Category Archives: Beyond MCA

Michigan Players Sought for C.E.R. U-15 Team

After a two-year hiatus, USACA (the national cricket board) has revived the national U-15 tournament, although the format is somewhat different from previous years. The Western Conference tournament will take place at the Woodley Cricket Field, in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, over Thanksgiving weekend ( 29 November– 1 December 2013). The team that wins this tournament will play the winner of the Eastern Conference tournament in June 2014.

The Central East Region, of which Michigan forms a part, is fielding a team, under the direction of Mir Ali, C.E.R. Youth Coordinator and an official of the Bollingbrooke Premier League in Chicagoland. Mr Ali has asked MCA to find up to four U-15 players for the team, which will be coached by Hasan Khan of the BPL.

Players interested in participating should contact the MCA Information Director, Michael Makin, as soon as possible, but should bear in mind the following:

  1. Almost all of the cost of participation will have to be borne by players’ families. Assuming that air tickets will cost at least $600, players should anticipate expenses in the region of $1,000. A generous sponsor has covered the cost of the coach’s travel, but players’ families will have to pay for accommodation, transportation, and meals.
  2. Players should fly to LAX on Thursday, 28 November, returning to DTW late on Sunday, 1 December or even, perhaps, very early on Monday, 2 December. It is hoped that the Michigan contingent will fly out together, ideally with at least one adult accompanying them (unaccompanied minors flying across the country present problems for ticketing).
  3. Each team will play three forty-over matches; cricket whites are required.
  4. The team hotel is the Airtel, opposite the ground
  5. The leading teams in this tournament will be very well-prepared. North West Region (essentially, Northern California) has already announced what will certainly be a strong team, based around players from the top cricket academy in the USA, the California Cricket Academy. The C.E.R. team will be travelling “for experience”, although, of course, everyone will work hard to try to win matches.

In the past, MCA has regularly contributed players to C.E.R. U-15 teams. For example, MCA players participated in the national U-15 tournaments in 2009 (Northern California), 2010 (New Jersey), and 2011 (Connecticut), with the C.E.R. team finishing third, third, and seventh, respectively in what was in those years a single, nation-wide tournament. Reports can be found in the archives on this web site.  The leading members of those C.E.R. teams had quite extensive experience of age-level tournaments and some had played several years of league cricket – for example, MCA’s three representatives on the C.E.R. team two years ago had played in many youth tournaments over several years (California, Chicago, Toronto, etc) and all had played a significant number of matches for teams in Mich-CA league tournaments – ie, they had played quite a lot of adult club cricket, in addition to age-level tournaments. While this year’s Michigan players are likely to be far less experienced, they should expect an enjoyable tournament and, with the squad size anticipated to be quite small, ample playing opportunities.

Players interested in participating in this tournament (preferably in the age range 14/15) and willing to countenance the expenses involved should contact Michael Makin immediately. C.E.R. hopes to announce the final squad on the 20th, possibly after a training session in Chicago.

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Farmington C.C. Youth Tournament a Huge Success

Many of the forty-eight boys who played in the Farmington C.C. hard-tennis-ball tournament on Saturday, 24 August, were MCA members or associates. They all judged the tournament, played at Drake Sports Park in West Bloomfield, a huge success and an excellent model for spreading the game. The format enabled quite experienced youth cricketers to play alongside novices in an enjoyable, yet competitive environment. MCA congratulates Kamalakara Ambati and other officers of Farmington C.C., and eagerly anticipates further such events.

In the final, played under lights, the Panthers, led by Smit Chitre, narrowly defeated the Fireballs, led by Mithil Reddy.

The Fireballs, eventual runners-up

The teams pose, in some cases reluctantly, for a group photograph

Cricket under the lights

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Michigan Teams Win Silver Medals in Junior Olympics Cricket Tournament

Photograph courtesy of Malika Frank.

