Millennium Cricket Club, NY Kings, NYMSC Packers, Staten Island Strikers, and Westchester Challengers.

Global IT Associates, one of the leading information technology firms in the United States, is the title sponsor of KCL USA. Other sponsors include Sheraton Hotel LaGuardia, Grand Indian Restaurant, and Mazhavil FM.