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Cosmos – A Year In Review

By S. Ali

Dec. 31st, 2008
(Celebrates 26th Anniversary) – 2008, it was quite a year for Cosmos Cricket Club. You take the rough with the smooth if you give your heart to cricket. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, sometimes the good with the bad -- it's a lifelong commitment that demands steadfastness in adversity and a healthy appreciation of the good times when they make an appearance. That has been the story of 2008 for Cosmos, which the members embraced through rich content and assured character demonstrating endurance and perseverance. A club that has maintained its stability for the last two and one-half decades undoubtedly 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 not surprisingly continued its illustrious record of achievement in 2008.

By any measure, it was a highly successful 2008 season campaign. With the freshness of spring in the air, Cosmos sprung into action with the Club’s participation in the five-borough Mayor’s Cup Twenty/20 competition. Cosmos was one of two clubs, the other being Staten Island C.C., that turned out with their club team while all others opted for blended teams – Cosmos were to bow out in the semi finals. Cosmos then defended the Slim Sutherland Trophy for the seventeenth time against the West Indian Social Athletic Club in their annual Memorial weekend duel in Hartford, Connecticut. The trip was graced by two former national players, Sheldon Gomes of Trinidad and Tobago and Dixieth Palmer of Jamaica, both of whom have participated in the tournament over the last decade. Cosmos’ two professional commentators Carl Bennett and Leonard Achaibar lit up the atmosphere at Keeney Park with live commentary bringing a unique quality to the festivities of the weekend. Cosmos then responded to a late call to put a team together in supporting the Metropolitan Cricket League’s July 4th All-Star weekend in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The New York City Public School introduced cricket into its curriculum in 2008. In an effort to facilitate the interest of the youths after the program concluded, Cosmos seized the initiative in funding a youth team - Cosmos Kings - to play in the New York Region (NYR) U-19 45 overs and Twenty/20 competitions as well as in the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Twenty/20 competition. The Kings were to bow out in the semi finals of the NYR competition, however, they emerged deserved champions in the NYPD’s inaugural competition. The senior team would settle for runners-up in the abbreviated MCL Twenty/20 competition, however they raised the coveted MCL Premier Round Robin Championship Trophy for the second time in three seasons.

When circumstances, character and commitment combine you get Cosmos - a club whose substance and longevity over the years was based solely on the quality of its leadership and the commitment from its membership. Since its inception, Cosmos has been fortunate to attract seasoned cricketers and to have young players on its roster and has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that its players are disciplined and are schooled in the finer points of the game. Cosmos is not without its share of challenges and 2008 presented its share. Transitions in the club over the years and gradual changes in the dynamics may have been the result of the club’s unwillingness to accommodate any divisive elements and to ensure that steady stewardship would underscore the club’s determination to uphold the tenets formed from years of good governorship and discipline.

Cosmos Kings with the victorious NYPD Twenty/20 Trophy.

While Cosmos relied on its strengths galvanized over the years, it was even more difficult for other teams in the region who may not have had as solid a base to draw upon, especially when faced with the challenges of potentially disgruntled members, which has ultimately led to the demise of many lesser organizations. While it is always encouraging to have the injection of new blood into any longstanding process, in recent times the rise of new teams has arguably served an orchestrated singular interest of smooth talkers with big egos and loaded with empty promises. It is a thinly veiled deception, one that lures and twists weak minds, which as a result of their own innocence are easily swayed. It has been an unfortunate norm in the cricket scene and those intent on nitpicking will inevitability find a way for their method, which in itself is a dangerous and appalling development and therefore stifles the forward movement of the cricket in the region. Ignorance has led the inexperienced astray in the past and undoubtedly will in the future. Unfortunately, the addiction to destruction will continue in the name of promoting the game, which served up another drop of contaminated product to cricket in the Region. Oh, how materially civilized we purported to have become and yet how uncultured the behavior remains.

If the outcome of new clubs rise to the parity of the existing ones, then the movement can be construed to be viable, however, recent history has proven the act to be flawed. Such actions have only hindered the forward movement of the existing clubs and that of the sport in the region and as any argument to the contrary has proven fruitless. In the end, it is cricket that is struck with the final blow! When the choice is made to play the game in these parts, one would surmise that it is with the hope to gain very simple rewards, that of building friendships and bridges and enjoyment of playing the game, the basic fundamentals on which the gentleman’s game was founded. Oh, how alien a thought that has become for the new generation.

And so as the stumps are placed in corner, the matting rolled and tucked away and the nails prepared to for the accumulated rusts in the months ahead, the sun set on a cool October Sunday afternoon at Floyd Bennett Cricket Field, in Brooklyn, casting the ever fading shadow on the now monumental British Concorde that sits conspicuously in the backdrop on the tarmac of the retired airfield in front of the newly constructed Aviation Sports Complex, the evidence that the once adventurous supersonic speedster grounded as fast as it once took off as a result of the lack of passengers or “players” leaving the established fleet to pick up the load, so too cricket takes its abode as the season gradually drifts into the winter wonders pondering its faith after so many attempts of lift-off to brighter horizons. For Cosmos, as one of the “established fleet,” it has beaten the odds time and again and in 2009 they may be required to once again come to the rescue. When the curtains came down at Cosmos’ presentation ceremony, celebrating a season of myriad achievements, it was evident that Cosmos had carried the workload faithfully and successfully throughout the year and felt a sense of accomplishment that in 2008 it had added another stellar year onto the two and one-half decades of illustrious Cosmos achievements.
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