Cricket and Service: A Perfect Duo

Revealing the T-Shirt and Start
Mr. Sravan Vellanki and Dr. ES Ramamurthy unveil the tournament t-shirt and mark the start of the cricket cup.

It was a beautiful day for cricket on April 21st, the day of the pitch-off for Vibha’s flagship event : the FutureTech Cricket Cup 2012. In what started out to be a day with variable weather and slight drizzles was very rapidly converted to an afternoon filled with intensity and cheers for the respective teams at East Roswell Park in Roswell, without whose support and generosity this memorable and benevolent endeavor would not have been possible. With the inauguration speech from the chief guest, Mr. E.S. Ramamurthy, the founder of Sikshana (a Vibha supported child welfare project) and a big surprise announcement from FutureTech, with Mr. Sravan Vellanki, the President and CEO, deciding to double their commitment of the title sponsorship for Vibha FutureTech Cricket cup 2012 from $5000 to $10,000 and thus granting Vibha $50,000 over five years, on the occasion of a decade long partnership of Vibha Cricket tournament, the day was bound to be a day full of activity and competitive cricket. The high note at the beginning of the day was added to by the fanfare at the start of the tournament through the unveiling of special as well as tournament t-shirts, including uniforms signed by Indian cricket great, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar. The cricket show served as an excellent getaway for many families wishing for an influx of physical activity into their hectic days at either work, school, or home.

 The FutureTech Cricket Cup 2012 was a huge event for the support of child social development   and the success of the trademark event was largely attributed to the hard work and persistence    of the both the coordinators, Mr. Rama Rayali, Mr. Sreeni Baddam and Mr. Venu Rykal, and scores of volunteers at Vibha, whose work behind the scenes made this fundraiser plausible. As Mr. Rayali relayed the feelings of all the volunteers and himself, “We are all proud to be part of a cause that combines both our passion for the game… and supporting children and we strive to make an impact through Vibha.” Rapid posters and contagious diffusion through social circles led to a record 50 teams signing up for this year’s tournament. Each team consisted of nine players, meaning that each player had a chance to equally prove their talent, notwithstanding the calibre of all the participating groups in the tournament. In addition to this, there were activities for all age groups, including unique children cricket coaching on certain days of the tournament, free of cost and providing basics on the historic game.

A distinct aspect of this year’s FutureTech Cricket Cup was the creation of a one-of-a-kind rolling trophy, resulting in Cup unique to 2012 and remembrances to the winners of the cup in the past years. The winners of the past thirteen years of the tournament were engraved onto the the new trophy, named as the Dream Cup, and the winner of this year’s tournament would be imprinted onto it, marking it for history. The Dream Cup was a cause that not only depicted the game of cricket, but embodied the values of giving back to the community and the world.

The preliminary rounds of the FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2012 were hotly contested for by numerous teams, with playing days

Dream Cup
Awards to be won. Dream Cup-Center.

on April 21st and April 28th. This included a record 16 matches being played on the first day of the tournament, with each team vying for a coveted spot in the quarterfinals, ensuring their progress towards the Cup. Fanfare and team devotion was seen in vibrant methods as fans flocked to see their supporting teams win respectively and children were seen having a great time also. The quarterfinals were composed of eight teams, out of the initial fifty teams, and these skilled players were just a fraction of the stature of the overall mix. The four intense matches included the a playoff between the Paramount GA Tigers and the Blue Panthers, resulting in sweet victory for the Paramount GA Tigers and helping them in their advancement towards the glittering gold. In another match, FutureTech, the sponsors of the honorable event won against the Palatial Dragons in another crowd-enthralling quarterfinal. The final two quarter finals were won by the Blazers and Rapid IT Royals against Rebels United and the Phoenix Cricket Club, respectively, and both matches showing both fair play and the spirit of good competitiveness, fundamental to the tournament’s aim.

