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2009 Finals Cancelled - Joint Champions Declared!


Oct. 6th, 2009
Who or what is a champion?  According to the Webster New World Dictionary (WNWD), the word champion means, "a person or thing that wins first place, or is judged to be the best, as in a contest or sport." Now let's look closely at this meaning.  Contest or sport. Of course, the sport is Cricket. The contest is the Competition. ( In this case the 40-overs regular competition finals).  A person or thing...  Please take special care to notice that these two nouns are singular in number. (No multiple is referenced). The meaning refers to a "single entity"  that wins or is judged to be the best... Best is the superlative case of the word "good," like in good, better, best. So here best simply means, "the best of the rest." WNWD defines win as "to get the victory in a contest..."  Judge means to decide the winner of a contest. We can arbitrarily decide or judge  that team(s) X, Y or Z is (are) the winner(s). But remember that a cricket game is won or lost on the field of play and not behind closed doors. Yes, one can say that the Duckworth/Lewis method of 'deciding or judging' the winner is "kind of behind closed doors." But it is done using the performances by both teams in actual play.

Now, enough for the analyses and analogies. Let us get to the facts. According to information from Mr. Hafeez Ali of Rockaway Sports Club, the Nassau Cricket Association (League) has suspended further play in the league, and the two teams scheduled to contest the finals of the regular 40-overs competition have been declared "Joint Champions," Rockaway Sports Club and Hempstead Cricket Club, having won their respective semi-finals contests were scheduled to meet each other on Sunday, September 27th, but due to inclement weather the match was not played. It was the hope of all, cricketers and supporters from both clubs, and the cricket loving public, that the game would be rescheduled for the following weekend, Sunday, October 4th because the weatherman had predicted "good" weather with the temperature in the mid 70's.
 
What a shocker it was (for all) when it was learned that the league had declared Rockaway and Hempstead "joint champions." Let me walk you through the chronicle of how this came about. On Thursday, October 1, 2009 Mr. Ali received an e-mail from Mr. Paul DaSilva, President of the Nassau League. The substance of which is that all remaining games in the league have been cancelled because the league does not have permits for the grounds (Parks). Fair enough. In order to play cricket in a City Park there must be a permit issued. So Mr. Hafeez  Ali, who is the organizer of Rockaway Sports Club and the captain of its cricket team, immediately contacted the NYC Parks Dept. and had a conversation with the Assistant Parks Commissioner. At the end of their talk, Mr. Ali was given a verbal OK to use Baisley Pond Park (The Cage) for the game on Sunday, October 4.
 
Several attempts were then made by Mr. Ali to reach the president of the league, but he was unable to do so. He said he also sent an e-mail to the president informing him that he was able to secure a park for the game. He did not get a reply to his e-mail. Mr. Ali then called Mr. Peter Jolly, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the league and related to him that he was able to secure Baisley Pond Park for the championship finals. According to Mr. Ali, the COO promised to "speak to Hempstead" and then get back to him. Mr. Ali received no follow-up call from the COO.  On Friday, October 2, the president, in an e-mail to Mr. Ali, reconfirmed that "all games are cancelled".
 
Understandably, the members and supporters of Rockaway Sports Club are upset and disappointed. The cricketers have practiced, and have played long and hard, and to be denied the opportunity to "win the championship outright," is most discomforting for them. Rockaway Sports Club has played undefeated the entire season. Hempstead is one of the clubs whom they have defeated during the regular season.  The club supporters echoed the same sentiments. They have followed their favorite club wherever they played, and now there would be no championship final to watch and enjoy. And, what about the cricket-loving public. Regardless of who were playing these folks were out in the Park Sunday after Sunday, enjoying a good game of cricket. Is this the way our cricket administrators will treat them, when we are all trying to develop our cricket to reach a higher stage? No, I say, we can only do this by working together, cricketers, administrators, and cricket-lovers. Of, course, the sponsors are most welcomed and needed.
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