LeagueToberfest! – Metro Detroit Cricket League
October 16, 2013 Share

LeagueToberfest! – Metro Detroit Cricket League

Where Cricket is a Community Event!

Michigan is blessed to have a pretty diverse community from South Asia and some other parts of the world. There is a very strong community of Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis that are always eager and looking for every opportunity to play cricket.

However, busy school schedules and odd working hours are big hurdles to overcome, if one was to dedicate an entire day to cricket. A strong automotive industry in the Detroit area host a large number of engineers, who are always looking for recreational sports opportunities, and cricket somehow, always comes to mind first.

Metro Detroit Cricket League (MDCL) provides a perfect platform to fulfill the needs of all the eager cricket lovers. T20 games, played with hard-tennis balls on high school and community college grounds, provide a platform to have an entertaining Sunday morning game of cricket.

MDCL currently hosts 13 teams in its 2013 season which started in late April and culminates in early October, every year. The league was started in 2001 when some cricket enthusiasts put a few teams together to play in a tournament. Since then, the league has grown significantly, and over the short period of time it has had several organizing committee members, with every one working hard to improve the quality of the tournaments. The regular season is followed by the play-off rounds, including quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. The MDCL is pretty much self-financed, with occasional support from local community members and other more established leagues in the metro area like MichCA and GLCC.

The balls used in MDCL are usually imported from India, and does require unique skills to utilize the feathery skin when the ball is new, not only for bowlers, but also batsman to whom it presents a separate set of challenges. The newer ball tends to pop up more on drives. Typically less runs are scored in the early overs due to the fact that the ball does some ‘tricks’ when it is new and does not come on to bat easily. Spinners also enjoy utilizing the bounce it provides, and quality spinners are very difficult to play.

Sheer pace, line, and length bowling are always challenging in any form of cricket, and MDCL is no different. Big hitter batsmen usually bat lower down in the order, and targets are achievable, if the requited run rate is below eight runs per over. Those late overs are considered the slog overs, and on a typical day, teams batting first score something around 120 runs in 20 overs, which is considered a challenging total.

Even though it is not classical leather ball cricket, it does require similar skills and provides a lot of entertainment for the local fans. A large number of players who are regular leather ball players also enjoy participating in the hard tennis ball tournaments.

MDCL also arranges and host an Annual Night Tournament, which typically lasts over one weekend. The games are played under floodlights at baseball fields. Usually 10-12 teams play each other over a weekend, from late afternoon till midnight. It has been a popular event in the community which has attracted the best talent in the entire Detroit metro area. The 2012 event was covered by GEO news representatives, with interviews of local community leaders.

The tournaments attract large crowds who come to watch the fast-paced matches. It also provides opportunities for people who grew up playing cricket and love the game dearly, to introduce the sport to the next generation.

Rehan Mallick can be reached at rmallick72@gmail.com.