MCA’s summer youth camp concluded on Friday, 14 September, with a two-innings match between the Players and their Coaches and Parents at Lyon Oaks. In fading light an anxious umpire (whose decision making had already been called into question several times) ended play with the match apparently drawn, but consultation of the playing conditions revealed that, in such an event, the team with the first-innings lead would be declared the winner. The Coaches and Parents had scored an aggregate of 85 runs in two innings when bad light stopped play, but Shreyas Bolar’s power-hitting had earlier taken the Players to 55 in eight overs, while the Coaches and Parents had been able to muster only a modest 42/6 in their first innings, so the Players were duly declared victorious. Highlights for the Players included: the spectacular yorking of Coach Gordon Makin by the Players’ Captain Sarosh Irani, a dismissal that brought whoops of delight from the entire field as the Coaches and Parents’ opening batsman played all around the delivery; excellent batting and bowling from the diminutive Vidvath Vasudevan and Amit; good work behind the stumps from Sameer Yelamarthi; enthusiastic and economical spells from Tejas Bolar, Vishrudh Vasudevan, Tejas Bolar, and Atharwa Kale; fine efforts with ball and bat from Smit and Dikshant; and some good bowling from the injured Advath, who came on to assist an increasingly bedraggled Coaches and Parents’ attack. In the field MCA Joint Head Coach Vasanth Krishnaswami let his side down at least twice, blaming his drops on the poor light, while fellow Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra’s run-out also contributed to the defeat. Coach Chamila Kannangara seemed to prefer advice to action, and it was left to the Parents to shore up their side’s efforts, both with bat and ball. Had Ashutosh Kale not been no-balled twice for over-stepping after appearing to take wickets (not the only dubious decisions from MCA’s Information Director, whose eyesight and competence were repeatedly questioned by Coach Gordon Makin), the story might have been different, as Parents Vasu, Bal, Narine, Ardeshir, and Venkat also worked hard to remedy deficiencies in the performance of the Coaches.
Once the bad light had curtailed the cricket, players, coaches, and parents gathered in the middle to celebrate the end of the camp. Coaches were thanked for their efforts over the summer and players congratulated for their accomplishments and evident skills. MCA hopes to offer indoor coaching and match sessions starting in October.
Although the umpire’s decision to abandon play because of bad light was almost universally criticized on Friday, the picture above suggests that the light at Lyon Oaks was, indeed, rather poor as camp concluded.