Road to a National Championship !

by Mohammad Suleman.

York College Cricket Club earnestly thanks American College Cricket and its President/Organizer/Founder Mr. Lloyd Jodah. We would also like to congratulate all the participants for a successful 2012 Spring Break Championship that was held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. from March 14-18, 2012.
York College Cricket Club started in spring of 2010 with the help of American College Cricket president Mr. Lloyd Jodah. Within two months, Cardinals put together the team and registered to compete in 2010 Spring Break Championship where York C were the runner-up after a big loss to York University from Canada. In the same year, 2010 American College Cricket North-East Regional Championship, York lost to City Tech (CUNY) in a thriller.
In the year, 2011 York Cardinals struggled to put together a team for 2011 National Championship due to exam schedule and lack of resources. However, York Cardinals came back strongly in 2011 Regionals and won the title after defeating NJIT in the finals. All the games in 2011 Regionals were televised by TV Asia. It was the best thing that happened to US Cricket in ages.
Year 2012, brought great success for York College Cricket Club. Coming strongly from winning the Regional title just 2 months ago, York Cardinals were committed and ready to take on any challenge. I would like to highlight the hard work of newly elected Club President, Shamas Rehman and Team Captain Khizar Abbas, working hand to hand with Club members, Hayat Sikandar, Bilal Shahid, Akeem Dodson, Yasin Khan, Kashif Choudry, Mudassir Hussain, Hugo D O’Liveira, and Rodigan Micheal. The addition of Karan Ganesh on the team was tremendous.
Cardinals entered the National arena with being one the favorites. York Cardinals defeating NYU-Poly, Auburn and University of Houston Clearlake in the first round, went on to beat Cleveland State in the play-offs and qualified for Semi-finals. On the other hand, USF and York University earned a spot in the Semi’s.
Sunday, March 18, 2012.
The stage was set. Sunny Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Was ready to host the Semi-finals and Final of 2012 American College Cricket Spring Break National Championship at the only ICC certified Cricket stadium in the United States of America. Coca Cola sponsored the event and TV Asia was there to cover the historic event. The crowd was building to witness a great day of action. The night before, back at Hotel, I tried learning how to swim. I was somewhat successful. Then I had a little laugh about people confusing York College with York University. USF moved into the finals after beating York University in the first Semi-final of the day.
Secondly, York Cardinals faced previously undefeated Texas A&M University. Texas A&M bowling first, got off to a ideal start by removing Bilal and Akeem very early. But, calm and smart Karan Ganesh and aggressive hitting by Captain Abbas set up a reasonable total of 147. In reply, Texas A&M were bowled out for 76. “This set up York to take on the University of South Florida in the final match, a team that has reached the Final Four in three of the past four seasons.”
2012 American College Cricket Spring Break National Championship- Finals
(York College Cardinals vs. University of South Florida)
Caridnals batting first scored 151/8 in 20 overs. Akeem Dodson top scoring 78 with Karan Ganesh adding 35 to the total. In reply, USF got off to a fiery start with their openers Sai Ramesh(MVP- 2012 Nationals) and Asgher Shiekh aka Abdullah. Some power hitting by both openers led to change in tactics and York College Captain brought the spin earlier than planned. Interestly, he brought me (Mohammad Suleman –Final MVP) on and I got the break-through for the team.
On the other hand, Sai Ramesh partnered with Indawalla continued their impressive stroke-play and built a strong partnership of 72. Things were looking bright for USF and they were sensing a victory here. I was there for the team. Team believed in me, and skipper brought me on for the second spell. I got the big fish. This changed everything for us. USF’s middle order collapsed. Cardinals were pumped up and had their hopes up again. Also, Bilal Shahid and Yasin Khan generated good pace in their second spells with a mix of slow balls and got 2 wickets each. Karan Ganesh bowled handsomely outside off and bagged 2 wickets aswell. Finally, USF were bowled out for 129. York Cardinals were declared Champions of 2012 Nationals.
 I would like to congratulate all our Club members, College, fans, families and friends and Organizers for this great achievement. The Championship was well-organized and well structured. There was no secret to our success. It was all hard work and commitment. Some great all round performances, variation of pace and Spin bowling, attacking and well planned classy stroke playing, sharp fielding and lightning glove work. It was a job well done.
Photos by RIVERVIEW STUDIOS/Connie Yen

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