NRI Pulse


City News

Vibha Cricket: 25 years of history, passion, and camaraderie

Atlanta, GA, May 31, 2023: Vibha celebrated 25 years of Vibha Cricket in Atlanta on the 5th of May, 2023 with a lot of history, camaraderie, and passion!  How does an event – more so a fundraising event that requires special energy to raise funds while also making it fun and worthy to participate – go on to celebrate a Silver Jubilee? How does the momentum sustain for 25 years? The answer is quite simply in the indomitable spirit of Vibha volunteers! 

When the going got tough with so many other cricket tournaments popping up by other organizations and ACL (Atlanta Cricket League), Vibha kept innovating, and brought back the excitement and made it count every year !!  New volunteers took up the challenge regularly, year after year, and led from the front. The old guard of volunteers kept an unwavering commitment to the cause and the event and provided all the support! The sense of satisfaction and achievement was visible in the faces  of all the players – some of them playing this tournament for more than 20 years, some that retired, and the younger ones, the sponsors, and the volunteers that gathered to celebrate the occasion.  Vibha Cricket and Vibha DreamMile (also celebrating the Silver Jubilee this year in September) have found a place in the history of Atlanta !!

Reminiscing the long history of the event, Srinivas Vemulapalli, the Volunteer Coordinator with a long association with the event said “I never thought that the event we started in 1999 would go on successfully for 25 years and raise more than $850,000 for the cause of the children. I would like to thank Sravan Vellanki, the CEO of Futuretech and Anj Balusu, the General Manager at FutureTech and  recently elected Director of USA Cricket, for supporting and guiding us in this journey. Above all else – it can never be said enough – it is the volunteer spirit and the cause of the children that has brought us to this milestone event”.

Dr. Michelle Au, the GA State Representative presided over the function and congratulated the Vibha team on the special occasion and gave away mementos to players and sponsors.   Dilip Tunki, the JohnsCreek City Councilmember also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the efforts of Vibha for making a difference in the lives of children in India and USA. Rajesh Vuchatu  the Executive Director of Vibha Atlanta talked about the sharpened focus of Vibha on public education in India by signing memorandum of understanding (MOU) with several state governments (most recently with the Delhi Education department) and working with several others (Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, MP, etc..) and that Vibha is also invited to participate in the C20 (as part of the G20) summits on education for policy proposals. He also highlighted how Vibha is also making a difference in Atlanta by supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), InspireEdu and the International Community School (ICS).

Sravan Vellanki, the title sponsor for the event, gave an impassionate speech and said “It requires dedication, hard work, team effort and the support of volunteers to make an impact on the community. Achieving this milestone is a testament to the unwavering commitment to the cause. FutureTech had the privilege of being the title sponsor for almost 20 years for Vibha Cricket and everyone here is proud of Vibha’s achievements. Congratulations Team Vibha on this significant milestone and here’s to many more years of making a difference through Vibha!”

This year’s event saw participation from 39 teams of Men, women and Youth. Keeping up with the tradition of continuous innovation, and recognizing the growth of youth teams in several high schools,  Vibha  started a separate tournament for Youth. The inaugural version was won by JohnsCreek High School Phantoms by beating the NorthView High School Titans. In the same spirit, a group of young girls formed a team  and participated in the Women’s tournament, challenging some of their mothers. It was a heart-warming sight to see the mothers and daughters bowling and batting against each other. The girls team that will be the future of women cricket,  the FutureTech Youth Atlanta Strikers won the Women tournament, beating Firebirds in the finals. Durga Datla of Firebirds won the Best Batswoman and the Player of the tournament for scoring 32 runs and taking 2 wickets;  Hiral Patel of Firebirds won the Best Bowler award for taking 3 wickets and Disha Kaveripakam from FutureTech Youth Atlanta Strikers was adjudged the Player of the Finals. 

The Men’s tournament was won by the Rapid IT Monsters Challengers, the franchise that won the most number of Vibha tournaments over the years led by Sanjay Narla, by beating The Krishna Vilas Legends. The Legends restricted the Challengers to 63 runs in the allocated 5 overs but failed to reach the target against some fierce bowling by Challengers.  Best Batsman of the tournament was bagged by Uday Kumar Reddy Guda from Lindberg Aliens for scoring 132 runs in the tournament. Pradeep Sadhasivam from Sekhar Realty Blazers won the Best Bowler award with 8 wickets in the tournament. Harish Kotamraju of Rapid IT Monsters Challengers was awarded the Man of the Tournament for scoring 112 runs and taking 8 wickets. Jagdish Narisetty of Legends won the Player of the Finals.

“As Co-leads, we had a blast organizing the cricket tournament this year! It was truly humbling to see the spirit of Vibha supporters who took part and help celebrate our milestone event. We had fun and in the process also raised awareness and funds”, said Vasantha Kandikuppa and Sathya Vridhachalam. Even as the cricket celebrations are winding down, the volunteers are abuzz planning for the next three events in the year! Vibha Dream Golf, which was a huge success in its inaugural version last year, will be continued at the prestigious St Ives Country Club on the special day of Juneteenth (June 19th). There is also significant excitement in the volunteer team and the walker/runner community to make the Silver Jubilee of Vibha DreamMile 5K/10K/Half-Marathon a huge success on September 17 (dreammile.org/atlanta). Vibha is also planning to organize a Gala in the first week of December to celebrate the Silver Jubilee  milestones of Cricket and DreamMile and to highlight the renewed energy in Vibha in making an impact on Public Education in India. Please visit atlanta.vibha.org for all the updates.

Prabir Das, recognized at the event for his long association with Vibha first as a player from the inaugural tournament in 1999 and then as a volunteer and currently the Executive Director of Vibha Atlanta, thanked all the participants and invited everyone to join the movement as volunteers and supporters.

Related posts

Atlanta’s Mustafa Ajmeri honored with Global Community Oscar

Veena

Atlanta-based CEO and philanthropist Pramod Sajja wins AsiaOne Award

Veena

India’s spiritual minds come together to welcome 2021 with positivity, hope and harmony

Veena

Leave a Comment