The long weekend of 4 July is usually a busy time for Michigan cricket, even though there are no league matches. This year was no exception, and MCA players and officials were visible, if not prominent. Six teams competed in the 2010 Diversity Cup, run by Global Sports, with Pakistan Greens defeating Canada Maple Leafs in a tight final match at Bloomer Park, where MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra was Head Umpire. The final was webcast live, and the video has been archived. MCA members watching the archived video will note some familiar voices. The four other teams in the tournament represented the USA, India, the West Indies, and the Rest of the World, whose squad included two MCA players — Chamila Kannangara and Gordon Makin. Chamila bowled with distinction for what was evidently the tournament underdog, while Gordon played a smaller role in both of the team’s matches — against the West Indies Masters and the Pakistan Greens. However, it has to be added that the Rest of the World team, consisting almost entirely of local club players (whereas almost all the other teams included players with international experience) was some way off the pace, losing its first match by ninety-five runs to a West Indian team equipped with excellent opening bowlers and some predictably powerful hitters, and its second match by ten wickets to the eventual champions, who bowled and batted with deadly efficiency.
Meanwhile, the annual Central East Region Tournament also took place at Metro Detroit grounds over the long weekend, with a MichCA team weakened by absences finishing in fourth place out of six. Regular MCA guest player Kashif Akhtar put in particularly battling performances, helping MichCA beat the Director’s XI on Sunday, and playing on Monday despite having fractured a thumb making a typically brave stop a short extra cover on Sunday. It is said that on Monday he played some forty balls, ignoring considerable pain as he tried to anchor the innings. The CERT was won by the hosts, Great Lakes Cricket Conference, whose team surprised the Midwest Cricket Conference in the final at Belle Isle on Monday.
The final CERT match was followed by CER U-19 tryouts, attended by some twelve players, including two from MCA.
Normal service resumes over the weekend of 10-11 July: MCA’s T-20 team plays Saginaw at Lyon Oaks on Saturday afternoon, with MCA practice following, while the Motown match against Michigan Cricket Club at Toledo on Sunday will probably involve MCA’s coaches and, perhaps, some MCA players, too.