New York Softball Cricket League
By James Persaud
On a rainy night the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) Annual Awards Presentation Dinner and Dance got off to a Chevy start and by just minutes past midnight it end in a Ferrari style as the name of Amar Singh was announced. It was another outstanding year of cricket for New York Softball Cricket League. It was only fitting that it end in a special way, the organizers has had their challenges only days before the awards night.
Like always they had go that extra mile to get the event of as planned. Because of the size of the hall, changes had to be made to the night’s program, and a few attractions had to be cancelled.
A good size crowd had their dinner and waited patiently as the awards presentation started almost forty five minutes late. But everyone waited and enthusiastically wanted to know who will get the divisions most valuable player awards and most of all who will win the Cricketer of the year. The program started with the 25 Over Championship sponsored by Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar. Then NYSCL President Mr. Ferrier, gave his remarks about the league 2014 season and the NYSCL youths development program.
The President presented plaques to the sponsors and representatives from the Parks department, Andrew Gonsalves received the 2014 President’s Award for his leadership. Andrew Gonsalves has been the most successful captain in recent years, winning four straight championships for his team Untouchables and two Interstate championships for NYSCL. Coaches from the NYSCL Youth Program, Mr. Joseph Mahabir and Kirk Williams received a plaque for their coaching, perseverance and continued support.
Every year NYSCL would reward umpires for their service, dedication and who have shown great knowledge of the game. This year winners are Mr. Cedric Williams and Mr. Naro Narotam, these two gentlemen are long standing umpires with the league.
Next was the 2014 President Cup competition sponsored by PK Singh Realty & Mortgage Services, Mr. Singh was absent and the master of ceremony choose people to make presentation on his behalf. Throughout the night the master of ceremony reminded the audience about the great accomplishment of the Untouchables team. They won the last T20 in the 2013 season and continued to dominate winning all three of the Premier division championships in 2014 to complete the Triple Crown.
Mr. Mike Bansi presented the trophies for the Twenty20, Mr. Bansi sponsored this competition for many years, and he also is the main sponsor for the NYSCL Youths Development Program. Next was time for the players who have scored centuries and took hat-trick during the season. This season for whatever the reason is, there was a drop-off in the amount of awards in this department, there was only 16 centuries and 15 hat-trick.
The President presented the awards for the 2014 season division’s most valuable players, Suraj Singh of One Love won the Division IIB MVP, and Faizul Ulla of Nationals won the Division IIA MVP. Both of these captains and all-rounder had an excellent season for their respective team. Singh’s team went to the playoffs two times and won one championship. While Ulla’s Nationals went to the playoffs three times and played in the final one time and finish in second place.
In division one, Amrish Gobind of Airwaves won the Division IB MVP for his outstanding batting and bowling he also took the only Helmet-Trick in 2014 season. Omesh Ganesh of West Dem took the award for the Premier Division MVP, he was the leading wicket taker in the season with 56 wickets, and scored 254 runs. A new award was added for the 2014 season, the Most Improved Player award, and the first winner was Pikaram Ajay of Shattaz.
The Most Improved Player award, is given to a player who has shown his ability to play the game and has made improvements during the season. Ajay as he is known by, is a very good young batsman, he open the batting for Shattaz. His team Shattaz started the 2014 season in Division IB, they went to the finals in the first competition. And advance to the Premier Division for the next two competitions. He scored runs in Division IB and continue to do so in the Premier Division, he scored almost 600 runs and took 20 wickets
The Untouchables team was presented with a trophy for the Triple Crown championship. Also each player on the Untouchables (18) roster received a souvenir bat with all the 2014 player’s names engraved on it.
Then it was time for the moment that everyone was waiting for, who will be the 2014 Cricketer of the Year? In 2004 a young Andrew Gonsalves almost took the heart out of some bowlers as he made scoring runs look easy and scored almost twelve hundred runs, it was hands down, he was the winner. Since then the only one other batsman Kaleem Bux (800) got close to a thousand runs. Other winners like Kris Shobai, Bobby Pahalad and Pooran Beria all won for their all-rounder performance.
In the 2014 season a young man who loves to bat and never gave away his wicket easily. He played many valuable innings for his team and took them to two finals. He is used as a part time bowler and when given a chance he would sometime pick up crucial wicket. He represented NYSCL in the Inter States tournament and played one of the best inning, of 102 not out to secure the championship. In 2014 Amar Singh scored 959 runs and took 11 wickets, he is the only other batsman to get closest to a thousand runs (since recorded from 1999).
When Amar Singh’s name was announced as the 2014 Cricket of the year, and the deejay played “we are the champions,” the crowd all rose to their feet and it was only fitting for the young man who deserved it. NYSCL President Mr. Ferrier presented Mr. Singh with a huge trophy and a few other prizes.
When Mr. Amar Singh was asked to say a few words, he thanked the league for giving him the opportunity to playing the game he loves. He continued by saying he always tries his best and plays hard to always win and is always looking forward to representing the league when given a chance.
Mr. JP Singh, the Recording Secretary of the league’s Disciplinary / Protest Committee gave the closing remarks and he thanked everyone for coming out and supporting the league. The deejay then took over and the crowd who had waited did not miss a minute to bust a move. There was a break soon after to draw the raffle, there were 5 winners in the raffle and they were all present and collected their prizes. The master of ceremony thanked everyone for supporting the raffle and wished them well for the upcoming holiday season.