ECB Director Lord Patel & Former India Player Kiran More host the Prideview Cricketers’ Cup ’15!

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The 4th edition of The Prideview Cricketers’ Cup (PCC), contested on Saturday 18th July ’15, was a tremendous success, receiving the stamp of authority from Lord Patel and Kiran More, two heavyweights from the ECB (English Cricket Board) and BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India) respectively. Click here to see the pictures!

The aim of the event was to raise as much money as possible for Big Hug Foundation, a small charity with a mission to help underprivileged children in South Asia. This year, together, we came up with our greatest haul yet, £14,480, which will go to Big Hug’s orphanage build in earthquake-striken Lalitpur in Nepal. After seeing the devastation that took place in neighbouring Nepal on the news recently, this year we wanted to do something to help a few of the children out there.  In our previous 3 years, the monies raised have enabled Big Hug Foundation to commence construction of an orphanage in Coimbatore, South India. You can keep up to date with the progress of both of these projects by following Big Hug’s Facebook page, and we too will endeavour to keep you posted via social media. Thank you to all participants, donors and sponsors as well as Big Hug’s volunteers on the day for this fantastic effort!!!

In total, 12 teams participated scoring 1,530 runs in 18 games at an average economy rate of 9.3 runs per over with 71 wickets being taken and 35 sixes being smashed! The group’s were drawn out of a hat live on social media just a week before and all seemed to provide even contests. Click here to see the tournament brochure once again, giving details of all the participants and sponsors and click here to see the pictures!

Group A

With both London Law Practice and Bellevue Mortlakes dealing with some last minute selection changes (read: dropouts), new entrants Jade Pharmacy could not have asked for a better initiation in the 5-over format.

Both teams were sent out like lambs to the slaughter against a group of pharmacists who clearly take their vitamins. Jade Pharmacy smashed 70+ scores in both games, cruising into the semi-finals, meaning the opening game was effectively the Prideview Champions Trophy (PCT) quarter final. This was won by Bellevue, thanks to in no small part to their ‘on loan’ signing from Jade Pharmacy, Naresh Goswani who hit 26 from 2 overs and bagged a few wickets too! By hook or by crook Bellevue got a win after holing out both times last year…

Group B

Dubbed the Group of Death before the tournament with ’12 winners John Cumming Ross and ’13 semi-finalists HT Drinks being joined by new entrants State Bank of India, backed by their 250,000 strong workforce. Inconceivably SBI only brought 5 players, providing a gentle warm-up for HT and JCR before the two old boys met each other in the final group game the winner of which would proceed to the PCC Semi Finals. JCR batted first but were tightly restricted by a clinical bowling performance by HT Drinks, and they did well to get to 33-1 off 5 overs after notching up just 6 off the first 2. Satyam Popat opened for HT and made light work of the total – HT went through to their 2nd semi-final against news boys Jade Pharmacy.

Group C

As soon as this group was drawn the hostility between Prideview and solicitors Axiom Stone was evident, with blows being exchanged between the two over Twitter in the days before. Poor Sandrove Brahams, all set for another fun day of food, drink and cricket (in that order), did not know what they were getting themselves into, registering two more defeats that leaves them winless in two years! With a large crowd assembled for the grudge match, the liars (sorry lawyers) were sent into bat against a whirlwind of Prideview bowling, left arm, right arm, pace and spin. With 4 wickets already down and the score only just positive, Axiom Stone captain Pragnesh Modhwadia stepped to the crease against former PCC ‘most runs in an over’ record-holder Jesal Patel’s looping spin. Backed by his captain Nilesh Patel, perhaps the most aggressive field in PCC history was set, including 1 slip and 3 close catchers. The pressure was too much and Pragnesh was clean bowled first ball sparking jubilant celebrations. The 8 run chase was a formality and the hosts marched through to their 3rd semi-final in 4 years.

Group D

The group of the ’14 champions was expected to go the way of Logicare, and that it did with consistent performances by Vinesh Gorasia helping Logicare post two match-winning 60+ scores. Logicare’s opponent in the PCC semi-final would therefore be Prideview, a repeat of the ’14 PCC Final. A place in the Prideview Champions Trophy (PCT) semi-final was still up for grabs and the deciding match between perennial losers Liquid Bubble and new boys Vascroft Contractors was fought well. Vascroft’s Shailesh Vekaria hit 25 of Vascroft’s 38 runs giving them a competitive total, before taking a wicket in the first over to really put Liquid Bubble on the back foot. Despite a few big hits, Liquid could not get ahead of the asking rate and ended up bottom for the 2nd time in 3 years.

Kiran More & the Ladies Bowl-Out

After the conclusion of the group stages, players and spectators enjoyed a fantastic Indian lunch provided by Spice Rack Lounge and then assembled to hear the results announced by special guest Kiran More, former Indian vice-captain and chief selector. Kiran expressed his delight to be involved in our growing tournament in such stunning surroundings and told the crowd how he hopes to bring some of India’s upcoming stars from his academy in Gujarat to the PCC in future years. He also wanted to involve the many ladies in attendance by organising a bowl-out tournament, the winner of which would win a bat signed by Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid, a good friend of his and one of India’s greatest batsmen.

