Amid summer holidays, return of covid infections & govt restrictions and availability of youth players, finally the KNCB Flamingo 2021 took place at HCC, although it was shrunk in 3 days (26th to 28th Jul – Mon to Wed) instead of originally planned for 5 days. This time it was in the shortest format, T10 and for U13/U15 mixed children where five clubs VCC, HBS, Quick, HCC, Qui Vive with six teams participated and where VCC fielded two teams. This year this tournament has special significance of 100 years celebration – truly a huge moment.
Both VCC teams were set up with careful consideration of skills and experience blending between U13 and U15 lot. Both VCC teams (VCC1 and VCC2) started their journey with winning and they themselves gifted a thriller against each other on day 1 of the tournament where VCC2 snatched the victory at the last ball. At the end of 2nd day based on the points, VCC1 got to play for 3rd/4th position against HCC and VCC2 reached the final against HBS. On the final day, both VCC teams were ready to roar in front of crowd and supporters.
After VCC1 convincingly won against HCC and secured the 3rd position, all attention was on the final where the two best teams of the tournament, VCC2 and HBS were in the middle for toss at 16:30. Weather was perfect, crowd was amazing and the whole ambience was simply superb for cricket! After playing each match under different skippers, VCC2 team members chose Shirsak Banerjee as their skipper and Alejo Nota as his deputy for the final. HBS skipper, Azam won the toss and asked VCC2 to bat. Solid opening stand between the skipper and his deputy brought VCC2 total 93/0 at the end of 10 overs. Both the openers played very sensible innings with some incredible running understanding slow outfield and defensive field placement by HBS.
HBS started well and was very much in the match until their captain, Azam was sent back to the pavilion by a superb catch by Arav at deep mid-wicket in the delivery of Steve, winning needle moved towards VCC2. After that, some extraordinary death overs bowling by Shreyash and Arav, calmness of the players and ability to hold the nerve sealed the trophy for VCC2 at the end. Apart from the title and the 3rd place some individual performances stood out:
- best promising bowling performance by Ger Nota;
- catch of the tournament by Farhaan (what a stunning one handed catch on his own bowling);
- batsman of the tournament by Shirsak (200 plus runs with four 50s remained not out in the tournament);
- player of the final by Shirsak;
- best bowler and fielder went to Azam (HBS) and Victor (HCC) respectively.
Congratulations to the boys – amazing performance with great teamwork. It’s great to see the energy, excitement and enjoyment among the boys for these three days. The weather threatened at times, but the positivity of the teams didn’t dampen their spirit. Each of them deserves accolades the way they demonstrated as one unit despite most of them never played together prior to this tournament. It’s fantastic to see everyone owned up the responsibilities when it was needed (captaincy, death over bowling, hard running, cheeky singles etc.). Surely every child will take the learnings forward in future whatever they will do. Thanks to all parents for their contributions in scoring, umpiring, motivating the children considering these were all working days and allowing them to make decisions on the ground.
The Flamingo’s did a commendable job by organizing this event during the holiday period and HCC was a fantastic host. Our youth teams demonstrated the dominance of VCC talent throughout by lifting the trophy of Flamingo’s centenary celebration. We are proud VCCians.