Kapil Dev Inaugurates TCA Knockout 2005

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It was a moment of passion and excitement as the astounded Tennisball Cricket Association (TCA) Community met the Cricket. Cricket fever was at its peak when Kapil Dev showed his legendary tricks to amaze his fans. On April 17, 2005 history was written in TCA books.

Tennisball Cricket Association’s 2005 Knockout Tournament began with a bang when Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century, Kpail Dev, kicked-off the tournament. Bearing witness were hundreds of men, women, children and senior citizens who watched Kapil display his legendary fireworks at the tournament ground.

Kapil Dev inaugurated the tournament with a coin toss, shaking hands with the two playing teams and wishing them well in their games. Players took his autographs on their hands, bats and T-shirts. Some players said they will never wash their T-Shirt while the others were talking about buying new team uniform and preserving this as an asset.

Fans were ecstatic when the guest of honor decided to show a few tricks from his bag. “Chalo Khelte Hai … (Let’s Play)” said Kapil, when a fan handed a Cricket bat for his autograph. It came in as a total surprise to everyone! It was a finger biting experience to watch Kapil slogging balls effortlessly in every direction. But the best part was yet to come. Kapil decided to arm himself with a wicket, keeping the bat aside he slogged every ball that was bowled to him with apparent ease. It was amazing to witness extraordinary skills. “He’s still got the magic touch” someone in the crowd remarked aloud. Overwhelmed the Seamers (a contender team of the inauguration match) immediately offered an opener spot to Kapil.

“It was a lifetime experience to see Kapil play and slog the balls in front of my eyes.” said Raghu, member of Spanglers, another contender team of the inauguration match. “We grew up idolizing Kapil, and we can’t thank TCA enough for giving us this opportunity” said players in unison.

It was a life time experience for TCA’s youth cricketers as well who were thrilled with Kapil’s autograph, and for the senior citizens, who got an opportunity to wish Kapil well in his ventures. "He is much taller than I thought", said Pannaben Desai (74) who couldn’t stop her excitement as Kapil greeted her with folded hands “Namaste (Hello in Hindi)”. She and her 8 year old Grand son Arjun were equally thrilled as Kapil’s signed Arjun’s bat. Arihan (8) who presented a bouquet to Kapil said “He is way totally cool” and could not stop talking about how he got few memorabilia signed by Kapil.

Kapil Dev who was accompanied by Indrani Singh (Asia’s first woman Airbus Commander), are visiting Bay Area to raise fund for their Charity (Literacy India). Several TCA Executives and Captains of the Bay Area teams joined the Charity Dinner with Kapil and Indrani. Both distinguished guests graciously accepted TCA’s invitation to inaugurate the TCA event. Speaking at the occasion, Capt Indrani urged the TCA community to support Literacy projects in India.

TCA Knockout tournament is a form of Fast "Zat-Pat" Cricket, in which participating teams play 15 over-a-side matches. The tournament is being organized across in multiple cities in Bay Area. Matches are played on weekends and usually last two-and-half hours. The objective of the tournament is to organized fast paced cricket action where team with an aggressive batting, focused bowling and swift fielding prevails and move to the next round. This year, more than 70 teams or roughly 1500 individuals are participating in the tournament. The tournament will last for five weeks. This is one of the biggest tournaments of its type in the USA.

Tennisball Cricket Association is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and the largest Cricket Organization in the USA. For more information on Tennisball Cricket Association and/or regarding Knockout tournament or this article, please visit the TCA web site at http://www.tennisballcricket.org or send e-mail to info@tennisballcricket.org.

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Giriraj Vengurlekar
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