Monthly Archives: August 2010

Labor Day Weekend Tournament Cancelled

MCA regrets to announce that, for reasons entirely beyond the control of the Academy, it will not be possible to hold a tournament over the Labor Day Weekend. We apologize to all the players who had been looking forward to participating in what has been in past years our major annual tournament, but would like to assure everyone that a full program of activities is planned for the coming year.

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Filed under Cricket Tournaments, Michigan Cricket Academy, USA cricket

Practice on Saturday; T20 Fixture vs UM XI on Sunday, 22 August

Practice is, as usual, scheduled for 6 pm on Saturday evening at Lyon Oaks Park, weather permitting.  As ever, newcomers are most welcome. 

MCA’s T20 fixture against the UM XI will now be played on Sunday at Hartland, starting at 10.30 a.m.  The playing XII is:

Shyam Mayasandra (c)
Vasanth Krishnaswami
Kashif Akhtar
Sumit Garg
Anurag Yerabati
Pawan Canchi
Deepak Chilla
Ani Mayasandra
Jai Sura
Gordon Makin
Rohit Mogalyapalli
Neil Makin.

The address: Tag’s Sports Complex, Hartland (1535 North Old Highway 23, Hartland, MI 48353). The cricket ground is at the northern end of the complex — ie, beyond the bottom of the main parking lot, with the mini-golf range on one side and the baseball fields on the other. The owner of the complex requests that all food and beverages be bought from his complex, so please do not bring your own Gatorade, snacks, etc.

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Filed under Calendar, Fixtures, Michigan Cricket Academy, USA cricket

Caterpillar Wins U.S. Corporate Cricket Championship; Coach Shyam Mayasandra (Chrysler) Bloody, but Unbowed

Last weekend saw the ninth annual U.S. Corporate Cricket Championship (formerly the Big Three Tournament), run by the Michigan Cricket Association. Nine teams competed, with many local players representing their companies, and other familiar faces appearing as guest players. MCA parent Neill Quinlan played for Chrysler, showing exemplary skill in the field (he took a steepling catch on the boundary against Henry Ford Health Systems) and also revealing a new side to his batting when he smacked the HFHS bowling all over the field in an aggressive cameo. Later on Saturday, MCA players arriving at Lyon Oaks for practice noticed what looked like a very familiar figure at the crease, batting for Chrysler in the day’s third match, against Daimler Finance, but were puzzled that the figure seemed to have a white beard. As soon as the batsman played a trademark flick off his legs, observers were left in no doubt: it was, indeed, MCA Coach and Chrysler guest player Shyam Mayasandra. He had not, in fact, grown a beard, but was wearing bandages around his face, because, earlier in the match, he had taken a top edge off a pull straight into his own chin, cutting his face and his tongue (Coach Shyam, of course, belongs to the generation that regards helmets as best suited – if at all – to motor-cyclists). After taking the blow, Coach Shyam retired briefly to be patched up, and then returned, bandaged, and unable to talk, to punish the bowling that inflicted his injury. Readers will not be surprised to learn that Coach Shyam carried out his plan to perfection, demonstrating not only admirable bravery, but also his usual skill in punishing the bad ball, to carry his bat for an unbeaten, and well-paced, 56, which drew great admiration from all around. His knock helped Chrysler defeat Daimler Finance, propelling them to a semi-final meeting the next day with another of this year’s new entrants, Caterpillar of Peoria; meanwhile, Ford, four-times champion, faced Daimler Finance in the other semi-final. Coach Shyam, Neill Quinlan, and the other Chrysler players fought hard against Caterpillar, but the Illinois opponent confirmed its status as tournament favorite with a solid victory, moving on to the final at Bloomer Park, where big-hitting Ford awaited. That final, played before a big crowd and web-cast live on the Internet, showed again the power of the young Caterpillar team. Winning the toss, they put Ford in, and despite some excellent batting from captain Rehan and other Ford players, restricted their opponent to 168, helped by excellent fielding and good death bowling by Yousaf (who had captained Ford in earlier years, before moving to Peoria). When, in the Caterpillar reply, the first wicket fell for only 16, there must have been some flutters in the Illinois camp, but that turned out to be Ford’s only success: a splendid unbeaten century by man-of-the-match Ram, ably supported by Aniruddh, saw Caterpillar home, with Ford’s fielding and bowling not quite sufficient to challenge what was clearly the tournament’s best team.