For the first time ever cricket has been included in the Amateur Athletics Union Junior Olympics, currently taking place in the Metro Detroit area, with 12,000 young athletes participating in some thirty sports. The Junior Olympics Cricket Tournament was held over the weekend of 27/28 July at three of the area’s best cricket grounds: Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills; Troy Community Center; and Lyon Oaks Park, Wixom.

[Since no official score sheets were available at the time of writing, all scores are provisional and will be updated as soon as possible. Results, however, are accurate.]

In the U-15 bracket Cricket League of New Jersey, coached by DreamCricket’s Earl Daley and managed by Malika Frank, overwhelmed an inexperienced Michigan Cricket Association team, managed by Swati Chitre and coached by Abhinhav Varma and Rajan, winning the first match of the three-match series by over 100 runs and the third match by nine wickets (the second was abandoned in the third over because of torrential rain). CLNJ’s team included players with extensive experience in youth cricket – leg spinner Vivek Narayan, who two years ago played for the USA U-15s at the age of twelve, the Ramrattan brothers Raymond (captain) and Richard, who have consistently starred at youth tournaments for several years, and Gauranshu Sharma, a veteran of overseas and Canadian tours with select teams. Guaranshu’s 41 not out, together with Man-of-the-Match Shekhar Kripalani’s 52 not out, provided the lion’s share of CLNJ’s monster total of 170/2 in the first match, at Lyon Oaks, after Mich-CA captain Smit Chitre had won the toss and invited the visitors to bat. It was no surprise that the home team struggled in their reply, although Aditya Das, with 26, put up an excellent fight. In the third match, on Sunday morning at Bloomer, Mich-CA batted first and struggled on a drying pitch and heavy outfield, posting a modest total of 48 (“extras” leading the way), which CNLJ bettered within nine overs for the loss of just one wicket. Man-of-the-Match was Advait Manur. A friendly match at TCC followed. Despite seeing their well-prepared team dominate the hosts, Daley and Frank were generous in their praise of the tournament and looked forward to further visits to Michigan.

Mich-CA’s U-15 squad, photograph courtesy of Malika Frank

CNLJ hands firmly on the winners’ trophy, photograph courtesy of Malika Frank

The U-19 bracket saw four teams compete in an initial round-robin – Phoenix XI, representing Bloomfield’s International Academy, coached by Mohamed Ali, North-east Region/Southern Connecticut, coached by Jay Singh and managed by Mohan Radakrishan, Midwest Cricket Conference Colts, coached by Akhil Sridher and managed by Krishna Meluveetil, and Michigan Cricket Association U-19s, managed by Mich-CA Secretary and MCA Information Director Michael Makin (the author of this report).

The novice cricketers of International Academy (their side strengthened by two guest players from MWCC) struggled in all three matches.  In the first they concedied 200 runs to Mich-CA  to lose by over 140 runs. Mich-CA’s Iftekhar Hussain scored 67 not out in short order, Aniruddha Mayasandra 48, Gordon Makin 42; Man-of-the-Match Mayasandra’s bouncing, fast-turning left-arm spin accounted for four IA batsmen and Burhan Khan’s speed was always too much for the beginners. IA lost their second match by almost 150 runs to MWCC, who posted 170/6 and dismissed IA for 21, before they bowed out to NER on Sunday.

NER, fielding a relatively inexperienced side, with opening batsman Karanjit Singh of Connecticut probably the senior man, posted a modest total of 57 against MWCC in their first match of the tournament, at Bloomer Park, with accurate medium pacer Rahul Kosgi (three wickets), leg-spinner Nauman Khan (two), and man-of-the match J. J. Goenka leading the Chicagoland bowlers. However, the men from the East Coast would have been encouraged by a bowling performance that put the Chicago team under a little pressure, taking five wickets before MWCC overtook the NER total, and would, no doubt, have also comforted themselves with the knowledge that they had lost to the most experienced side in the tournament, match-hardened by their recent participation in MWCC’s midweek tournament, played under lights, during which the Colts team recorded a fine victory against a senior side.

