Achievements Highlighted at Elegant Presentation Ceremony
By Dr. Tara Singh
It has been said in the Caribbean context that one of the best social palliatives is cricket. It tends to bring people together and neutralize their differences, whether perceived or real, through watching the unfolding of skills/talent in the sports arena.
This healing and unifying force is particularly important in the Caribbean where race, class and religion have continued to divide people. The well-known Survivorz Cricket Club of New York is aware of the potential unifying force of cricket and is tapping into its mission to create a better community for all to live in peace and with self-respect. These were some of the values expressed at the Cricket Club’s annual cricket presentation on Saturday March 23, at the Underwater Catering Hall, Rockaway Blvd, South Ozone Park, New York. It was an occasion rich in imagery, reflection, evaluation, as well as recognition for people who have excelled in their craft and are making a difference in their community and beyond.
Several supporters and community activists were invited to that prestigious event. Upon entering the Hall, the MBBF team and other guests were welcomed by the Chairman, Mahendra Hariraj, General Manager Asgar Khan, Captain Afraz Ally, Vice- Captain Ralph Ogle, Fundraising coordinator Ryan Taharjit, Disciplinary coordinator Mohamed Nazir, and Secretary Shivanie Kumar of the Cricket team. It was the first ever cricket presentation that most of the MBBF members have had the honor to attend in New York City. And it was indeed a classy event. The SURZCC members conducted themselves with decorum and dignity. Guests immediately sensed that they are under good leadership.
Mahendra spoke eloquently about the Survivorz Cricket Club ‘s progress and impressive record as well as its restructuring in 2018 to make it more productive, accountable and broad-based in its outreach. Apart from the SURZCC’s numerous accomplishments, he emphasized the need to embrace discipline, as well as to cultivate proper cultural values among his team so that they in turn can transmit these values to the younger generation. The SURZCC has gone where many other cricket clubs have dared to go. It had made, for example, two separate donations in the USA, namely, one to an individual to pursue his cricketing career and the other was to help a team procure cricket supplies in their hard-ball game. A generous donation of cricket supplies was made to a Meetem Meer Zorg (West Demerara) Cricket Team comprising 30 youth who were also trained in character building consistent with Survivorz’s mission. The New York Cricket team has promised that they will support cricket teams in other parts of Guyana where the need is greatest.
Mahendra stated that part of their success is due to the in-kind (food, water, tent, etc.) support that they receive from Raymond and Sharon Khan of Caribbean Roti Express; Steve Persaud of Fantasy Bar and Lounge, Surai Surujballie of 1040 Pros who made the Hall possible for the event; and Aaron Ramenauth of Aaron Lectron Electrics. The Marcus Brian Bisram Foundation was cited for its generous financial donation. Mahendra expressed his club’s deepest gratitude to the sponsors and praised the MBBF for its religious, cultural, community and humanitarian work within the New York and the Caribbean regions. In recognition of the Cricket club’s gratitude, the Philanthropist Marcus Bisram was given a citation which was received by the MBBF team in attendance (comprising Raj Puran, Sharmin David, Nafesa Ramcharran, Rahdeca Puran, Meena Balram, Mahidranauth David, Chandra Singh, Ramesh Krishna, Bash Singh, and Tara Singh). As if that citation was not enough, the SURZCC donated their prized and beautiful 2018 victory trophy to the MBB Foundation, as a token of their deep appreciation for the work and vision of the MBBF leader Marcus Bisram. This trophy was also graciously received by the MBBF team.
The MBB Foundation congratulated all the cricketers and lauded them for their vision and contribution to the development of our community and beyond. Their emphasis on accountability is deeply admired and the enthusiasm of members has been very high. The challenge for SURZCC is to keep up this level of momentum or even to get it at a higher level. The MBBF team was very pleased with the arrangements for the Cricket presentation and was grateful for the warmth received from the members of the cricket team.
SurvivorZ Cricket Club (SURZCC) won the Division 1B President’s Cup limited overs competition against Sheffield. In the second and final competitions, SURZCC recorded impressive achievements in the Quarter and Semi- Finals respectively. The SRRZCC was also awarded the NYSCL (New York Softball Cricket League) 2018 “most aggressive” team scoring a huge total of 338 runs in just 25 overs against the Legends Cricket Club. The President of the NYSCL was in attendance and he was requested to present a trophy to Survivorz members.
SURZCC members achieved various accolades in cricket. Robindra (Vick) Singh was the recipient of the “Man of the Match” Award in the President’s Cup Final. Robindra also amassed the highest batting aggregate score in the final. Excellent performance in bowling came from Maheshwar Naidoo who took 17 wickets in the season, and a fine bowling spell was put in by Anthony Howard who took 5 wickets for 14 runs. At the regular season, SURZCC team recorded the highest individual score made by Asgar Khan, who also achieved the highest batting average of 70.5 and took 9 wickets. The two centurions on the team are Robindra Singh and Asgar Khan, with Asgar receiving the MVP award. In humility, Asgar called upon Robindra to join him in receiving the trophy in recognition of another star batsman.
For the past cricket season, some team members received individual trophies for scoring 50 or more runs. They are Robindra Singh, Ralph Ogle, Afraz Alli, and Asgar Khan. Membership trophies were awarded to Mahendra Hariraj, Mohamed Nazir, Ralph Ogle, Asgar Khan, Afraz Alli, Virasammy Virapin, Maheshwar Naidoo, Ryan Taharjit, Anthony Howard, Munieram Samaroo, Robindar Singh, Davendra Seedath, Roodranauth Motiram, Sayyad Chan, Troy Haley, Melvin Shewprasad, Asif Safie, and Zaad Majeed. When the awardees appeared on stage to receive their trophies, the EMCEE provided the audience with a background on each.
The SURZCC is anxiously looking forward to improve on their 2018 performance in the 2019 season. They also hope that their sponsors will continue to support and encourage their team to greater heights. We extend our warmest congratulations to all members of SURZCC and to all the awardees and the sponsors. It was indeed an honor to be their guests.