Community Indoor Cricket Tournament, UK
BAPS Charities organised ‘The Yogi Yuva Cup’, a national indoor cricket tournament held simultaneously at Harrow Leisure Centre, The Swaminarayan School, and BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 2 April 2017.
More than 270 participants, aged 16 to 50, played in 34 teams representing various towns and cities from across the UK. Each contributed to some high-quality cricket, providing entertainment and healthy competitiveness while fostering tremendous community spirit and unity.
The top two teams in each of the eight groups qualified for the knockout stages of the tournament, from which eight teams progressed safely with no major shocks – the strength and experience of the seeded teams proving too strong for the challengers.
Following the quarter-final games, full of surprises, four teams remained and each were eager to get their hands on the trophy. West Warriors, carrying momentum following on from their last-ball victory with a 6 in the quarter finals against South London A, won another close game by defeating Shatabdi by 76 runs to 72. Finchley A, meanwhile, continued their march to the final by convincingly beating East London A 89 runs to 44.
Thus the final involved last year’s runners-up against this year’s surprise package, the young West Warriors. Finchley A, batting first, put up a very competitive total of 144. Although initially it looked like West Warriors would end up far short, neutrals in the crowd cheered on the fairy-tale contenders as they came intriguingly close, especially after a big penultimate over which left the game still very much in the balance with 26 required from the last over.
But Finchley A held their nerves in the final over, subduing any big hitting so that West Warriors ultimately fell short by 20 runs. Finchley A were duly crowned Yogi Yuva Cup Champions 2017 – an accolade they deserved for consistent high-quality displays throughout the tournament. Runners-up West Warriors nonetheless won the hearts of the spectators and became very much a team to look to in the future.
Prizes for exceptional individual performances went to Hersh Patel (West Warriors) for Best Batsman of the tournament, while Darshan Depala (Finchley A) took home the prize for Best Bowler.
The hugely successful event encouraged youths and adults leading busy lifestyles to engage in some healthy activity and helped develop positive community relations.