The Mich-CA vs NER match on Saturday afternoon at Bloomer Park looked set to determine who would play MWCC in the final, as news came through of the travails of the International Academy team against the Chicagoans, but, sadly, rain intervened again. Mich-CA had posted a solid, but not overwhelming total of 115, with top contributions of 42 from Mayasandra and another powerful knock from Iftekhar (37), but had, in the opinion of some observers, played a dangerously high number of “dot balls”; in the sixth over NER were 22/2 before torrential rain made the field completely unplayable.

The abandonment meant that, if Mich-CA beat MWCC on Sunday morning at TCC, or lost narrowly, they would play the Chicagoans in the final, while NER had to overwhelm IA and hope. In fact, a narrow win for Mich-CA was to eliminate NER.

On a Sunday morning the two Midwestern teams, full of players who had played with and against one another for five or more years, lined up in friendly, but intense competition at TCC. The MWCC captain, Arjun Ahuja, won the toss and elected to bat, but Mich-CA’s bowling resources, strengthened on Sunday by Zamil Rahman, playing in place of Khan, who had work commitments, alongside steady medium-pacer Ahsanul Hoque, all-rounders Foyaz-Ahmed Lingkon and Hamza Ansari, and spinner Mayasandra, made things difficult for the Chicagoans. The hosts were generous in the field, dropping opener Paarth Joshi four times (with several of the chances embarrassingly easy), but no MWCC player was able to take full advantage of the errors, and Mich-CA looked at a target of 107 on the smallest ground in the tournament with some confidence. The hosts replaced Makin with Lingkon at the top of the order, and the powerful Hamtramck man gave Mich-CA a strong start, despite fellow-opener Mayasandra’s early dismissal, but when he fell for 26 and man-of-the-match Iftekhar was caught and bowled by Goenka for 38, the Michigan men wobbled. Makin, batting at four, steadied the ship, playing sensibly, scoring mostly ones and twos with ground shots, until his second four brought the hosts to within two of victory, whereupon an injudicious attempted pull saw him fall lbw to the nagging line and length of Arnav Sridher. When Sridher’s next ball removed the incoming batsman, also lbw, there were some nerves in the Michigan tent, but Zamil took a single off the first ball of the next over and a Chicago wide settled the match.

Rain intervened again at Bloomer Park in the afternoon, but, despite delays and anxieties, the final, reduced to eighteen overs, was completed. The hosts won the toss and chose to bat, with Lingkon and Makin opening. When, after a cautious start, Lingkon began to dispatch the visiting bowlers with some enthusiasm, only to be caught on the boundary for 14 by Man-of-the-Match Tarang Patel, running from long-on to long-off to take an excellent catch, the pattern of the Mich-CA innings was set – fine plays in the field dismissing aggressive batsmen when well set. Paarth Joshi was particularly distinguished, taking three excellent catches, making sure that none of Mich-CA’s leading batsmen got the runs their starts suggested were possible. Iftikhar and Zamil both posted quick double-digit scores, and opener Makin began to open his shoulders, pulling a ball that pitched on middle stump over the long midwicket boundary for six, but they all fell to fine fielding, with Makin’s dismissal for 23 (top score in the match) perhaps crucial in keeping Mich-CA’s score down — his attempt to lift Sridher’s first ball, a half-volley, over deep mid-on foiled by a brilliant one-handed grab, arm fully-extended, from Joshi, who was also to contribute 17 with the bat. Nonetheless, Mich-CA felt that, on a wet wicket and a heavy outfield, 95 in 18 overs could be defended.