The Ladies bowl-out proved to be a huge success with about 30 participants whittled down to two finalists, Payal Patel and Misha Patel, who had three attempts each to hit the stumps. Misha hit once and became the first winner of this event which will certainly become a regular one at the PCC!

Best of the Rest Bowl-Out

Following that, Nilesh announced that the losing teams from the group stages would participate in a bowl-out to decide who would be crowned ‘Best of the Rest’. Apparently “calculating net run rates etc was just not worth it for the quality of the cricket played” he said. He showed off the brand new trophy allocated for this competition, which was greeted by roars by the formerly inconsolable group losers, but unfortunately it appeared the SBI boys had not read the tournament brochure and had already set off home! The bowl-out was contest by Liquid Bubble, Sandrove Brahams and London Law Practice, and well, let’s just say it didn’t match up to the quality of the Ladies bowl-out! Each team was given 6 shies at the stump; each team missed six times. The Best of the Rest trophy was to be decided by sudden death. After Sandrove and London Law Practice missed once again, Varun Capillar was given the responsibility to bring it home for Liquid Bubble and end the pain for the rest of those viewing. And hit he did, sending the Liquid Bubble faithful into raptures and after 3 dismal campaigns at the PCC, Liquid Bubble were crowned Best of the Rest 15!

Prideview Champions Trophy

Our plate event was a real success this year, with Semi-Final 1 throwing up the game of the tournament as Bellevue and JCR hit solid scores of 52 apiece in a nail biter that had to be decided by bowl out. The eventual winners were new boys Vascroft Contractors, who posted some excellent scores and clearly found their rhythm after a tough draw against the defending champions in the group stage. Definitely a force to be reckoned with in future years.

Semi-Final 1: Bellevue Mortlakes (52-0) beat John Cumming Ross (52-4) by virtue of a Bowl-Out

Semi-Final 2: Vascroft (58-0) bt Axiom Stone (28-2) by 30 runs

Final: Vascroft (55-2) bt Bellevue Mortlakes (38 All Out) by 17 runs and win the Prideview Champions Trophy ’15!

Lord Patel & the Raffle & Auction

With all gathered once again for our charity raffle and auction, it was an honour to welcome Lord Patel of Bradford, who is among the country’s most respected spokesmen on health, social care and equality and the the first British-Asian to be appointed as a director of the English Cricket Board (ECB). Lord Patel talked about the importance of sports and charity events like ours to bring together causes such as promoting well-being, helping underprivileged people and identifying cricketing talent amongst the British Asian population. He expressed his desire to increase his involvement in the PCC in future years and make it an event formally acknowledge by the ECB.

Once again the raffle was a huge success, with £1,500 raised from spectators and players on the day. The top prizes were a framed photo signed by Yuvraj Singh which went to Eva Olah (one of the co-organisers of the PCC) and a souvenir bat signed by Rahul Dravid which went to 1 year-old Milan Patel, a future Prideview star no doubt! Thanks to all those who donated prizes and sold raffle tickets, it certainly made a difference.

Quite possibly the biggest result of the day was our charity auction, with a fantastic £4,100 raised for our 4 lots with our top seller being a framed ball signed by Kapil Dev which sold for a staggering £2,000. Thank you so much to the winning bidders and also the underbidders, and thanks once again to Vascroft Contractors who donated the ball and Ice Gola Shack who donated the souvenir bat signed by MS Dhoni. For those of you with merchandise to donate, please note we are now accepting lots for our July ’16 auction!

PCC Final

The two PCC semi-finals were very closely contested, but regrettably Nilesh Patel’s head injury (which is now healing well) whilst batting took a lot of the steam out of the Prideview effort against the defending champions. Following this incident we can confirm helmets will be made mandatory in future competitions and will be provided. Meanwhile Jade Pharmacy got their toughest test against HT Drinks with Satyam Popat getting HT’s daunting 62 run chase off to a great start before retiring and Sanjay Thakrar continuing the scoring to get the equation to just 8 off 3 balls. However after turning his ankle he could not carry on and was bowled next ball, effectively ending a brave chase.  The final, which as always was well-spectated, was a batting masterclass by Jade Pharmacy, who hit 6 sixes on the way to the highest score in a PCC Final yet, thanks to two great innings by Naresh Goswani and Vijesh Dave. Logicare looked stunned and could not respond, the Prideview Cricketers’ Cup had a new champion, congratulations Jade Pharmacy!

Semi Final 1: Logicare (40-2) bt Prideview (39-2) by 3 wickets

Semi Final 2: Jade Pharmacy (62-2) bt HT Drinks (55-3) by 7 runs

Final: Jade Pharmacy (73-4) bt Logicare ((25-2) by 48 runs and win the Prideview Cricketers’ Cup ’15

Individual Rankings

Well done to Naresh Goswami who set a PCC record for most runs in a tournament (even if 25 were for Bellevue) and Sameer Amin whose 5 for 16 represents the best bowling figures yet in the PCC!

Click here to see the tournament brochure once again, giving details of all the participants and sponsors. Thank you and see you all next year, and remember if you would like to get involved in any way, please email nilesh@pridemanagement.co.uk

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