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Saturday, March 19, 2022

SYMA Cricket Tournament 2022

In Triplicane,  Cricket is another religion ~ Cricket bakhts would nonchalantly  talk not only about Tony Lewis’s England; Clive Lloyd’s Windies – in the same breathe about Buchibabu, CB Selvakumar breezy innings in Hindu trophy and of some great innings played at Beach cricket ! Morappakam Josyam Gopalan (a Triplicanite) delivered the first delivery in Ranji trophy -  CR Rangachari who sent George Headley’s stumps flying was another. 

Before him, there were cricket writers who still called the ball “the crimson rambler”, referred to the wicketkeeper as the “custodian of the gauntlets” and saw the ball speed “across the greensward”, as though the vocabulary of Merrie Olde England had never gone away. What in cold ritual the copy-boy carried to the telegraph office could be starkly factual – paragraphs of piled-up statistics as dry as kindling. Most match reports were written chronologically, beginning with the toss, and read for information rather than pleasure. The reader hardly ever got to find out the way the ground looked, the hue of either the pitch or the sky, or whether the clouds were wispy cirrus or moody nimbostratus. There was little sense either of how a batsman, bowler or fielder went about his work. Or how his physical appearance and mannerisms, quirky or otherwise, influenced it.    Then came this man !! 

He had  spent the Second World War years in Australia, where he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald and gave regular radio talks. He also wrote books on music, and completed his autobiography. After his return to England he resumed his connection with The Manchester Guardian as its London music critic. He continued to write on cricket, and produced books on both his specialisms. His work was publicly recognised by his appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964 and the award of a knighthood in 1967, while the music and cricket worlds acknowledged him with numerous honours. In his last years, he became a guru and inspirational figure to aspiring young writers. 

The man -  Neville Cardus.  Those genuine lovers cannot remain without watching the game … such is the love for the game that as Neville Cardus wrote – you travel in a train, see a bowler in his run-up, have your eyes fixed – though, you know very well aware  that what happened to that delivery – whether was hit for a six or got a wicket – who the bowler or batsman was – would never be know… still you see and enjoy…..   

Sonner the great extravaganza would begin.  The mega auction of IPL 2022 has painted admirable squads for all teams. Even the new entrants- LSG and GT have shopped quality players. However, the extended arrangement of 10 franchises has raised question marks regarding each team’s playing XI. Because of the limited availability of high calibre players, no team is free of voids or shortcomings. Even the giants like MI and CSK are experiencing loopholes despite their strong retentions. Overall also because of the erratic auction dynamics, every franchise has a chink in its armour.

Moving away from all the melee – to Triplicane 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  - later  SYMA has conducted annual tournaments in fond memory of S Vijayaraghavan, my classmate and an Office bearer at that time. 

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. 

After a long lull, today SYMA is back in Cricket – we are organizing a Tennis ball Cricket tournament in memory of our Ex-President N Ganapathi  at Arulmigu Sri Kapaleeswarar Thirukovil grounds at MYlapore (Opp to Ramakrishna Mutt) – 16 teams are participating in 10 overs a side game.  

This morning the tournament was inaugurated by Dr K Sridhar, Director & Senior Consultant, Plastic Surgery, Institute of Craniofacial, Aesthetic and Plastic surgery.  The tourney is now on .. .. first round will be over today, winners will play tomorrow and the valedictory function would be held at 5 pm on 20.3.2002, Chief Guest being CR Sredhar, Entrepreneur. 

Through the conduct of a Cricket tournament, SYMA aims to propagate the values of camaraderie, friendship, spirit of helping others, and social service. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Vice President – SYMA
Some photos of the event and some photos of the action !!


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