More rain came after the fifth over of MWCC’s reply, with the visitors on 21/2, sending everyone to their DL calculators. After some twenty minutes, play was resumed, with the Michigan skies constantly changing and DL par scores being communicated to both teams after each over. At first MWCC, then Mich-CA, went ahead on DL par, but, as the skies cleared, it looked as if the hosts, who had taken wickets regularly, despite the problems of bowling and keeping in difficult conditions, had the advantage. Mayasandra’s spin had been very effective in the later overs, while MWCC had not cashed in on further fielding errors from the hosts. With two overs left and all of MWCC’s recognized batsman gone, Mich-CA seemed confident of victory: 18 required off 12 balls. Lingkon bowled a good over, conceding just five runs, and removing Patel for 20. Thirteen off six balls seemed a huge target for MWCC’s tail, with Monit Khandwala and Rahul Kosgi in. On the boundary, some supporters of the local side thought that the captain would bring himself on for the final over, but, instead, he turned to pace. The last over began in the worst possible way for Mich-CA, as a chest high no ball brushed the batsman on its way to fine leg – three runs, and still six balls left. Suddenly, the visitors had hope again, and their players and supporters beyond the boundary raised their voices in support of their ninth-wicket pair. Wides, some struggles in the wet outfield, and aggressive running between the wickets brought the target down to four off two balls – still a big “ask”, although it might have been bigger if Mich-CA had brought the field in against the less aggressive of the two batsmen. With the tension as palpable as the humidity, Monit Khandwala stepped up to drive a good length ball wide of long-off and across the boundary, winning the match with MWCC’s first four of the innings. Ecstatic MWCC players, coaches, and supporters rushed on to the field to embrace their brave batsmen; a deflated Mich-CA team walked off with their heads down, although they were quick to congratulate their friends and rivals from Illinois. Tarang Patel’s excellent catch and his 20, top score for MWCC, saw him win the man-of-the-match award, although, at the awards ceremony, the Chicago team was quick to invite Khandwala, late-middle-order batsman Salman Khan (11), and Kosgi up to the podium to share the trophy.

The closing ceremony saw the AAU’s Casey Todt and Mich-CA’s Shahid Ahmed speak warmly of the collaboration that had led to the award of Junior Olympics medals to all participants, and the inclusion of cricket in an AAU event for the first time in the organization’s 120-year history. Tournament Director Avinash Komireddy and Grounds Management Head Yoginder Seagan were congratulated for their tireless efforts, while visiting umpire Deepak Katte of New Jersey was thanked for his outstanding work. Coaches, managers, and parents were also thanked for their work, and hopes were expressed for further successful youth tournaments – surely vital for the development of the game in the United States.

The local players went home disappointed to be runners-up in both brackets, but they U-15s could feel that they had made a very solid start to their careers as competitive cricketers, and the enthusiasm of their parents bodes well for the future, while the U-19s, who had never assembled as a playing XI before Saturday morning, had good reason to be very proud of their efforts throughout the tournament. As Bloomer Park emptied under yet more drizzle, several players also remarked on what a pleasure it was to see so many old friends from across the country and to make new ones – a reminder that cricket, for all the intensity of competition, remains perhaps the most social of all team sports.

The victorious Midwest squad, with Casey Todt of the AAU, photograph courtesy of Krishna Meluveetil

Iftekhar celebrates his man-of-the-match trophy and his 169 runs in the tournament, photograph courtesy of Iftekhar Hussain.

1)

    Mich-CA U-15s
1)  Abhinav Narayan
2)      Aditya Das
3)      Adwaith Rajan
4)      Ardeshir Irani
5)      Dikshanth Sharma
6)      Dhanush Bhathala
7)      Dheeraj Kakulavaram
8)      Hardeep Singh
9)      Mustafa Malik
10)   Neil Makin
11) Soham Desai
12) Smit Chitre (c)
11)  Shreyas Bolar
14) Saikishen Narayan
15) Tejas Bolar
Mich-CA U-19s
1.    Ansari, Hamza
2.    Hoque, Md Ahsanul
3.    Hussain, Iftekhar
4.    Khan, Burhan Uddin
5.     Lingkon, Foyaz-Ahmed
6.    Makin, Gordon
7.    Malik, Mohammad
8.    Mayasandra, Aniruddha (c)
9.    Saad, Muhamad
10.    Singh, Simranjit
11.    Jamil, Farhan
12.    Waseem, Shayan
14.    Rahman, Zamil


