MITCL: A debut to remember
“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.”
MIT is notorious for its love of the footballing culture, which eventually culminated in the form of MITFL. Cricket, too, has been widely acclaimed in MIT and because of this very reason, MIT’s cricket team consists of the very best. However, the love for cricket extends beyond the twenty two players on the field and the situation was ripe to introduce MIT’s very own semi-professional cricket league. The dream of organising such an enormous sporting tournament struck the chord of reality under a hardworking crew team led by chairperson, Vansh Mahajan, as the Manipal Institute of Technology Cricket League (MITCL) came into existence.
Being a semi-professional cricket league, the tournament was organised along the lines of the Indian Premier League. Selections were conducted, and the selected players were grouped into various auction pools. Teams were allotted auction money, and were asked to bid their best. The auction took place on the 13th of September at the Library Auditorium. Mr. Vinod Nayak, the Sports Secretary of Manipal University, was the chief guest for the evening. Along with the Director, Dr. G.K. Prabhu, Dr. Sathish Mallya, the Director of Physical Education MIT, and Mr. Raahul Kotian of SOAHS were also present. What followed was a blend of cricketing and business tactics, as teams dished out money for players. Each team was given a budget of Rs. 25lakh. Except for the money being imaginary, the auctioning process was every bit as professional as it could be.
After what seemed like an endless task of arranging sponsors, making teams, publicising the same, getting approval from the MU authorities, the hard work finally paid off on the 8th of October, when the league was inaugurated. Our Director, Dr. Gopalkrishna Prabhu, Joint Director, Dr B H Venkataram Pai, Director of Physical Education and the Sports Advisor were few of the many dignitaries who graced the event with their presence. At the ceremony’s peak hour, the director, Dr G.K. Prabhu took to the stage, voicing his support and encouragement. It was only after much deliberation and debate, that the League came to life.
MITCL had six teams competing for the top prize:
Hurricanes- led by Aryan Gupta
Titans- led by Mayank Sinha
Pirates- led by Romel Krishna
Wizards- led by Saswat Prusty
Samurais- led by Rishabh Singh
Ninjas – led by Abhishek Gerard
Clad in white and playing 16 T-20s from 9th October 2016 to 1st November 2016, the players were nothing short of phenomenal when it came to endurance, practice, and hard work.
Team Ninjas won the MITCL owing to star players like Rishab Dave, Siddharth Prasad, Rohit Jain, and Abhishek Francis. Rishab earned a favourable reputation throughout by giving no runs and making sure every batsman had a hard time at the crease. Siddharth Prasad was the best performer for them, picking up thirteen wickets which was the second highest in the tournament. The captain, Abhishek Gerard, was undoubtedly pleased with his team’s overall performance.
While MITCL was a success, the journey wasn’t always yielding, with rain playing spoil sport in the very first match itself. Weather was a concern throughout but thankfully, the other matches weren’t affected by it. The run rate become an issue as well when they were forced to let five teams through to the second round rather than the conventional four. All five teams had the same run rate. Hence, the number of matches had to be increased accordingly, and this led to the use of the End Point ground for the extra matches.
The MITCL, despite its efficient workforce, could not run only with the help of the organising committee. New to hosting a league, the committee faced a lot of problems but they found their way out with the help of individuals who saw the potential of the League and lent them a helping hand. From getting various permissions for the league to decisive and moral advice, Dr. Gurumurthy played the role of a person far more than the Sports Advisor he’s known to be. Their decision of choosing him as their faculty advisor started off as one of their many fruitful decisions made during the league. Sathish Mallya, the physical education director at MIT, helped in arranging everything they needed and made most of the league happen. The sports secretary of Manipal University, Dr. Vinod Nayak, supported them as well along their journey and offered help whenever he could. He was the guest of honour for the league, and his profuse generosity proved that no other person deserved the position more than him.
The MITCL organising team was also assisted by MIT alumni, who provided valuable advice and ensured that the league ran smoothly and efficiently. Rishab Singh Archie, a previous sports secretary of MIT played his part to make the league happen. Raul Kotian, alumni of Manipal University and a faculty of Society of Applied Health Science, gave his thoughts and advice as a former cricketer and a participant in the Mangalore and Karnataka Premier League.
The League had a grandeur unparalleled to anything done on MIT regarding cricket. Reputed sponsors provided monetary and logistical assistance. 24 Letter Mantra was the League’s title sponsor, while Arte and Domino’s provided coupons for exceptional performers in the League.
The MITCL was organised to near perfection, and because this was the inaugural edition, this feat is commendable, to say the least. The League served as a launching pad for hidden talent, as many players stormed into the fray. The idea and execution were equally good. The organising team has big boots to fill for MITCL’s second edition. In the end, MITCL could not have asked for a better debut.
A few statistics regarding the exceptional performers of the tournament have been mentioned below
Highest run scorer: Keshav Taneja- 178 runs
Highest wicket taker: Romel Raj Krishna-13 wickets
Highest number of sixes: Keshav Taneja-5 sixes.