By Ajit Bezbaruah
At a glittering and fun-filled evening on December 17, 2022, at the Lanier Technical College auditorium, Cumming, GA, in the presence of the ICC’s latest Hall of Famer and former West Indies skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the Atlanta Cricket League (ACL) organizing committee presented the ACL 2022 winners’ trophies.
In October 2022, the West Indies Run Machine, Chanderpaul, was inducted into the USA Cricket Hall of Fame. This is the first instance in history that a cricketer has been inducted into the USA Cricket Hall of Fame, the first in the world and the international body just weeks apart.
USA Cricket Hall of Famer and multi-discipline coach Mr. Jatin Patel was also present during the event. Patel has been an integral part of USA soccer and cricket during his career as a coach, referee, official, administrator, assigner, and mentor at the youth scholastic and academic levels. He is also a Professional Sports Performance Analyst accredited by the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport (ISPAS). He holds an Advance Sports Performance & Analysis Diploma (Soccer) and a global reputation in the Football world of FIFA and the Olympics.
It is a matter of great pride for the team, under President Revanth Kundoor, to complete the 2022 season, the annual event held after a two-year break due to the Covid pandemic. This year’s tournament saw the participation of 2660 players, who played for 150 teams in the event lasting 18 months. The matches were played at seven cricket grounds in Atlanta. There were three categories, T12 (12 overs games titled Spring KO), and two main Leagues, T20 (20 overs Championship) and F15 (15 overs and nine players). A Kids Camp was conducted, and two charity tournaments in T20 and F15 formats were titled the Superbash. This event also saw sponsorship from fifty reputable companies in the US, with Codeforce 360 as the main league and banquet sponsor, KNAV for kids’ camp, Jet Learns for spring knock-outs, and Paramount Software for Charity Superbash League.
Well known for his unorthodox batting stance, Chanderpaul expressed his happiness to be part of the grand celebrations of the annual Atlanta Cricket League event, where the families and friends of all team members, officials, and trustees took part.
During the event, Chanderpaul also answered many queries from fans where he said that the former Pakistani legend Wasim Akram was the toughest bowler he faced during his career. And to another question on the best batters in the current generation, Chanderpaul named the ex-Indian skipper Virat Kohli as his first choice to huge applause from the crowd. While giving some valuable tips to youngsters, Chanderpaul said that “focus, hard work, determination, and dedication” are the only virtues that can help them achieve their goals.
Congratulating the organizing committee for putting on such a grand show and huge participation and successfully holding for such a long duration, he said, “It is amazing what you are doing here to popularize the game in this country and take the game to the next level. I wish you all the success in all your future endeavors.”
Founder, Trustee, and Banquet Chair of ACL Mr. Mahesh Pawar said, “We are extremely glad and thankful that Mr. Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mr. Jatin Patel graced the ACL award ceremony with their presence. They both are legends in their field, so to interact with them is a great motivating factor to all the players of ACL and all the youngsters present here.”
The list of other Trustees who made the event possible are Venu Pisike (Founder and Trustee), Venkata R. Parupalli (Chairman & Trustee), Vikram Sudini (Trustee), Kiran Manchikanti (Trustee), Rakesh Gandavarapu (Trustee), Karun Krishnaswami (Trustee), Anj Balusu (Trustee), Gopi Koganti (Trustee), Raj Kada (Trustee) and Parthiban Bhoopathy (Board Member).