BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Vakiti Creations
Atlanta, GA, January 10, 2018: Atlanta Cricket Academy (ACA) celebrated its first annual banquet in a grand style on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Casablanca Banquet Hall in Alpharetta, GA. The event was attended by representatives of tournament sponsor ASK Staffing, ACA committee members Venu Pisike, Deepak Roy, Murali Vijjapurapu and Pravin Vaghela, ACA supporters, Coach Anand Tummala, Coach Deepak Roy, Dhiru Shah (President-elect GIBC), freelance journalist Mahadev Desai and volunteers, players and their families.
In the engaging program emceed by cheerful and confident Lahari Pisike and Sanjana Sidike, ACA committee members remembered and celebrated the many success stories and accomplishments this year. The audience was also regaled with captivating songs, dances, quizzes and performances on musical instruments like the clarinet by young performers. And while the gathering was relishing spicy snacks, Viraj Vaghela energized the audience with his rendering of the popular ‘Champions’ song. Quizzes were also a lot of fun.
ACA cricket coach Anand Tummala gave an absorbing talk on the role of parents in nurturing and supporting children’s passion for cricket. Awards and trophies were presented to all the committed, upcoming and high performance cricket players.
ASK Staffing presented trophies and medals to Annual Champions Trophy and Challenger Trophy Winners and Runners-up. Coach Anand, Dhirubhai Shah, Mahadev Desai and ACA Committee members were also invited to present trophies to outstanding performers. Dhirubhai Shah and Mahadev Desai were recognized and presented with flower bouquets.
In 2017, ACA won two championships.ACA Avatars won the US Open Youth U13 cricket tournament held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida over the last weekend of October 2017. The team included Viraj Vaghela (captain), Ishaan Roy (vc), Ateendra Subramanian (vc), Danush Kaveripakkam, Dhruv Patel, Pranay Kapadia, Rishi Pandey, Aran Chenchu, Abhiram Kalvakuntla, Jay Sonawala, Nayan Bhogaraju (wk), Ricardo Powell Jr. (RJ), Prabhavh Pradeep, Coach: Deepak Roy, Manager: Pravin Vaghela
ACA Avatars won the Minor Cricket League (MiCL) U13 Cricket tournament held in St. Louis, MO over the Labor Day long weekend. The team included Viraj Vaghela (captain/wk), Ateendra Subramanian (vc), Danush Kaveripakam,Vinay Polaku, Pranavh Pradeep, Samanyu Vemuri, Aran Chenchu, Abhigna Vijjapurapu,Yash Verma, Abhiram Kalvakuntla, Prabhavh Pradeep, Akhil Posa, Coach: Anand Tummala, Managers: Murali Vijjapurapu/Pravin Vaghela Viraj Vaghela (Captain)
Ateen Subramanian (Vice Captain)
Coach Anand Tummala was also recognized and presented with an award. In his brief remarks Anand, who is a noted cricketer and a highly qualified cricket coach said, “The current period is the best time for cricket in the U.S. Cricket is gaining popularity here.The International Cricket Council is responsible for the organization and governance of cricket’s major international tournaments, most notably the Cricket World Cup. More countries are participating in cricket competitions. Different formats of cricket matches are gaining popularity so budding talent has many openings now to showcase their prowess. Cricket is driven by cricketers .Coaches, physiotherapists, support staff are in the background but players are center-stage.”
He exhorted the young players to make the most of their youth and to make the most of the opportunity available to them. He commended parents for their dedication, commitment and support in providing facilities, coaching and in arranging competitive cricket matches. Anand then recognized ACA Committee members Venu Pisike, Murali Vijjapurapu; Pravin Vaghela and Deepak Roy (also an ACA Coach), commending them for their selfless and sterling services and calling them ‘four pillars of ACA”. Anand recognized ACA’s cricket coach Alex Camilus who could not be present at the banquet.
ACA profusely thanked ASK Staffing’s Devaki Kumayan, Vikram Bedi and Smita Atre for attending and for the tournament sponsorship. The academy also thanked Atlanta Cricket League for helping ACA during the year and ACL President – Ramu Parupalli, ACL Chairman – Rakesh Gandavarapu and ACL Board Member – Sirish Vallabhu for gracing the event. It further thanked Bhavuk Goel of Bazooka Cricket Store for generously gifting cricket bats and kits to high performers, and Hasan Ali of Cricdepot for donating raffle prizes. ACA recognized and presented flower bouquets in appreciation to these sponsors and representatives.
ACA Committee members presented 2017 key developments, achievements, finances and roadmap for 2018. ACA also launched its website at the Banquet.