Many of MCA’s most active and enthusiastic members not only play and practice with MCA, but also represent other clubs in one (or sometimes both) of our two Michigan leagues.
Most active of all is probably star all-rounder Kishan Patel, who has played for many local clubs. Currently, not only does he lead MCA’s bowling attack and anchor our middle order, but he also plays a similar role for Motown C. C in MichCA and is active with Farmington Hills in GLCC., while also captaining and running his own team, the Vikings, whose season begins in early June.
Motown has been a particularly good second home for MCA players in the last two seasons, with Gordon Makin making quite regular appearances for Kashif Akhtar’s team last year, and Anurag Yerabati, Chamila Kananngara, Shashank Subramaniam, and Ani Mayasandra all making important contributions, while this season Jay and Jeet Nirban have also been Motown regulars.
Chamila Kannangara and Anurag Yerabati last year also played several matches for GLCC teams, while Pawan Canchi played for Novi when the club was a member of MichCA.
MCA Players and Senior Clubs, May 2010
In the second match of the 2010 40-over season Motown became the first team to bowl out the strong Cleveland club in its three years in MichCA, helped by the bowling of: Kishan Patel, who, taking the new ball, conceded just nine runs in four overs; Jeet Nirban (1/32); and Gordon Makin (0/33) . The last-named also contributed in the field, running in from short third man and taking the catch on the dive. When Motown batted, Kishan Patel’s well struck 25 not out, batting at no. 10, suggested that he might have been able, alongside Satish Thandapani (46), to drive a more effective run chase, had he come in a bit earlier.
The third Saturday of the season saw another mile stone for MCA and youth cricket in MichCA, when a depleted Motown team, facing Metro Detroit C. C. at Bloomer, with Kishan Patel, Jay Nirban, Jeet Nirban, and Gordon Makin already in the side, issued a last-minute, early-morning call-up for Gordon’s younger brother, Neil, who, at the age of ten, became probably the youngest player to appear in a MichCA 40-overs match. Motown batted first (without Kishan, who could not play until the afternoon), and sent in Gordon Makin one-down — another first. The MCA opening batsman, leg-spinner, and wicket-keeper spent his first few deliveries adjusting to the pitch and the unfamiliar MDCC bowlers, before, as non striker in the next over, he was called for an “easy two” by his partner, one of Motown’s regular openers. As so often in the sport, the easy two turned into a clear single, but by the time this was obvious Gordon was stranded in the middle of the pitch. All of Rochester Hills probably heard his subsequent commentary on his run-out (although he left the wicket without obvious complaint), and, after some minutes of discussion, his team mates were convinced that the leading article on Cricinfo that evening would be headed “Coach runs out his own youth player in MichCA match”. In fact, Motown recovered well from the loss of early wickets, but, just as a solid total seemed possible for the depleted batting lineup, another collapse meant that Neil Makin was striding to the wicket as ninth man, with the predictable instructions from his captain to play a straight bat and to follow his partner’s instructions. Some daring running between the wickets, an acrobatic dive from Neil to make his ground, and some careful defence meant that Neil lasted long enough to ensure that a full eleven men batted (the eleventh man arriving late from another engagement — only in club cricket…), although Neil’s frustration when, caught in two minds about a delivery, he feathered a catch to the wicket keeper, matched only that of his elder brother at his own dismissal earlier in the innings.
When Motown bowled, no one watching was particularly surprised to see Kishan Patel take the new ball, with Gordon Makin keeping, but Motown captain Kashif Akhtar certainly struck an innovative note when he asked a third MCA player to open from the other end: Neil Makin. The ten-year-old’s “pace” did not tempt the MDCC into rash shots as Kashif must have hoped, but Neil’s two overs produced relatively respectable figures and much opportunity subsequently for discussion.
Although Motown lost the match by the convincing margin of seven wickets, the performance of youth players once again suggested that MCA members will continue to make themselves known throughout the state’s club cricket. And Neil Makin is said to have talked of his accomplishments non-stop for several days.
MCA Players Contribute to Motown’s First Victory of the Season, vs Toledo, 6 June
Meanwhile, Ani Mayasandra had featured in two Troy C. C. forty-over matches, but was also available (under new MichCA rules) for call-up by other clubs who would welcome youth players. Motown, it turned out, would continue its youth policy in the fourth match of the forty-overs season, when Kashif Akhtar’s team added to the two points gained from the abandoned match with Canton (first Saturday of the season), by overwhelming Toledo C. C. away. Motown’s solid 244 a.o. was largely the work of the young (but not youth players) opener and keeper Sumit Garg, who hit an elegant 37, Murali Venkatapathy, who holed out right on the boundary for a stellar 77, and Mani Ravikumar, who struck a fine 50 (only a few years ago, Murali and Mani were stars of U-16 district cricket in Tamil Nadu), each of the batsmen giving impressive demonstrations of varied stroke play. But MCA’s Gordon Makin, Ani Mayasandra, and Jay Nirban also contributed a few runs (7, 4, and 4 respectively). When Toledo batted, Ani and Jeet Nirban were given the new ball, as Kashif Akhtar once again put his faith in youth, and they must have left Toledo wishing to see an older Motown team: Ani took 2/22, as well as making a fine reflex catch at square leg to dismiss the dangerous Azmat Khan, and engineering a run-out with a throw from the ground; Jeet took 3/17, and a fine catch. Gordon, and Jay Nirban also bowled three economical overs as Toledo’s lower order crumbled, while Kishan Patel (due to play the next day for Farmington Hills C.C.), coming on late, took the final wicket. Neil Makin (now eleven) appeared briefly as a substitute fielder.
MCA Head Coaches can take some satisfaction from the successful promotion to 40-overs sides of so many of the Academy’s players, while the players themselves gain valuable experience in another setting, and in a format of the game which allows the younger player more room for maneuver.