In addition to Neill Quinlan and Shyam Mayasandra, other MCA members and associates played a role in the tournament: Jayanth Canchi, father of MCA player Pawan and one of MichCA’s top umpires, stood in several matches, and MCA Joint Head Coach Vasanth Krishnaswami provided very enlightening color commentary. The web cast attracted viewers from across the world (at one point there were viewers in India and Pakistan), and has been archived at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/usccc. MCA members will recognize other familiar voices.

MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra, after hitting 56 not out for Chrysler

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MCA Cricket Demonstration at Toledo Country Club

MCA ran a cricket demonstration for participants in the Toledo Country Club summer camp on Monday, as part of the camp’s International Week. The visit, suggested by Avinash Kommireddy of the Michigan Cricket Association Youth Committee, was hosted by Becca Gorman of TCC and camp teacher Michelle Kronmann, who both welcomed Gordon Makin of MCA, his father Michael, and his youngest brother Nigel to the stately Club (founded 1897), on the banks of the Maumee River in the southern part of the city of Toledo. The MCA visitors enjoyed lunch in the Club’s elegant dining room before the demonstration, at which a dozen young campers, ranging in age from four to ten, watched Gordon and his father explain the game and illustrate some basic cricketing skills in the Club parking lot. The campers then took turns to bat and bowl themselves. Several young novices proved themselves precociously skilled with bat and ball, and all were intrigued by the sport, as the pictures below may well indicate.


Gordon on strike, with Becca Gorman filming it all.


Gordon fears a bouncer might be coming.


Bowling basics.


Film analysis of the bowler’s action is being prepared.

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MCA Members Demonstrate the Game in Traverse City

On Monday morning two MCA players, accompanied by family members, participated in a cricket demonstration at The Children’s House, an independent Montessori school in Traverse City. The demonstration was part of the International Sports Week, run by the school’s PE teacher, Steve Maas, during the school’s summer camp. The cricket demonstration was led by Englishman Steven Ursell, a flight instructor at Northwestern Michigan College, and his Australian colleague, Cameron Kerr, with the support of Children’s House parent Tania Santos, who grew up in South Africa. American-born MCA cricketers Gordon Makin and Neil Makin, accompanied by their younger brother Nigel and father Michael, left their Dexter home at 4.30 a.m. in order to reach the Children’s House (a very impressive facility on eight beautifully landscaped acres, educating children from birth until twelve years of age) by nine on Monday morning. Some fifteen children participated enthusiastically in the morning’s cricket activities, even though inclement weather restricted them to the school’s gymnasium. MCA representatives were delighted to hear of considerable interest in cricket, both from Steve Maas, who hopes to introduce the sport to his PE curriculum, and from local expatriate adults from cricketing countries, who were warmly encouraged to participate in MichCA competitions.  Perhaps a Traverse City C. C. will emerge soon? 

Once the children had left, Steven Ursell, Cameron Kerr, Gordon Makin, and Neil Makin took advantage of the fine facility and the indoor balls to show off their claimed cricketing skills, before Tania Santos generously invited the entire MCA party to lunch in downtown Traverse City.  Some of Steve Maas’s pictures can be found in the week’s Children’s House newsletter, while MCA’s own photographs can be seen below.

Neil Makin and Steve Maas help a young enthusiast pad up.

Gordon Makin tries to beat the bat

Steven Ursell and Gordon Makin flight the ball to novice batsmen

Gordon Makin batting, Steven Ursell keeping

Neil Makin issues instructions, while Cameron Kerr bowls

 Nigel Makin insists that he knows best

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US Corporate Cup This Weekend

One of the Midwest’s biggest cricket tournaments takes place this weekend – MichCA’s annual U.S. Corporate Cup (T-20 format), in which nine teams will compete this year: Altair, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Henry Ford Health Systems, and NYX. The schedule for Saturday has been announced as follows:

9 am – 12:15 pm — Ford vs NYX at Belle Isle, Chrysler vs HFHS at Lyon Oaks, Altair vs GM at Bloomer;
12:30 pm – 3:45 pm — Ford vs BCBS at Belle Isle, DMF vs HFHS at Lyon Oaks, GM vs CAT at Bloomer;
4 pm -7:15 pm — BCBS vs NYX at Belle Isle, Chrysler vs DMF at Lyon Oaks, Altair vs CAT at Bloomer.

