By Our Sports Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | January 08, 2018
The farce involving the Giles Shield School Cricket Tournament final, finally ended. The better team waited patiently like a true sportsman and even though their second day’s play was slated a day before the final against Don Bosco (Matunga), Rizvi Springfield came on time to complete their match against Swami Vivekanand yesterday; the school played truant yet again.
It must be recalled that there was quite a ruckus created even though the MSSA (Mumbai School Sports Association) went by the book to award a walkover to Rizvi when the opponents did not turn up, for their second and final day’s play on January 03, 2018. It must be noted here that Swami Vivekanand won the toss in their semi-final at the Police Gymkhana and put Rizvi in to bat. Rizvi amassed 352 for the loss of three wickets in 75 overs on day one (January 02, 2018) of the two-day semifinal.
At the neighbouring Parsi Gymhkana, Don Bosco (Matunga) and V N Sule Guruji turned up on day two. So did all the officials and umpires. Only Swami Vivekanand was missing. “We kept calling them but we received no answer. Finally at 9 am we received an SMS stating that the school authorities were not allowing them to play because of the ‘situation’ (Mumbai witnessed a bandh). We tried contacting them immediately after but their phones were switched off,” said Nadim Memon MSSA Cricket Secretary.
Inspite of that, the committee decided to allow the erring team a chance to complete their final but they yet again failed to turn up for their match which was scheduled at Elphinstone pitch at Azad Maidan. “The MSSA officials acted in a fair manner going by the rules of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA),” said Memon who is visibly upset that the school children are not being taught the true spirit of sportsmanship. “Mr. Jignesh Bhatt from Swami Vivekanand came to meet us on January 05, 2018, with a letter of authority given by the principal requesting us to withdraw the decision and make us play on any ground, if possible, Police Gymkhana. We agreed after speaking with the MCA Tournament Secretary who allowed us to play on January, 07, 2018, since there was difficulty in getting the ground earlier. We got the same two umpires, observers and scorers for the play on Sunday, but Swami Vivekanand failed to turn up yet again!
Today, Bollywood actor and cricket enthusiast Boman Irani (walking in to the sound of the Anjuman Islam School band), tossed the coin. Rizvi won the toss and elected to bat. It’s an engrossing final on the cards. But the bad taste left by Swami Vivekanand is not entirely sporting in its manner!
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