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Cosmos - A 2009 Season In Review

By S. Ali
Jan. 3rd, 2010
The Cosmos logo, worn by so many, remained flawless after twenty seven years sits conspicuously in the backdrop on a stage decorated with trophies to signal the end of another successful cricket season. And as the lone summer pastime comes to an end, you sometimes take the good with the bad, the rough with the smooth, through pressure, pains, and strains; it is a 'lifelong' commitment that demands steadfastness in adversity and a healthy appreciation of the good times when they make an appearance if you give your heart to cricket.


Ashmul Ali, Cosmos former skipper.

It was, by any measure, a fitting conclusion to the 2009 season. A season which punctuated a cosmos mold, one that has embodied the true spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie as cosmos embarked, yet again, on an all important mission. To show their appreciation and highlighted the career and contributions of their long serving members by honoring them with a benefit season and bestowed upon them the COSMOS GOLDEN CENTURION award instead of allowing their contributions to simply pale into insignificance.

Through the years, the game of cricket has borne many stripes to the avid cricketers who often succumbed to an intoxicated commitment by association, a commitment that seemingly becomes therapeutic to and unconsciously soothes an addictive appetite among the 'champions' of the game. The cosmos 2009 champion of the game and recipient of the Cosmos prestigious award was given to Shadi Khan for his more than thirty years of service to the game. It is an award that ultimately conveyed some purpose to an unswerving effort in playing and promoting the game in North America.

It is unquestionably a significant gesture of appreciation undertaken by any club let alone cosmos, a club that has made a concerted effort from its inception to document its passage through the years and recognized the stalwarts of their club. The celebratory benefit match highlighted the benefit season which featured a Twenty/20 double header - a masters showdown and a cosmos youth classic.

In addition to the benefit season Cosmos Annual Memorial Weekend in Hartford Connecticut sponsored by Shadi Khan commemorating his father-in-law Mr. Lowell “slim” Sutherland was a success. Carole Grayson, Dixeth Palmer, Ashmul Ali and former West Indies player Harold “Mystery Man” Joseph were honored for their participation in the event over the years. The new look Lowell ”Slim” Sutherland Cup glitters in Cosmos’ camp as they raised it for a record 18th time against West Indian Social Club (WISC) at Keney Park, Connecticut on the extended Memorial Day weekend. On this 2009 renewal, the original four-pronged trophy, which bore most of the weight of the Cup literally on one leg for so many years, would be retired. The new Cup, sponsored by Cricket Zone & Trophy World, now glittered in all its glory as it stood tall in the background taking its own rightful place in history. It was indeed another memorable weekend of cricket as Cosmos’ manager, Shadi Khan, stated in his sentimental address, “This is what this weekend and Cosmos is all about, keeping a legacy alive, honoring those who have contributed and playing the game in its true spirit while enjoying it all the way.”

Cosmos forged ahead and unlike the dynamic makeup of the club in 2008 which breathed some degrees of discomfort, the club's effort to infuse a more balanced team was prematurely thwarted even before it was given a chance of life. However, Cosmos relied on its strengths galvanized over the years and remained focused on their singular purpose of promoting the game. The team was at full strength once again and remained competitive in a season that clearly demonstrated the will and ability of cosmos as a unit. A few defeats early in the season hinted the possibility of the defending champions not gaining a spot in the playoffs, however, fortune favored a brave cosmos that took their chances in the last match in the preliminary round to gain full points and hoped that the fourth place team would be defeated in their last match, they were and cosmos moved up.

Cosmos, youth batting sensation Keddy Lesporis then stroked a brilliant century in the semi final to defeat Westbury. And suddenly, a team that was faced with the possibility of not getting into the playoffs displayed the mold of a champion team behind two brilliant innings from Donald Bennett and Melroy Kingston followed by a clinical match-winning spell from the veteran Ashmul Ali. Captain Palmer rallied his players and lifted the coveted Metropolitan Cricket League premier championship crown for the fourth time Cosmos history.

As Cosmos’s history gradually unfolded their stability and success over the years resulted through the mere grit and resolve of team with a strong desire to achieve excellence. A Cosmos cornerstone constructed on the pillars of discipline and plastered with a healthy dose patience and tolerance notwithstanding the unselfish voluntary effort of a few good men who kept the wheels of progress turning in this part of an ever changing world. In furtherance of the club's aspiration to add to its contributions to cricket, and willingness to disseminate knowledge about the game, cosmos members assisted coach Ashmul Ali during the summer with the New York region U15 team. The Stuyvesant Coach Zaffe Mohamed requested some assistance for his team and cosmos responded without hesitation and consequently adopted the Stuyvesant High School Tigers Cricket Team. Cosmos members along their Coach Ashmul Ali and Mohamed would conduct coaching clinics throughout the summer to the Tigers boys.

As soon as the last crack of leather on willow gave way to the temperate winds of fall the stumps are placed in a corner, the matting rolled and tucked away and the nails prepared to for the accumulated rusts in the months ahead, the sun sets early on Sunday afternoons at Floyd Bennett Cricket Field, in Brooklyn, casting the ever fading shadow on the makeshift clubhouse as the pronounced stars and stripes on the roof flutters in the wind. The cricketers are gone, some never to return and some waiting impatiently, especially the Tigers Team, for the next season. The chirping sound of birds and a symphony rumbling leaves meticulously transformed the life on the cricket field and the green lawn is now a sheet of gold colored leaves canvassed across the serenely desolate cricket field that now provided a temporary sanctuary for ducks on evenings until the snowflakes arrived.

That has been the story of Cosmos through the years, which the members embraced through rich content and assured character demonstrating endurance and perseverance. A club that now signifies the silver lining beyond the turbulent clouds of uncertainty and chaos that has bedeviled cricket in the region, a club that has maintained its stability squarely on the shoulders of its committed membership may well have coined an unparalleled legacy for itself in making a tremendous contribution to cricket in the New York Region.

And now that the chilling calm and wintry mix that pervaded on the picturesque Floyd Bennett cricket field brings a temporary halt to the cricket thrills of summer, it encapsulated a season of conciliatory rewards coupled with a nostalgic sense of accomplishment for Cosmos, the Metropolitan Cricket League 2009 Premier Champions, raised the coveted championship crown. When the curtains came down at Cosmos’ presentation ceremony, celebrating a season of myriad achievements, ringing in the holiday season with a gala affair on thanksgiving evening befitting of their thyme “Achieving Excellence Through Perseverance” and the ever signature presence of a club that is committed to leading the way, it was evident that Cosmos had carried the workload faithfully and successfully throughout the year and felt a sense of accomplishment that in 2009 it had added another stellar year onto the two and one-half decades of illustrious Cosmos achievements, but for how long.

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