The semifinals were crucial matches in both the context of the tournament and the teams and their players, a win at this stage doubling the chances of team to take home the Cup. The matches played in this stage of the tournament were some of the best seen and were attention grabbers, driving zeal and enthusiasm into the spectating crowds. The first semifinal was played between the Rapid IT Royals and the Paramount GA Tigers, and resulted in the first team to ensure their ticket in the finals, that being the Rapid IT Royals. Batting first, Rapid IT Royals made 47 runs with a good knock by Vijay, even in the face of a good bowling effort by Paramount. Chasing 48 runs to win, Paramount GA Tigers only managed to make 41 runs in 10 overs, due to a tight bowling and fielding effort by the Rapids, and summing up commendable efforts by both the teams. In the second semifinal matchup, the Blazers were pitted against FutureTech, with both teams having varied talent in all departments. A thrilling last ball finishing of the game by the Blazers resulted in their advancement to the finals even in the face of some laudable effort by FutureTech through a stiff batting target and bowlers sticking to a plan. Chasing 68 runs to win the tie, Blazers needed seven runs in the last two balls of the match. The penultimate ball was hit for a beautiful six to level the scores.  With one run needed of the last ball of the match, Blazers hit the last ball for a single to win the thriller and thus set up up the stage for a nail-biting grand finale.

In a heated battle of skill and ability to cope with pressure, the final of FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup was all but exhilarating, with a record spectator attendance and high intensity through support. The quality of cricket was assured as the first ball was bowled by the Blazers to the Rapid IT Royals, with the team making 62 runs in 10 overs setting an uphill task for the Blazers. A highlight of this innings was  a classy knock by Sanjeev, the captain leading the way through a match high score of 34 runs to become highest scorer of the tournament. The Blazers, who had showed their endurance all throughout the tournament, were determined, however, this was not their day and they succumbed to the steep target, losing all their wickets for 34 runs. The Rapids won by 28 runs, thus establishing a comprehensive win over the Blazers in the finals on day that they seemed to do nothing wrong and crowning them the champions of the FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2012.

Rapids stake their claim on the trophy.
The Rapid IT Royals cherishing the Dream Cup after a long wait.

The presentation ceremony was an integral part of the tournament and a host of awards were announced in honor of the both the teams and individual brilliance. The first medals were presented to the Blazers by Mr.Pramod Sajja, President of Paramount Software in honor of their runner up achievement. Followed by this was a plethora of awards for the winning team, the Rapid IT Royals, including player winner trophies by Mr. Anj, from FutureTech, the FutureTech Cup by Mr. Sravan Vellanki, President of FutureTech, and the handing over the rolling Dream Cup trophy by Uncle Sam. The Man of the Match was presented to Sanjeev, captain of the Rapid IT Royals, for an excellent batting performance with 34 runs and good bowling spells with figures of 2-0-9-1 by Mr. Suren, President of AGCC . In addition to this Sanjeev was also presented with the Player of the Tournament for his excellent work with the bat and good bowling, as was seen in the finals, by Uncle Sam and the Batsman of the Tournament for scoring the most runs in the play by Mr. Suren, President of AGCC, striking a mammoth 225 runs in just 6 matches. The Blazers’ players also walked home with heads held high, proud of their effort and commitment and Raj was awarded the Bowler of the Tournament for his splendid bowling effort and economy rates with his astonishing figures being 11-0-39-12 by, once again, Mr. Suren.

The 14th annual FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup was a huge leap towards the donation for increase in impact on underprivileged children throughout the United States and India. Vibha would like to thank all of its sponsors, especially title sponsor FutureTech, all attendees, teams, volunteers, East Roswell Park, and donors. As Mr. Sravan Vellanki correctly put the words across, “It is a proud moment for me, personally, to a small part of a cause so big, through something as unique and noble of an organization as Vibha.” The coordination between different times for matches, alignment for fields, and arrangement for presentation awards as well as other activities is what made this event a success of galactic proportions.

You can also help: Come join us Vibha is not only an organization, but a movement to make a positive difference in the lives of the millions of underprivileged children in India. Charity events like these raise money essentially for schooling for poor children in India and for American children’s fundraisers and we would be grateful for any donation you could make. Please help us help them. If you would like to enroll in our automatic donation program or volunteering opportunities please visit “Help Them Grow” or http://www.vibha.org.

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