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MichCA Indoor Tournament Final Tonight (Saturday 13 April, 7 pm)

The Michigan Cricket Association reminds everyone that the final of the MichCA indoor tournament will take place tonight in Auburn Hills, spectators are very welcome.  MCA’s own Anurag Yerabati is expected to play in the match. Information below (reproduced from the official announcement):

“Michigan Cricket Association USA would like to congratulate  Gladiators CC and Michigan Premier CC for making it to the final of the Winter Indoor Tournament 2013. We are grateful to Susheel Bhat and Shahid Malik for organizing the tournament. Special thanks to Shahid Malik and others for helping in umpiring the games at no cost to the league.

Please join us to watch the Final and encourage the players from both the teams.

Final will be played today, 4/13 at 7:00pm

Tournament Venue:

Great Lakes Golf Center,

3951 Joslyn Road,

Auburn Hills, MI – 48326″

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Atlanta U-17 Side Seeks a Player for Matches in Chicago

Next weekend (29-30 September), an Atlanta U-17 side, managed by Vijay Ganji, travels to Chicago to face a side representing the Midwest Cricket Conference. MCA is already planning to contribute a player to the Atlanta side, but Coach Ganji is looking for one more player to complete his XI. If you are interested in playing, please contact MCA’s Information Director immediately.

Below are the details of the series, as published on the MWCC web site:

MWCC – U-17/U-19 TOURNAMENT

In its continuing quest to help young players in this region improve and refine their cricketing skills, Midwest Cricket Conference is proud to present the inaugural inter-city Youth Tournament for primarily Under 17 (and some Under 19) cricketers.

One of the best-known Cricket Academies in the country – Cricket Academy USA of Atlanta, Georgia, led by our very own Anand Tummala (coach of the Shekhs/Tushar Youth Coaching Camps) – will be touring Chicago over the weekend of the 29th and 30th of September, 2012. They have very kindly agreed to play Midwest Youth in 2 40-over games, one on each day.

Dates: September 29 & 30, 2012
Format: 40-over games, one on each day
Location: Chicago, IL
Teams: Midwest Youth vs Cricket Academy USA (Under-17 teams, with 2 Under-19 players permitted in each playing XI)

Players Eligible:
Under 17 Qualification: Born on or after April 1, 1994 (ie less than 17-and-364-days at start of season)
Under 19 Qualification: Born on or after April 1, 1992 (ie less than 19-and-364-days at start of season)

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Ford — U. S. Corporate Cricket Champions, 2012

MichCA has announced that Ford won the U. S. Corporate Cricket Championship at Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, yesterday (Sunday, 26th August). Ford, who beat G.E. twice in group matches on Saturday, knocked out second-ranked Caterpillar in a tight semi-final, and then narrowly defeated top-ranked Chrysler (victors over Tata and Infosys in group play, and G.M. in the semi-finals) to take a record fifth championship. This year, for the first time ever, a draft of available guest players took place: every corporate team was able to add to their squad up to four Michigan cricketers not affiliated with their own business; teams were also able to select one U-19 player. Three MCA players took place in the tournament – seventeen-year-old Ani Mayasandra, a second-round draft pick for Infosys, who carried his bat for an unbeaten 55 (his maiden half-century) in his team’s victory over Tata, and was Man of the Match; sixteen-year-old Gordon Makin, a youth pick for G.E., who opened the batting and kept wicket in his team’s two matches against Ford (Gordon top-scored for G.E. in the first match); and twenty-one-year-old Anurag Yerabati, a fourth-round draft pick for Blue Cross Blue Shield, who played in one match for his team and performed very creditably (full details not available at the time of writing).

