By Sam Sooppersaud
The “combatants” have been determined. The arena at Baisley Cricket Field has been spiced up. Joe Siewharack has been seen on his “riding mower” manicuring the lush green outfield. Glyne and Frankie have ensured that the wicket surface has been rolled and compacted, to be at its best. The news has been spread around the cricket fraternity that the 2015 New York City Public Schools Athletic League Cricket (PSAL) Co-ed Varsity Cricket Tournament Finals will be played, as scheduled on Sunday, June 14, 2015.
The 2014 PSAL cricket champions John Adams, will take on Richmond Hill, the 2010 runner-up, and will do battle for the right to be called Cricket Champions in the New York City PSAL. In the preliminary rounds, the number one seed Adams won 12 games while losing only one. Both Richmond Hill and John Adams have scored heavily during the season, and have the bowlers who are capable of protecting their team’s totals.
The Adams batsmen exhibited more patience at the crease, while the Richmond Hill boys often appeared to “want to get it over fast.” They are a more versatile hitting and running squad than their opponents John Adams. Richmond Hill’s ground fielding and catching is excellent, while Adams’ catching and ground fielding, although good, is not on par with that of Richmond Hill. However, according to the pundits, a keenly fought and high scoring final is expected.
Let’s take a look at the timeline of the playoffs, and how John Adams and Richmond Hill reached the 2015 NY PSAL Finals:
Lehman (59) vs. Bronx Science (162)
Maywood (90) vs. Lane (124)
Springfield (138) vs. Aviation (137)
Brooklyn Int’l (170) defeated Van Buren
Jamaica (153) vs. FDR (154)
Prospect Heights (117) vs. Hillcrest (153)
Clinton (152) vs. Newcomers (106)
Richmond Hill (152) vs. Edison (51)
Lane (120) vs. John Adams (168)
Springfield (122) vs. Brooklyn Int’l (203)
FDR (151) defeated Hillcrest
Clinton (133) vs. Richmond Hill (134)
John Adams (105) vs. Brooklyn Int’l (103)
Richmond Hill (140) vs. FDR (139)
John Adams vs. Richmond Hill
A large crowd is expected to turn out at Baisley Park to watch the slugfest. Adams would be “going at it” hard in their attempt to win their second championship, while Richmond Hill would put up a fight to wrest away the championship from Adams and give themselves “a taste of gold”. Mother Nature has promised excellent weather for cricket. The temperature is expected to be in the upper 80’s, so fans are reminded to bring lot of cold liquids to ward off dehydration.
I have been watching the playoffs with much interest. Sadly, I have observed several instances of unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of a few players. In the quarterfinal match, Adams vs Lane, a Lane batsman was given out, run out. He refused to leave the wicket. He sat down on the field and disregarded the umpire’s call. He refused to leave the playing area. The umpires, subsequently, consulted and rightfully awarded the match to Adams.
In the semifinal game, Adams vs Brooklyn International, an Adams batsman was given out, run out. He verbally contested the call while he stood fast at the wicket. He eventually tossed his bat away in anger and began walked towards the sideline. He was seen muttering something.
In the semifinal game, Richmond Hill vs FDR there were unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of players from both sides. An FDR bowler was seen “gesturing” in a, let us say “suggestive manner” to the batsman. In another instance, after delivering the ball, he walked all the way to the striker’s end, stood next to the striker and pretended to clean his palm (bowling hand) on the matting. He was staring in the face of the batsman and appeared to be saying something to him.
Several times a couple of FDR bowlers, when bowling, would run up to the bowling crease, swung the bowling arm around as if to bowl the ball, but not aborted. They were warned a couple of times by the ruling umpire. Even the Richmond Hill batsman added to the mayhem by walking away from the wicket just when the bowler was about to deliver the ball. This was done on three or four instances.
I must say that numerous spectators voiced their displeasure, and disgust by shouting out to the errant players. PSAL cricket is played in a “teaching and learning” environment. I feel that the PSAL cricket official should take some sort of action to ensure that such behavior does not occur again. What with “The Spirit of the Game”. These young players should not be allowed to get away with conduct that brings disrepute to the game.