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Cosmos Celebrates A Cricket Legend And Champion - Shadi Khan

By S. Ali
Oct. 21st, 2009 | Gallery
(Celebrating 28th Anniversary)
- The outfield at Floyd Bennett looked green and more lush for a day that Cosmos had chosen to celebrate a cricket legend and champion, the Club’s manager - Shadi Khan - one of New York’s cricketing giants for his more than thirty years of service to the promotion of cricket in the United States. This day would not only add to Cosmos’ storied past but would also be penciled into the history of U.S. cricket as one that symbolized the continued life and tradition of cricket in the U.S. for more than three centuries.

Shadi Khan (left) and Keddy Lesporis (right) spins the toss while Bassett Thompson looks on. (Photo by Sham Ali.) Shadi Khan (below) bowls during one of the game.

The day captured cricket in its glory of the traditional spectacle, white uniform and navy blue blazers and incorporated some elements of the ever-changing pastime with a Twenty/20 double-header – one a Masters showdown and the other a Cosmos classic, a Masters XI competing against a potent youth squad.

It was encouraging and endearing to see the many cricketers that turned out to show their appreciation and graced the occasion on a day that the weather forecasts had predicted that there would likely be no play. Cosmos captain Dixieth Palmer and Ahmed Proverbs were determined to make this day a special one and when they were finished with the preparation of the wicket, play would start almost on time. The Masters took center stage on the undercard with the intentions of having enough time to absorb the variety of refreshments that were available.

Cosmos’ very own master class of Carl Bennett and Lenny Achaibar on the microphones mixed the atmosphere with commentary of a different kind, engaging the players in humor on the lighter side while spinning the CD's to the master tunes rich in quality of Caribbean flavor. The atmosphere was electric!

When Shadi Khan pulled his Cosmos navy blue blazer over his whites and walked out to spin the toss for the Cosmos Masters in company with New York City Public School Cricket Commissioner, Mr. Bassett Thompson, the pronounced Cosmos logo on his navy blue blazer depicted the signature of a Club that truly values sportsmanship, camaraderie and a determination to lift the level of the game in the region. When Shadi picked up a wicket with his first ball it appeared like the old campaigner could still deliver, however, Dixieth Palmer took the next four balls over the boundary for the maximum and Shadi retired to the pavilion no better for the wear and tear.

Looking to get 151 in 15 overs, the Austin Hutchinson / Sam Belnavis-led Masters XI were 70 for 2 after 7 overs when a brief sprinkle blessed the lawn of Floyd Bennett Field. Though the sun peaked out for only just a few seconds during the respite, it lit the day with all the brilliance of the man being honored as umpire Dean Robinson declared the undercard Masters showdown a draw much to the satisfaction of old boys who had already taken a few sips of juice to the delight of the awaiting and energized Youths.

It was over to the Cosmos Classic, between a formidable Youth team led by Keddy Lesporis and George Adams going up against a Cosmos senior team led by Dixieth Palmer. The Youths sounded their intentions of demoralizing the seniors before Shadi was given the honors of spinning the toss for the seniors, but that was off the field talk. The Seniors let the bat do the talking to the tune of 200 for 4 off their 15 overs. Palmer (53) and Ahmed Proverbs (45), Ordlemo Peters and Melroy Kingston answered George Adams, Maurice Powell, Dennis Evans and Javein Thomas. In reply, the experience of Sham Ali, Kevin Darlington, Zamin Amin, Austin Hutchinson and Cutty Mendonca proved too much for the younger boys, also among them, former Jamaica national youth player Nkrumah Bonner and former New Zealand first-class player, Stuart Mills.

Shadi Khan was presented with a few mementos for his sterling contribution to cricket.

Shadi would end up striking the last ball to end a day’s play and later absorbed all the accolades bestowed upon him by his long time associates at the ensuing presentation ceremony. “Shadi has done so much for cricket, he is one of the few who has cricket at heart and it is a wonderful thing that Cosmos is bringing love and comradeship to the game by recognizing Shadi. We need more like this.” said Austin Hutchinson. Commissioner Bassett Thompson added, “Shadi has always been a dedicated and hard working person ever since I knew him. The irony is when I first met him, he was a basketball coach. His club Cosmos is a good club and he deserves all the recognition that he has been given here today.”

“Shadi has touched so many lives through his efforts in promoting the game; he is one of the stalwarts in New York cricket,” MCL president Mascelles Bailey said. Cosmos president Sham Ali expressed his gratitude to all cricketers and spectators who have shown their appreciation to one of their fellow cricketer, and all those who have contributed in making the day a success. As the players enjoyed the company of their long time friends on a day that has captured the hearts of cricketers in so many ways, the response from the man of the day was, “all I wanted to do is to improve the sport and encouraged cricketers to come out and enjoy playing the game.”

In celebration of the club's 28th anniversary, Cosmos has dedicated the 2009 season as its inaugural benefit year for prominent contributor to its illustrious past, Shadi Khan. The extended inaugural celebration will complement the Club’s annual presentation scheduled for Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 8pm at Fairfield Pavilion, 133-01 101 Avenue, Queens, NY 11419

Carl Bennett also contributed to this article.

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