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Good Day for MCA in U.S. Corporate Cricket Championship

Provisional scores for the first day  of the U.S. Corporate Cricket Championship, organized by the Michigan Cricket Association, suggest that the familiar big-name teams did well (Ford, Chrysler, Caterpillar, G.M.), but also tell a great tale for MCA. Seventeen-year-old Ani Mayasandra, a second-round draft choice for Infosys, scored his maiden half-century against Tata on Saturday afternoon at the Canton ground, carrying his bat for an unbeaten and chanceless 55, as Infosys chased down 136 in 15 overs. He also took one wicket and one catch in Infosys’s second match, a defeat to Chrysler. Ani was Man of the Match for Infosys against Tata.

Meanwhile, at Lyon Oaks, sixteen-year-old MCA wicket-keeper batsman Gordon Makin was the only G.E. player to reach double figures in the morning match against a strong Ford side (who would go on to beat Caterpillar in the semi-final on Sunday and Chrysler in the final), making a chanceless 34 in 17 overs (out of a total of 78), falling when the order to hit out came from the boundary as GE worked hard to build a fighting total; GE then battled to defend a disappointing score, after being put in by Ford (who were aware that dew would slow the outfield and make the wicket skiddy), but went down by 7 wickets. Chandon Sood for Ford took 3/9 in four overs, while Ford’s Sriram equaled Gordon’s 34 in a victorious reply, completed in 12.2 overs. G.E., obliged to play a second successive match against Ford (because of the late withdrawal of NYX), put in the automobile makers in the afternoon match, and saw them make a solid 150/8 off 20 overs (aided by a series of good partnerships, a number of missed chances, and 25 wides); Gordon took a fine diving catch behind the stumps. G.E.’s reply began well, as Gordon and Kumar put on 40+ in seven overs, but after the MCA opener fell for 16, well caught in the gully off a fierce edge, only Kumar (an impressive 51) offered serious opposition, and G.E. went down by some 40 runs.  Ford’s Naupreet tormented the batsmen, taking four wickets in four overs.

Details from the matches at Bloomer are yet to reach MCA, but it is understood that MCA’s third Corporate Cup player, twenty-one-year-old Anurag Yerabati (Motown-MCA vice-captain and a fourth-round draft pick) was given only one match by his BCBS team, but performed creditably.

Two of tomorrow’s semi-finalists are known to MCA at the time of writing: Chrysler and Ford. Tomorrow’s final is scheduled for 2.30 at Bloomer Park, with live video streaming on the Internet.

Further details of the USCCC will be posted when they become available.

 

 

G.E. team between matches against Ford at Lyon Oaks on Saturday.

 

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USCCC Semi-finalists Announced

MichCA has just announced tomorrow’s semi-final line-up in the U.S. Corporate Cricket Championship: Chrysler will play G.M. at Bloomer Park, match starting at 10; Ford will play Caterpillar at Lyon Oaks, match starting at 9.30. The final is scheduled for 2.30 p.m. at Bloomer Park. MCA players and friends are warmly encouraged to attend the matches.

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Staten Island Cricket Festival, 29-31 August

Radhakrishna Mohan, Youth Coordinator of the Staten Island Cricket Club (founded in 1872 and the oldest continuously operated cricket club in the country), this week contacted MCA to inform the Academy “that Staten Island Cricket Club is hosting a Youth Cricket Festival from August 29th to 31st, 2012.” He continued, “I am not sure whether any of your youngsters would be interested in joining us for this festival, either as a team or as individual members — we can accommodate some of the youngsters in our team or other teams…”. While MCA will not be able to field a team in the tournament, MCA members and associates are warmly encouraged to participate if they can, especially since last year’s festival was very successful. For more information, please contact Mr Mohan directly.

Click here to download Festival flyer.

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Belle Isle – A Cricket Venue Since 1915

This week MCA continues publication of an occasional series of articles on the history of cricket in Michigan. MCA’s Information Director has begun a research project to uncover the story of the sport in the State, and hopes to publish the preliminary results of his findings on this web site in the coming weeks and months. He would welcome any information about the story of the sport in the Detroit area and beyond; if you would like to share your memories or any information that might be of interest, please do not hesitate to contact him.

