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Local British and Indian organizations’ first annual cricket match

By Mahadev Desai
December 2016
Local British and Indian organizations’ first annual cricket match

(Left) The beaming Best Bowler: Bikash Kumar, of the winning GIACC team; behind: GIACC President Mark Pierson, West Indian commentator Rula Brown. (Photo: Margi Shah)

The first annual India vs. UK Cricket Cup match between the British American Business Council (BABC) and the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC) was played at Oglethorpe University’s soccer field on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

The two team’s players, in official uniforms (BABC in orange, GIACC in blue), flanked by two West Indian umpires, Ashan Plummer and Conrad Rogers, posed for group photographs and introductions by their respective captains. The toss-up was won by India’s Captain Atul Deshmukh, who opted to bat first. The match began promptly at 12:30 pm, when India’s opening pair of Tanmay and Ketan walked to the crease. West Indian cricket commentator Rula Brown engaged the spectators with his fluent, crisp, and oftentimes amusing ball-by-ball commentary. GIACC made a slow start but later increased the pace with a flurry of shots by Ashish who scored 22, Navneet 26, Nimir 29, Jigar 29, and Rohan 31. BABC Captain Enslin, with Wilson, Bedford, Bhatia, Shah, and McArthur, bowled well but could not prevent the GIACC players from piling up 189 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

BABC opened their batting turn with Wilson and McArthur. The start was even slower than GIACC’s. Rohan got an early wicket. None of the batsmen could last long and wickets fell quickly. Only Newton and Bhatia offered some resistance. Bhatia was playing well but got out to a splendid catch after scoring a breezy 12. Newton got out after scoring 16. BABC could score only 89 runs. For GIACC, Bikash Kumar took six wickets, Ketan got two, and Rohan, Tanmay, and Nimir one wicket each.

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(Left) GIACC President Mark Pierson and BABC President James Anthony at the Cricket Match reception.

After the match, all headed for the Conant Performing Arts Center for a reception and awards ceremony. GIACC President Mark Pierson welcomed all and declared it was a fantastic match to watch, and commented that weather also warmed up in the afternoon and made it more enjoyable. He thanked sponsors: India Consulate in Atlanta for the food; KPPB Law Firm and GIACC Chairperson Sonjui Kumar for beverages; public accounting firm KNAV’s lead partner in Atlanta Atul Deshmukh for uniforms for the GIACC Team, and Future Tech’s Chairman and CEO Sravan Vellanki for uniforms for the BABC team. He conveyed greetings and good wishes on behalf of British Consul-General in Atlanta Jeremy Pilford-Bedford who was unable to attend due to poor health.

Consul General Nagesh Singh jovially remarked, “I am glad India won. (Laughter). Let me congratulate the losers first: Well done; practice harder next year. India team, congrats. Let me also congratulate GIACC, for institutionalizing this. It adds value to the friendships we make. This reminds me of my days in Paris in late nineties. There was a big Cricket League. We had Commonwealth XI in Western France. The then British Ambassador was our Captain. It was a multi-national XI with players from Pakistan, New Zealand, etc. We played all over France. Some of the best memories and best friendships I made was during these cricket matches. We would like to participate more and more in the coming years.”

Pierson presented Nagesh Singh with a blue Uniform to wear during the next cricket match, and a commemorative plaque. “I have a secret weapon for next year,” quipped Nagesh Singh.

Pierson thanked Atul Deshmukh, who is actively involved in Atlanta Cricket League, and Duncan Sandys, BABC’s Alliances Chair who is responsible for forging relationships with Georgia’s binational chambers such as GIACC. Pierson and Sandys have discussed ideas for further cooperative events between GIACC and BABC.

Captains Deshmukh and Enslin introduced their respective team players. Pierson thanked the two umpires Ashan Plummer and Conrad Rogers, commentator Rula Brown, and first-time score-keeper Asheen for their commendable services.

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Man of the Match: Nimir Desai with CG Nagesh Singh; behind: GIACC President Mark Pierson, West Indian commentator Rula Brown, two West Indian umpires Ashan Plummer and Conrad Rogers, and BABC President James Anthony. (Photo: Ketan Adkar)

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(Left) Best Batsman: Rohan Dabir. (Photo: Ketan Adkar)

Nagesh Singh presented the trophies as Rula announced the awardees:
Winning Team: GIACC.
Best Batsman: Rohan Dabir (photo left)
Best Bowler: Bikash Kumar (top of page)
Man of the Match: Nimir Desai (above).

BABC President James Anthony accepted a commemorative plaque on behalf of Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford from Pierson and vowed that the British team would be more competitive next year.

Pierson thanked the media and urged, “Let’s make it bigger and better next year. Spread the word. We wanted to have this match not only for building camaraderie between the GIACC and BABC members but to also raise the profile of our two organizations in Atlanta and Georgia.”

After the ceremony, the reception featured samosas, dhoklas, and gulab jamuns.

Website Bonus Feature

“Local U.K. and India Cricket Teams to Compete in Historic Match at Oglethorpe University on Sunday.” By Phil Bolton, November 8, 2016.
(Includes some history of the game.)

Georgia Indo-American Chamber Of Commerce v British American Business Council Cricket Game- ATL
Rula Brown, radio host, singer, song-writer, producer, and philanthropist.

Indian Chamber Of Commerce v British Chamber Of Commerce Cricket In Atlanta, GA on Nov 13th
Rula Brown

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GIACC Team with umpires, commentator, and GIACC President Mark Pierson. (Photo: Margi Shah)

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