Tag Archives: cricket

Queens cricket all-stars win city’s Mayor’s Cup and bragging rights

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Julienne Schaer/NYC Mayor’s Cup

High School for Construction senior Keifer Phill lived in the shadow of the PSAL’s top batsman, Derick Narine of John Adams, during the 2014 cricket season. But Phill finally got his moment in the sun.

Phill, who recently competed with the USA national under-19 team, scored 28 runs including 4 fours to lead the Queens all-star team to victory in the Cricket Mayor’s Cup on Saturday, June 21 with a score of 94-91 against a team comprised of the best players from Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. Although they already knew it, Queens can now officially call itself the best borough for cricket.

Surprisingly, Narine, who lead the PSAL in runs (858) during the season and led John Adams to win the PSAL city championship, didn’t score a run in the game and went down quietly after being caught behind. This left Phill, who was third (302) in scoring during the season, to pick up the slack.

Phill won MVP honors for his batting and bowling performance, which included four catches and two wickets for 24 runs.
After Phill retired, Mohammed Hossin of Newcomers High School scored 23 runs and Nick Harripersaud of Hillcrest High School scored 14 runs for the win.



Cricket gaining popularity in city

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Anwer Hossain


When Anwer Hossain moved to New York City as a young child from Pakistan, he searched all over New York for a place to play his country’s beloved sport: cricket.

But it wasn’t as easy as he thought to find one.

“I used to love [playing] it as a child,” Hossain said. “I started searching for teams in New York, but it was really difficult to find one.”

That soon changed, as Hossain is now a part of the New York Cricket League and the Commonwealth Cricket League, currently playing for Castle Hill Cricket Club.

The sport of cricket is a way for immigrants- mostly from the West Indies and parts of Asia- to feel at home in America. Lately, more and more opportunities have been popping up for those looking to play the game, according to Hossain and cricket promoters.

Eric Ferrier, who founded the New York Softball Cricket League, said it was hard to round up members across the state when he was starting the organization.

But Ferrier, who is of Guyanese descent, boasts that today the league has nearly 2,500 players in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Long Island.

He credits a lot of the success to word-of-mouth promotion from the league’s current players.

And although word of mouth is important to the game’s recent growth, some believe a lot of credit also belongs to the NYPD’s annual cricket tournament.

The tournament, which has been going on for about six years, is hosted in either Queens or the Bronx every year for players ranging from 14-19 years old. This year’s tournament was played in Flushing. Its aim is to develop a relationship with the city’s immigrant community.

“We do a lot of outreach work with the new immigrant community,” said Sgt. Adeel Rana, who founded the tournament.

Rana said, despite the improvements in the sport’s popularity, there is still much to do when it comes to the fields in which the sport is played.

“I think one of the top priorities should be creating more fields,” Rana said. “Every park has a baseball field, but not a lot have cricket fields.”

Those concerns have the opportunity to be addressed if Councilmember Ruben Wills’ proposed bill to create a cricket task force to help promote the sport is passed. Wills’ bill has been introduced to the City Council, but has yet to be voted on.

“I support [the bill]. The politicians are very important to getting things done,” Rana said.

While he is optimistic for the sport’s future, Hossain noted that cricket still has a way to go before it can become a mainstream American sport.

“I love the sport. I would do anything for it,” Hossain said. But he added, “It’s going to be really difficult to reach that point.”



Queens councilmember introduces bill to promote cricket in NYC

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Get ready for some wicket fun.

Councilmember Ruben Wills introduced a bill to promote cricket in the city as the game continues to increase in popularity.

“We just were dealing with organizations and groups… and one of the things that kept coming up is the lack of cricket fields,” Wills said.

The bill seeks to create a nine-person task force that would gather information about the sport and plan strategies to advance the game. The group will talk to people and look at the benefits, including health, educational and economic improvements that the sport could bring. Wills hopes that the task force results in creating more cricket fields around the city and he believes that it’s even possible that a dedicated cricket stadium could be built.

“We want to understand everything cricket can bring,” Wills said. “I believe the stadium is possible and I don’t believe it will take light years.”

The task force will be made of three members selected by the new mayor, one appointed by the council speaker, and five by the borough presidents.

The bill is being considered by the City Council’s Parks Committee, and Wills said they are getting ready for a hearing in September and a vote in October.

As a reflection of the popularity of cricket in the borough, Queens high schools have won the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) cricket championship in five out of six years since the sport was included in the citywide league in 2008.




Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane


Friday: Overcast with thunderstorms and a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 84. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Friday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. Low of 70. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free Outdoor Movie: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”

Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. Bring a chair or blanket. Starts at 7:30 p.m. in Brookville Park. Rated PG. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens Councilman Ruben Wills launches a push to promote cricket

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Long Island City bests John Adams for city cricket championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Liam La Guerre

Captain Troy Mars of John Adams High School was undoubtedly the most dominant cricket batsman in the PSAL this season.

Players, coaches and announcers said that if Mars, who led the PSAL in runs (739) and had three century performances (117, 177 and 194 runs), heated up in the PSAL Cricket Championship on June 16, the Spartans would seize the title.

However, the Long Island City (LIC) Bulldogs had a Trojan horse and Troy fell.

Fast-bowler Redwanur Khan shattered the middle leg of Mars’ wicket in the seventh over with a seemingly hittable ball, which the standout Spartan whiffed, giving the undefeated Bulldogs (17-0) the momentum to overpower the Spartans, 158-119, and take their first crown at Baisley Park in Jamaica.

“I just bowled my regular ball. I put it on the line and I got his wicket,” said Khan, who won Best Bowler of the final for his two wickets, 13 run outing.

After taking Mars’ wicket, Khan celebrated by chest bumping a teammate on the pitch, because he thought it was a given that they would win.

“Our main target was Troy Mars, because he’s really good,” he said. “So we got him, and we thought we are going to win the game.”

And Khan’s predication held true. Following Mars, who was limited far below his 67-run average to just 18 runs, the Spartans (14-2) began falling quickly.

Vice captain Randall Wilson lost his wicket in the eight over, and Khan dropped his second wicket in the ninth over against Harmanveer Singh.

“It was very disappointing, because my whole team was depending on me and I disappointed them,” Mars said. “I just want to say sorry to my team.”

John Adams made it to the final game for the third time in five years, but once again the title eluded the Spartans.

The Bulldogs continued to attack relentlessly, tying up the Spartans’ batsmen until in the 20th over with the final delivery and mathematically assured victory, Bulldogs Captain Mustafa Mahnaz bowled out the 10th and final out.

“Everybody said to me, we need this wicket,” Mahnaz said. “We don’t want to win by the over; we want to win by the wicket. And I just looked at the stump and I bowled the ball.”

Last year the Bulldogs failed to capture the crown when they lost in the final against Brooklyn’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a super over, but this year LIC brought enough firepower for the job.

Mars won the coin toss, but allowed LIC to bat first. The Bulldogs powered a solid 158 runs, while only losing five batsmen.

Attaur Khan led the bulldogs with 33 runs, slamming 3 sixes and 1 four, and won the Best Batsman award. Redwanur Khan and Sajib Salam also added 25 runs apiece in the win.

“I was very confident about every single player,” said Bulldogs coach Dharmvir Gehlaut. “They were hungry for this championship; for them it’s meat. When you’re a hungry lion or tiger you don’t see what else is in the field you just go and grab your share.”