At a recent match on Belle Isle a chance conversation with a spectator led to the beginning of a small research project on the history of cricket in Michigan. The spectator, who watched M.P.C.C. triumph over Lions C. C. in a MichCA T20 match, spoke of his shock at the state of the Belle Isle ground, on which he had played in the 1970s, when it was, he said, in excellent condition. In those days, he continued, two Detroit teams, one representing the East Side and one the West, played declaration games and also 20-over games (a reminder that what we now call the T20 format has been popular in club cricket for many decades) against clubs from southern Ontario. He mentioned Windsor, London, and Kitchener (presumably, these matches were in the Southern Ontario Cricket Association, which has a long, unbroken history of running the sport just across the border). Most of the Detroit cricketers in those days, the spectator added, were West Indian expatriates.

It is well known that Belle Isle has hosted cricket matches for some time (and it is surely regrettable that the two grounds at a location of such potential appeal and pronounced visibility are now in such poor condition – if the island passes into the hands of new administrators, as seems likely, it is very much to be hoped that improvements on the two fields will be on the agenda).

An article in Chicago’s Daily Defender for 2 July, 1957, reports a victory for South Park Cricket Club over Woodlawn C. C. at Chicago’s Washington Park and concludes “South Park this weekend invades Detroit for a July 4 cricket series with the Detroit C. C. at Belle Isle”. Further research will almost certainly reveal a rich post-war history for the game on Detroit’s most appealing island.

More surprising, however, is the discovery that Belle Isle has hosted cricket matches for at least 97 years. A brief announcement in the Detroit Free Press for 12 June 1915 is headlined “2 Cricket Games Sunday: New League Will Start Matches at Belle Isle”. The initial matches would see North Detroit play West Detroit and East Detroit play South Detroit. The games were both to start at 2 pm, so there must have been at least two cricket fields. “A large crowd of cricket fans is expected at these opening games, as the great British sport has taken a firm hold here”. The names of the players mentioned in the announcement – Rennix, Stone, Collins, Dunbar, Dunn, and Robinson – suggest that this “great British sport” may have been played primarily by men of British origin, although West Indian participation should not, of course, be ruled out.

It seems that the Belle Isle league was part of a cricket renaissance, after a relatively fallow period in the early years of the twentieth century. A year later the Free Press ran a piece entitled “Cricket Gains in Popularity: Big Crowds Interested in Game; Many Intercity Matches Planned” (11 June, 1916):

One of Detroit’s most popular summer sports is cricket. If the crowds that have gone to Belle Isle to witness the games may be considered a criterion, and followers of the game are looking for a bumper season this year. [sic]

The league has been increased to six teams and a crowd of new players are on the roll, many of whom are first-class players. Besides the league games, there will be a number of intercity matches to test the caliber of the local players. Last season Detroit played four games with outside clubs, beating St George’s [the great New York club, for which Cricketarchive records matches from 1840 to 1929; the Wikipedia article on the club provides some further information, noting, inter alia, that it was this club that hosted the first ever international match, between the USA and Canada in 1844], losing to Ridley College [St Catharines, Ontario], and at Cleveland, while rain stopped the Cleveland game here when the locals had a good margin.

This season Detroit hopes to prove … one of the best cricket cities and Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and Jackson are among the teams expected to be seen here. Sunday the league schedule will open… As last year, Belle Isle will be the scene of the games, and three pitches will be prepared…

Quite how long the league lasted and how popular the game was in the later 1910s and beyond remains to be explored, while the discovery of photographs of early cricket on Belle Isle is another goal. However, even this preliminary research may give pause for thought to today’s league cricketers as they struggle across the rutted outfield on the island’s ground – they were preceded as Belle Isle cricketers by Rennix, Stone, Collins, Dunbar, Dunn, Robinson, and many others almost one hundred years ago…

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