Southern California Cricket Association Raises over $10k for Katrina Victims
By Farhan Aziz
Asia XI
World XI

Van Nuys, CA: The cricketers and cricket loving community of Southern California came together on October 2, 2005 to witness a first-time unique event staged by the Southern California Cricket Association in collaboration with the Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles to raise funds for the ongoing Katrina relief effort. Some of the biggest names from the local and national cricket fraternity, as well as US-based international cricketers from Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe formed two teams: Asia XI and World XI to compete in a best of two, 25 over one-day tournament.
America’s premier and most picturesque cricket park, Woodley Cricket Fields, a few exits north of the Hollywood Hills and along side Lake Balboa in Van Nuys, California was the host venue. Spectators from as far away as San Diego, Orange, and San Bernardino counties, as well as locals from Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley showed up in numbers and opened their wallets for this cause.
Captain of the victorious side
Mr. and Mrs. Jadmani

The Southern California Cricket Association was ably assisted by a network of volunteers, as well as a diverse group of generous sponsors, including Hollywood Sound Systems, who wired up the Wright cricket field boundary with speakers, enabling live commentary for all to hear. Spectators were treated to some classic soft rock from No Boundaries, an ensemble of some talented British expatriate musicians.
The Pakistani Consul General, Mr. Noor Mohammed Jadmani, as well as officials from the local municipality and the Department of Parks and Recreation were on hand to lend support, as well as watch some entertaining cricket. World XI, lead by former Antiguan star Reginald Benjiman were dominant throughout the day; however the younger Asian XI stars performed well and gave the more experienced World XI a good fight.
In match 1, World XI batted first, and were given a solid start by openers Sandeep Kumar (Canada), and teenage sensation Ravi Timbawala (USA). The pair put on 83 runs in 11 overs. However, it was Dionisius “Theo” Mavrokefalos’s (South Africa) thundering 36 ball 60, and excellent cameos from Ali Shafi (USA) and ex-West Indies star Franklin Rose that helped the World XI side post a mammoth 222 runs in the allotted 25 overs. For the Asia XI stars, Arshad Junaid captured 3 wickets. In reply, the Asian stars fought gallantly through 20 overs, with Pakistan’s Basit Bargoob belting a 33 ball 53 and India’s Jignesh Desai contributing 28 in 21 balls. However, World XI’s stellar pacemen, led by the West Indian trio of Rose, Barret and Benjiman showed their class and experience with some hostile bowling, ending the Asian XI response 16 runs short of the target.

Several groups of spectators

In match 2, World XI again batted first, and this time England’s dynamic duo Jimmy Pierce and ex-county player Stephen Speak gave the World XI a promising start scoring at over 7 runs an over through 10 overs. Sandeep Kumar added to his earlier contribution with a quick fire 26, to help the World XI post 159 runs in a reduced 20 over game. Jignesh Desai was the pick of the bowlers for the Asians, capturing 2 wickets for just 17 runs. The Asian chase started disastrously, as SCCA stars Arshad Junaid (Sri Lanka) and Tarun Reddy (India) fell cheaply. World XI bowlers Franklin Rose and upcoming South African paceman David Pieters were particularly penetrating, capturing 3 top Asian wickets. With 122 runs needed in 84 balls, Basit Bargoob took on the challenge for the Asians, smacking his second fifty of the day in just 33 balls. However, with little support from the other end, Basit’s inning and the Asian chase fell 6 runs short of the World XI target.
Best Bowler
Best Batsman

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage sponsored and presented the individual awards: Most Runs (Basit Bargoob - 143 runs), Most Wickets (Arshad Junaid - 3 wickets), and the Most Valuable Player (Theo Mavrokefalos). All three winners donated their winnings to the Red Cross. Southern California Cricket Association president, Mr. Veman Reddy presented the winner’s trophy to Reginald Benjiman, captain for the World XI. Benjie, in accepting the winner’s trophy, commented: “I am very proud of all the players, and the SCCA. We might be the winners on the field, but the SCCA won today for organizing this worthy event.”
Other speakers on the occasion included Mr. Les Harrison, owner of Hollywood Sound Systems (a first time cricket observer): “I am delighted we could help the SCCA in this most unique event for such a worthy cause.” Mrs. Shaista Khan representing Wells Fargo Home Mortgage said, “We were all moved by the images of tragedy and devastation in the aftermath of the Hurricanes, and it is important for all of us to contribute in the massive relief effort that remains. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is proud to be associated with the SCCA and in sponsoring this event for this purpose. We look forward to growing this relationship and sponsoring future events.”
SCCA President Veman Reddy thanked the entire list of sponsors and many SCCA volunteers for their assistance, and announced that the event had “raised over $10,000 for the Katrina Relief effort.”

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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