Street20 Cricket is a different game. UK-based Cricket For Change (C4C) has been using cricket to change the lives of disadvantaged young people. Magic Bus partnered with C4C last year with the support of Barclays Spaces for Sports to use the programme in India. A year down the line, three districts of Delhi / NCR played an exciting Street20 tournament. Team Magic Bus reports.
Hear it out from the winners first: “Weeks of extensive training with our coaches made us realise one sure thing about Street20. This is an entirely different form of Cricket – 20 balls and an almost equal number of minutes by your watch decide the winner. Sweating it out every day in a team of 6, winning against the others from our district and preparing to fight the final game with equally enthusiastic teams from the other districts (South and East) – it has been a thoroughly rich journey to the lush pitches of this college.” Kajal beamed with joy as she talked about the wonderful day when she played for team North One, lifted the cup with her fellows and won a gold medal for herself. Comprising a young bunch of excited boys and girls, all aged 10-14 years, hers was one of the 9 teams (three from each district) that had won the league matches in their respective districts to play in the Street20 tournament on June 15, 2012.
Interestingly, they played the final match with North Three, which won the District both the Winners and the Runners Up trophies.
The Street20 Cricket Tournament was organised by Magic Bus with generous support of Barclays Spaces for Sports at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (SGGSCC) at Pitampura, New Delhi. The college is very supportive of the game and has seen popular players like Virat Kohli practice on its grounds in the past. On Friday, it witnessed some fascinating Cricket being played by the little gems.
Standing right opposite the famous TV Tower at Pitampura, the very experience of playing in a college enthused new energies in the children. Their amazement rose higher upon learning about the tower and how Indian Army’s skydiving team carried out their first base jump from it in October 2010.
The day began with a round of congratulations to every team for having made it to the tournament. They were briefed about the rules and the fixtures for the matches. Soon, the children and team Magic Bus were joined by 17 volunteers from Barclays. The young corporate men and women enjoyed choosing to be a part of their favourite teams and spent some time sharing tips and tricks of the game with them. Some of them talked to their boys and girls about life, others formed strategy, still others practiced and yet there were many who just jostled and had fun with colourful childhood. Far away in the college blocks, the students gathered around in groups to see excitement and action, all sandwiched between the blue sky, the green grass and the blue jerseys garnished with volunteers in all possible shades of anticipation.
Following a true Magic Bus-style march past and formation, the teams played a total of 6 league matches and 3 eliminators before 4 teams – North One, North Three, South One and South Two – made it to the semifinals. The Barclays youngsters happily offered to engage in writing little names of children’s big certificates, covering up for the boundaries, getting distributing water and snacks, quick-training the children on various bowling and batting methodologies, volunteering for running commentary and many other things to make the players excited, comfortable and energetic. They were amused at learning about a new form of cricket – which involved very different rules like ‘all bowling to be done from one end’, ‘no LBWs’ and ‘even if you hit a 4, you can still run and score more runs on the same ball’ – and shared their thoughts about the game.
“I’m most happy about the spirit of these youngsters. They are winning, they are losing but none of them is unhappy”, said Piyush Sharma from Barclays. Piyush was a part of one of the teams, and trained his boys and girls on defensive play and how to score the maximum runs.
The semi-finals were played between North One and South Two, and North Three and South One. North did better in both the matches played simultaneously on two pitches of the ground, and eventually ended up picking both the cups, and all the 12 medals in the end.
Dr Jatinder Bir Singh, Principal of SGGSCC gave away the prizes to children. A soft-spoken, yet happy Singh said, “We are happy to see organisations like Magic Bus doing such a great job for not just children, but sport as well.” The children were happy to answer his questions like “do you bat or bowl?”, “would you play with us?” and many others, as he personally walked up to the ground to individually award medals to each child. Singh interacted with the Magic Bus team led by Anuj Bhatia, Delhi/NCR State’s Programme Head as he apprised the Principal further on Magic Bus’ work.
The day ended with an exciting friendly match between mixed teams comprising members from Barclays and Magic Bus. This was an interesting 9-a-side match, which brought out a lot of cheer and action in the elder kids aka those from the corporate and the NGO. In this five-over match, team A set up a target of 46 runs, which was chased defended pretty well by them. In return, team B slowly crawled to 38 runs, and had to score 10 runs on the last ball. Even the different, generous rules of Street20 couldn’t suffice for such a target on a single ball, and eventually team A won.
Said Sarabjeet, “This was a wonderful day. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being with the kids, they are fun. Teaching them to throw the ball was a learning for me too.”
THE TEAMS (comprising of 4 boys and 2 girls, aged 10-14, led by community youth leaders and mentors):
North One: Jugesh, Sagar, Vikas, Himanshu, Saroj, Kajal
North Two: Amit, Deepak, Vivek, Suraj, Shakshi, Rani
North Three: Amit, Amit, Sumit, Neha, Rinku, Mamta
South One: Anjali, Aarti, Kishan, Kunal, Harshil, Ankit
South Two: Sonui, Rane, Rohit, Ajay, Satdev, Sunny
South Three: Kishan, Renu, Kavita, Pushpender, Satvinder, Dayal
East One: Pankaj, Shubham, Vishal, Adity, Swati, Krishna
East Two: Ashish, Deepak, Durgesh, Rajan, Priyanka, Sunita
East Three: Sudarshan, Abhishek, Suraj, Sunil, Khushboo, Ekta
THE VOLUNTEERS FROM BARCLAYS:
Piyush Sharma, Sarabjeet Kaur, Jagjeet Singh, Manish Chauhan, Amit Kumar Tiwary, Vikas Kumar, Puneet Bhargava, Anshul Gupta, Vivek Kumar, Ravi Gupta, Kamna Sharma, Devanshu Mukarji, Pavan Kumar, Anurag Goel, Kulbhushan Tomar, Digin Devassy, Tushank Arora
A big thank you to Barclays for all the support!
Virat Kohli supports Magic Bus through the #BeASport Campaign.Back