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Southern man lives for cricket
Despite the fact that support for the sport has been dwindling over the past few years, one man still wakes up every morning with one thing on his mind and that is cricket.
Anand Ajodha, a leg-spin bowler from Priam Street in Diamond village, San Fernando, plays cricket somehow everyday of his life. A builder by trade, he finds time everyday to dedicate to cricket—be it playing a match, or training—or reading about the sport.
“I have made it abundantly clear to everyone around me that cricket is my first love and nothing would come in the way of it.” Ajodha took his love for cricket to the extreme when he left his wedding reception to play in a cricket match many years ago.
Remembering his situation years ago, he said: “I told my wife-to-be before the wedding day that I wanted the wedding completed by 11 am, as I had a cricket match to play for Usine Ste Madeleine for 1 pm.
“The pastor came early and the ceremony was over by 10.45 am, so I had enough time to cycle across to the ground and get in my warm-up session before play started.” As if to celebrate the occasion, Ajodha took six wickets in the match against Cosmos of Williamsville. At the conclusion of play, he jumped on his bicycle and rode home at around 6.45 pm.
“The wedding had about 50 people in attendance, and by the time I got back there were just a few people sitting around. I then decided to relax a bit and enjoy the evening.” Ajodha and his first wife are no longer together. He is now happily married again, to Meera Ajodha— who, he says, understands his love for the game.
“I parted ways with my last wife and today I consider myself lucky to be with Meera, who has really supported me with my cricket,” he said. When Ajodha leaves for cricket, his bag always includes a change of clothes, extra shoes, a new cricket ball, a scorebook and even a pencil—in case the scorer does not have one.
A serious statistician, Ajodha has documented his performances in every South Zone match in which he has played since 1981. The 40-year-old medium-pacer has taken 952 wickets at a miserly average of 6.1 runs, with a best of eight for 36 against Gunners of Williamsville.
He has been very unlucky not to have gained selection in a southern interzone team, despite his performances with the ball over the years. “I cannot understand for the life of me how I never got called up for even a South trial. “I have been taking a bagful of wickets for Usine and Diamond United for the past 24 years and yet I have never gotten a call-up.” However one thing is very clear: Ajodha puts nothing before cricket, and everything into it. Play on!
Merry Boys in action at UWI today
Merry Boys cricket club will be looking to T&T Red Force all rounder Marlon Richards to continue his good form when they meet Duncan Buggy Haynes United in the quarter-finals of the UWI T20 tournament at the Sir Frank Worrell ground in St Augustine today from 2pm.
Richards, the Guyanese-born player has been in great form so far with both bat and ball, and his experience has been the key in leading Merry Boys to two victories in the preliminary round. In the other quarter-final today, Demerara CC will come up against Police from 6pm. The Lawmen will have their hands ful against a Guyanese outfit, with Ganganand Singh in full flight. The experienced trio of Amit Jaggernauth, Hollister Pajote and Ryan Jones has been the men leading the way and they will be hoping that they can make a difference this evening.
Last evening defending champions and Tobago outfit Club Crusoe battled Central Sports, while the night cap game featured Cane Farm and Munroe Road.
MECA cricket bowls off
A change of year also means a change of sport for the Mohammed’s Electrical Coaching Academy (MECA) whose cricket clinic gets underway on Sunday morning with registration at the pavilion of the HKL Aranjuez Sports Club.
MECA officials will be on location from 9 a.m. to facilitate the registration process for new and returning participants. Registration fee is $100 for the entire season which runs to the end of the academic year in early July, and caters for boys and girls aged 5-17.
Formal coaching sessions commence the following Sunday, January 22, under the overall supervision of head coach Rajindra Ramadhin, who has the assistance of a cadre of committed and dedicated colleagues, most of whom have been part of the MECA coaching set-up in both cricket and football for several years.
Many of the returning students were also part of the 2016 football season, which concluded on December 11 with Aamir Ali, who is also a promising cricketer, earning the prestigious “Randolph Bally Memorial Challenge Trophy” as the program’s outstanding participant.
Anyone seeking more information on MECA can call 756-3950 or 674-6850.