The semi-finals will be played on Sunday (times and grounds tba), with the final scheduled for 3 pm at Bloomer Park. Family activities are planned for the final, which will be web cast live.

Several familiar faces will be involved in the tournament, including MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra and MCA parent Neill Quinlan, both of whom will be playing for Chrysler, last year’s runners-up.

Tournament Flyer

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MCA Defeat HFHS in Tight Match

On Sunday, MCA’s T-20 team kept its Contenders’ Trophy hopes alive with a tight victory over Henry Ford Health Systems C. C., defending a total of 113/6 to win by seven runs. Man of the match was Pawan Canchi, whose figures of 3/19 were the best among several impressive performances by MCA’s bowlers, while MCA’s senior batsmen had earlier built a solid total, led by Neill Quinlan’s well constructed 30.

MCA’s Joint Head Coach and T20 Captain, Shyam Mayasandra, had no hesitation in batting when he won the toss at Canton on Sunday afternoon. He and Gordon Makin opened, but the latter, losing patience in the third over, was out for two, trying to smash to leg a ball from Nilesh that kept low. Shyam Mayasandra, beginning to open his shoulders, was then given out lbw to Ram for twelve in the fourth over, although there was a suspicion of bat about the dismissal, and it was left to Neill Quinlan to anchor the innings, which he did with exceptional patience and care for sixteen overs, hitting the bad ball, rotating the strike, and running between the wickets with exemplary skill. Kashif Akhtar hit three fours in his twenty-one before misjudging a ball from the unpredictable Arbab, having shared a thirty-eight run third-wicket partnership with Neill, while Rohit Mogalayapalli was bowled by Arbab for three, emulating Gordon. Vasanth Krishnaswami was caught behind off Tanu for eleven, after he and Neill put on thirty-two for the fifth wicket. Ani Mayasandra’s quick-fire sixteen not out, with support from Anurag Yerabati, took MCA to respectability at the end. Chamila Kannangara, Pawan Canchi, and Neil Makin were not required to bat.

With the pitch somewhat unpredictable and the outfield slow and rough, a target of 117 was not as simple as it looked, and when Chamila began his excellent spell (4-0-14-1) with the wicket of Prasad, clean bowled, MCA tails were up. Fellow new-ball bowler Anurag was equally parsimonious (3-0-12-1), and when he had Asif caught by Pawan at short third man for three, HFHS looked in trouble. When Rohit Mogalayapalli, whose bowling once again showed exceptional maturity, had Nilesh lbw for seven in the seventh over, HFHS were in deeper trouble at 25/3. Danger man Ali shared a fourth-wicket stand of 37 with Suman, but when both batsmen went on 62 (Suman falling first, lbw, to Shyam Mayasandra, and then Ali caught by Rohit, mistiming Pawan to mid on), HFHS were again on the rack. Rohit and Ram made things interesting, but both fell to Pawan, Rohit caught by Neill, Ram caught behind by Gordon. After sixteen overs HFHS needed 42 to win, with three wickets remaining, but MCA were short of bowling options – the two opening bowlers had one over left, Pawan was bowled out, Shyam Mayasandra had only one left, meaning that the match was still very much in the balance – who was to bowl the key seventeenth over? At this point, with all to play for, Kashif Akhtar, nursing a very sore right shoulder, was called upon to bowl, and, for the second time in his career and the first time in ten years, opted to bowl left-handed. No one who has seen Kashif field will doubt his natural athleticism, but his over of slow-left-arm spin provided further proof, as he bowled Rushiyal and had Tanu caught by Shyam, ending his cameo with 2/9. Shyam Mayasandra gave up only two runs in the eighteenth over, and HFHS were left needing eighteen to win off twelve balls. The death overs fell to Chamila (who gave up just three runs in the nineteenth) and then Rohit, youngest player on the field, who started the final over with a no ball hit for a single, but conceded only five more as Arbab and Rajesh desperately threw the bat; the MCA fielders kept their heads (having performed well throughout the match, despite the condition of the outfield), and when the last delivery of the match clipped Rajesh’s off stump, MCA were home and dry. The only serious blot on the Academy’s copy book, as they celebrated the team’s second victory of the season, was the disappointingly high tally of wides – by far HFHS’s highest scorer at 42.

The tournament takes a one-week break before resuming in mid-August.

“We’re batting”. The captains return after the toss.

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