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USA Cricket, Women's Style
Firebirds Celebrate Taking Atlantic WicketJune 4, 5 and 6 saw three days of beautiful weather and enthusiastic women as the 2010 USA National Women's Cricket Tournament took place at the Cupertino Library ground in California.  Five teams of female players from around the country converged in the San Francisco bay area to compete for the National Championship.  They represented many walks of life from the east, central and west parts of the USA.  And they ranged in age from high schoolers to grandmothers!  But all had one common goal - to play the best cricket they could.
Each team played two matches over the three days.  The North East team stood out and took the top honors.  But the other four teams had respectable showings and it came down to net run rate for determining the Runners-Up.  This went to the local team, Western Firebirds as they held off the New York team for just enough overs to pass them in the ratings.
Raj Padhi, USACA Director, Western Region"This was a fantastic tournament for the USA Cricket Association as we hosted some great players who showed us their best.  From this pool of women, we are selecting the players who will represent the USA in Canada next month during the ICC Americas World Cup Qualifier Tournament" states Raj Padhi who is the USACA Director for the Western Region.  "We couldn't have asked for a better time with these ladies really going at it, showing us they can be fierce competitors while, at the same time, forming great friendships across team boundaries.
The players not only met in matches over the three days but also gathered over dinner Saturday night to discuss the future of women’s cricket in the USA.  This dinner was graciously sponsored by the Rotary of Cupertino who put on a fine selection of Indian food.  Many of the ladies who play are of Indian decent while others hail from West Indies backgrounds, Australian upbringing, and Pakistani-American families, all who migrated to the USA to call it home.  There were also a number of native born ladies who found the sport intriguing and different enough from other “regular” sports in this country to be excited by it.
“The dedication, talent and energy of the group was heavily contagious and I am so thankful to be a part of this resurgence of women's cricket in the US. The competition was tough, but friendly” says Erica Rendler, who picked up the game not too long ago after watching it on a trip to Australia. “Competing with players from across the nation was a great experience.  I have dreams about cricket and it is quickly taking over my life!”
MVP Indomatie Goordial-JohnOut of the 60 plus players, Indomatie Goordial-John of the North East team stood out with her heavy hitting, especially in the first match.  Racking up 95 runs as well as taking one wicket during that match against the Western Chargers, her effort was the base for a 281 score in their 40 overs which the Chargers could not overcome in the second inning.
Doris Francis of the New York team was one of the outstanding bowlers who gave only 10 runs in 8 overs while taking 3 wickets in the match against the Western Firebirds.  During the match with the Western Chargers, Gul Imran from the Atlantic team also showed great bowling capabilities by not only grabbing 2 wickets in 8 overs with only 10 runs given but also taking catches to get 3 batters out.  And in fielding, Erica Rendler of the Western Firebirds showed off her softball background, moving fast on the outfield, collecting the balls cleanly and throwing them back in a flash.
The women were definitely fired up and are excited to see who among them will be selected to be part of Team USA.  Those top players will travel to Canada for that ICC Qualifier tournament which starts July 12.  And all are looking forward to future tournaments in the USA.  "I am looking forward to be back next year to participate in your forthcoming tournaments" states Ivy Mahabir, captain of the Atlantic team.
As women around the country see this kind of action in the USA, it is bound to encourage more to participate.  So next year's tournament will very likely see more teams participating and more enthusiastic play.
Here is a summary of this tournament's results:
Five teams participated:  Atlantic, New York, North East, Western Chargers, Western Firebirds
Player of the Match Awards - one for each of the five matches:
     Match 1 - Indomatie Goordial-John, North East (75 runs; 1 wicket)
     Match 2 - Durga Das, Western Firebirds (29 runs)
     Match 3 - Shondell Ward, North East (8 overs for 8 runs)
     Match 4 - Doris Francis, New York (8 run; 3 wickets, 10 runs in 8 overs)
     Match 5 - Gul Imran, Atlantic (11 Not out; 3 catches; 2 wickets, 10 runs in 8 overs)

Best Fielder of the Tournament: Erica Rendler, Firebirds
Best Wicket Keeper of the Tournament: Catherine Crowe, New York
Best Bowler of the Tournament: Beulah Pidakala, Atlantic
Best Batter of the Tournament: Indomatie Goordial-John, North East
Most Valuable Player of the Tournament: Indomatie Goordial-John, North East

Champions: North East
Runners-up: Western Firebirds
Third place: New York
Fourth place: Atlantic
Fifth place: Western Chargers