New York Softball Cricket
By James Persaud
In a few days the 2012 Summer Olympics will come to an end, over ten thousand athletes will make their way to their respective home country many with gold, some silver and some with bronze medals. How ironic it is on the same day the local New York softball cricket arenas will be filled  with qualifying teams doing battle for the next three weeks for one of softball cricket major prizes, the NYSCL 2012 30 Over Cup championship.

Khaleem Bux of Assassins.

It has been a hot summer so far, and from all indication the NYSCL 2012 30 Over Cup competitions is heading for a very heated finish.  After last Sunday’s games a hand full of teams in each NYSCL division is left to do battle for softball cricket supremacy. The field is wide open and only the best will survive to the end of all the five divisions.

It has been almost 15 years since a major softball cricket competition has entered its playoffs without an Assassins team, this happens in the last NYSCL 25 Over Championship competitions. Well Assassins has rebounded and have sent a clear signal that they are back and will be one of the main forces in the Premier division for the current 30 Over Cup.

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in the last competition, some adjustments had to be made and this was needed quickly.  Assassins acted, and merged with Goodfellas, with this merger, it gave Assassins that extra support that was missing in the first competition of the 2012 season. Goodfellas is a new team from the 2011 season and has made the playoffs a few times but was unable to dominate to the end.

Assassins will be the team to watch for bigger things in the playoffs, with players like Eon Ellis, Kaleem Bux, Ravi Persaud, and the support of Goodfellas’s Brian Manniram and Ronald Evelyn. Assassins are the defending champions off the 30 Over Cup and will be faced with stiff competition from Hustlers, Hustlers is the team that loss to Assassins in 2011.

Assassins and Goodfellas merger has paid off dividends quickly, not only do they qualify for the playoffs; they top their division with wins. United Stars, the other team qualifying for the bye in the quarter finals has played some very exciting cricket and from all proximity they are the best team in the division, with an equal amount of batting and bowling. But the level of softball cricket has risen to such an extreme capacity, the players displaying superb batting and bowling, the fielding has improved immensely.

Kris Shobai of Hustlers. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

Hustlers went to the championship game in the last competition and they bow out to United Stars in a very one sided affair, on this day Hustlers batsmen made too many mistakes. Hustlers are expected to go far this time around and have the players who can get it done. Pooran Beria, Asif Ally, Kris Shobai and Javid Ally have had some good scores coming into the playoffs.

Liberty Knights, West Dem and Untouchables are the other qualifiers, Untouchables has some very talented players in the likes of Moe, Michael Rangasami, Erapalli and the batting maestro Andrew Gonsalves. But this team has played up and down cricket so far, then again the premier players known when to turn on the surge button.

West Dem and Liberty Knights, also played some very good cricket and it had proved to be enough to get them this far, could they continue for the next three weeks? West Dem has the 2012 Indy Cup finals man of the match winner Omesh Ganesh, but his bowling would not be enough to carry them. He would need some big bats to really put runs on the board; they do have the talents, like Sunil Panday, Michael Persaud and Gavesh Arjoon.

Liberty Knights is still knocking and will continue to knock; manager Suresh Ramsarran has done well with this team, he moved down built his confidence. He then moved back to the premier division and qualified; now it is up to the players to regroup and play very hard for the next three weeks.  This team lacks a few solid middle order batsmen, Ken Sanichar will get his runs, but help is needed

Flasherz and Generals are very good young teams, Flasherz made a good run but for some reason they crumbled and it was as if they hit a very heavy brick wall. Rocco Dindayal a young cricketer who has improved his cricket in all aspects, the Singh brothers and the rest of the gang. In the end they did not have what it took to stay together, I am guessing that they are not done.

The explosive Andrew Gonsalves.

Generals another good young team, very good bowling but lacks that big name batsman who can put runs on the board. Jerry, Ricky and Teddy have good talents, but need a few good bodies to build on. You could say I am in a guessing mood; could there be a Flasherz and Generals merger in the making? Well you could see from where I am coming from, it would be very good for the game and both team’s players.

In the last seven weeks of qualifying cricket, after visiting many playing venues and sneaking a peek at some of the game, you’re left with an encouraging feeling. The standard of cricket display is very high in all the divisions, especially in the Premier division. Playing in this division brings out the best, it show you have to take your game to a different level, good will only get you so far.

Looking at the stats, it is clear that the batsmen have kept the ball out of the parks more than the bowlers are able to strike the stumps. It is believed that with the warn air the ball will move much faster, keep the hype alive, make runs, take wickets. Play hard, be the best and you will get to the championship.