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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cricket in Marina beach .... in The Hindu Downtown

On a Sandy pitch 
Many hearts broke when cricket at the Marina was banned in 2009. S. SAMPATHKUMAR recalls the camaraderie the sport fostered on the beach sands.

For every visitor, Marina beach offers cool breeze and a serene atmosphere. For some of those who are middle aged, it brings memories of beach cricket.

Until 2009, Marina beach played host to cricket matches, many of them played simultaneously on its sands. The beach has been a cradle for many great cricketers. They would hone their cricketing skills playing on its sands. Beach matches would forge great friendships. There have been cases of beach players recommending their mates for good jobs. Members of Srinivas Young Men’s Association (SYMA) would regularly visit the Marina to play cricket.

We would play on the beach for hours. Through beach cricket, we managed to win many over to SYMA (a voluntary organisation committed to improving living standards in Triplicane). SYMA has conducted annual tournaments in fond memory of one of its office bearers.

Beach cricket had its own rules, which were often tweaked to suit the wind. There used to be three-day matches and matches of shorter durations as well. As in the IPL, most players were loyal to their teams. Occasionally, some transfers occurred. Many shops at the beach thrived because of these cricketers.

It is sad that when beach cricket was banned at the Marina in 2009, an alternative was not provided.

City youngsters have not been provided any replacement for this ‘great cricket ground’. We hope cricket would return to the sands of the Marina.
(S. Sampathkumar is secretary of SYMA and editor of Bliss, a newsletter brought out by the Association)

Today (21.12.2014) The Hindu Downtown  (Mylapore) carries my article on ‘beach Cricket at Marina’…. Special thanks to Ms. Liffy Thomas, The Hindu Downtown and Mr SR Ragunathan, Chief Photographer.

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