As I sat down to jot down my thoughts on cricket in the DMV area, I can’t help but think about what the world went through in the preceding year. It was a nightmare these days last year. Covid-19 upticked the world in ways no one imagined. It continues to be a threat and caution (wear masks) is still necessary to lessen its impact.
I’ll start off by my accolades to the current president of WCL Mr. Anand Patel (known to everyone as AP). He has done a tremendous job in bringing transparency to the league. What used to be brushed under the carpet, he has shown guts to openly allow DMV cricketers to air their concerns (within the limits of respect) including his feedback and responses. Being a president of any organization is no small feat. It comes with intense scrutiny and one can’t always make everyone happy. AP does a great job in holding the balance and listening to others concerns. I commend him on successfully organizing cricket last year (given the circumstances) and I hope this year will be no different.
From what I gather, it seems like, there will be A LOT of cricket this year (probably a make up from 2020). Along with the scheduled WCL games, there will be minor league games, Memorial day tournament, and Labor Day tournament (eye popping prize $$). The resumption of Memorial day and Labor day tournaments with prize money should be credited to WCL primarily and 22-yards specifically. Over the years, 22-yards management has done their bit to reward cricketers in the DMV area. I hope they continue to do so – primarily sending players for high performance coaching to cricket playing countries.
DMV has been a hot spot for cricketers over the years and continues to be one, however, where other states (TX, FL, CA) have an edge is the turf wickets. I strongly believe that if turf wickets are made in this area, the talent pool we have will really shine. Over the years, we have seen many international cricketers from different parts of the world gracing WCL. The experience of playing alongside an international cricketer is great for any aspiring cricketer. The tips and tricks they share can be super handy. Their experience also gives a different perspective to the game, how to read a situation, player management, team combination, and match scenarios. Overall it yields healthy competition and makes players think of different strategies.
I have been playing cricket in the DMV area for over a decade now. I am in no way an expert. My opinions are based on my analysis and I can be wrong. WCL will resume with T-20’s in 2021. Last year, Potomac for Division 1 and Today’s Travel for Division 2 were the champions. Potomac won an almost one-sided final against Titans, whereas Today’s Travel won a nail biter against Herndon Bengals. The three tier structure would be in place for 2021 and I am certain teams would be raring to play! Given last year’s performances, below is my list of top 4 team rankings (I apologize, it is only for PD. Pardon my ignorance).
- Potomac: They are the defending champions from last year. Rajit Passi has done a great job in moulding Potomac into a team to beat. Their professional players have already arrived for this year. Unless Potomac loses out to an upset in the semis, I see them winning the T-20 playoffs this year.
- Washington Capitals: Since I play for the Capitals (formerly known by different names), I will limit my opinion. It’s a team with a really good mix of locals and they can be a handful for any team. Gourav Bajaj does a great job in marshalling his players. I see a Potomac Vs. Capitals finals for T-20.
- 22-Yards: Another team with a lot of potential on paper but they have yet to prove with their performance. Rikin and Eraj have done a great job in bringing in quality professional players to boast 22-yards, but somehow they find a way to lose grip on a game from a winning position. This team has all the ingredients to cause an upset.
- Titans: Another team that is similar to 22-yards on its performance. Historically, Titans has always been a really good t-20 side. Titans is easily ranked one of the top 6 teams in WCL but given their potential they never really came in the top 2 consistently. This year Ahsan Reshad will be leading the charge for Titans along with a good mix of locals. On their day, Titans can also upset their opponent.
As cricket resumes in the DMV area, specifically with WCL starting this week, I wish all the teams good luck! Stay safe and follow CDC guidelines for covid-19.