The UK is sweltering in a heat wave at the moment, with some of the temperatures being the highest on record for the time of year, but there is also scorching hot action in the Cricket World Cup. The eyes of the world are on those nations who eat, sleep, and breathe cricket, fighting to be the best. However, there are eager ladies in the UK who don’t just want to watch cricket, they want to be a part of cricket by joining in with the IIW All Ladies Ambika Trophy Cricket Championship.
Now in its second year, the Championship showed how there’s a vast amount of enthusiasm to tap for ladies cricket. They played with power-packed high-voltage energy, brimming with passion, and an intense desire to take the trophy. Each of the players was remarkably talented and full of love for the sport.
As Edmund Blunden said, “Cricket to us was more than play; it was a worship in the summer sun”. A glimpse of the above was seen the day of the Tournament, 23rd June, 2019 at the historic Gymkhana.
IIW (Inspiring Indian Women) is all about working towards opportunities and acknowledging talent and the news of the upcoming cricket match at the prestigious and historic Indian Gymkhana became the hottest topic amongst the Indian women in UK. After a combination and fermentation process, five teams were formed who spent three months preparing for the big day.
The chief guest of the event was the Honourable MP Virendra Sharma and the other guests of honour were: Mr Sutantar Soni, the Trustee and Honorary board member of the historic Indian Gymkhana Club; Mr Satya Minhas, former Chairman of the MET Police Hindu Association and co-Chairperson of the Hindu Council, UK; and Councillor Bandna Chopra. The event was supported by Councillor Prabhakar Kaza who was also the special guest, along with the Founder and President of the Uttar Pradesh Community Association, Mr Madhuresh Mishra, and General Secretary Mr Virendra Mishra.
The umpires for the match were Suresh Mangalagiri, Dr Chandran, Mr Sumit Dahiya, and Mr Rushcil Agarwal. The tourament will be telecast on the MATV channel soon. The commentary was provided by Mr Baljinder Singh Rathour, and Gaurav Bansal who kept the spectators interested and glued to the games, and the scores were kept by Mr Vijay Kachallia and Shivani who didn’t budge a bit and kept their focus throughout. The presence of Mrs Anju Wadhwa Narang, Cultural Secretary of Punjabi Society of British Isles added a special flavour to the event.
The highest scorer was batsman Tejal Shah, the captain for Bleed Blue, who got 80 runs – a feat made more impressive when you find out that each match consisted of only eight overs, played with a soft ball. The final match was a showdown between Bleed Blue and Kent Knockers. After a tough competition throughout the three Quarter Finals, two Semi Finals, and the Final itself, it was the Kent Knockers who triumphed and lifted the Ambika Trophy.
The tournament lived up to the purpose for which it was started – creating new friendships, improving fitness, bonding the competitors together as they met frequently to practice, and rekindling the suppressed interest and passion amongst mothers and wives who had lost touch with the game due to family responsibilities but who secretly yearned to hold the bat again.
The five teams were:
Tejal Shah (captain), Mangal Bhalerao (vice captain), Priyanka Bhargav , Hetal Vyas, Usha Parmar, Swati Kirve, Aarti chokshi, Divya Chari, Payal Jalan, Shital Solanki, Shivika Upadhyay
RISE AND SHINE:
Pallavi Sundareshan (captain), Anitha Nomula (vice captain), Kiran Peddireddi , Lokamanya Kota Rekha D Cunha, Arti Thakur, Meenakshi Shetty, Gauri Utturkar , Rama Tirunagari, Prashanthi Tirunagari, Hema Prakash, Durga Jalasutram
Etika Tayal, Pallavi Bhaskar, Namitha Chickmagalur (vice captain), Meera Srinivas, Umashree Chandrashekar, Aarti Gaikwad , Manisha Singh, Radhika Nair, Ramya Bhadri, Kasturi Mahendrakar Sarika Handa (captain), Spurita
Heena Jain (captain), Mansi Behl (vice captain), Renu Rathod, Ranjita Mishra, Alka Bhayani, Seema Khandelwal, Samidha Jhaveri , Isha Gupta, Pooja Kamath, Shilpa Chaudhary, Shradha Megharaj
Deepa Vaswani , Sunitha, Vaishali Nagpal , Seema, Swati, Komal Ganeriwala , Beena , Ruchika Bharti (captain), Rashmi Razdan (vice captain), Jyoti Vekaria, Binal
Official photography was done by Kaza Clicks.
Jonathan has a varied history, having written for publications such as Asian Woman but also technical magazines such as Networking+. He also has a background in IT so he's been instrumental in the technical side of getting Global Indian Stories launched. As co-founder, he also keeps writing, sub-editing, and handling the social media.