December 2, 2012

It was my my pleasure and honour to take part in the Hyderabad All India cricket festival between November 22 and November 25.  This festival had the dual objectives of playing cricket games and contributing to Rotary's polio eradication campaign.

This festival was the first one which involved teams from right across the country and abroad - previous festivals having been on a more limited basis.

Competing teams were from Sri Lanka, Bengaluru, Pune, Gujarat, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Sucunderabad. Twenty over games were played at three grounds, Railways, the Secunderabad Club and the Venkatapathy Raju ground on each of three days.

A competitive spirit was in evidence in all games leading to some close results.  Most teams won either one or two of their three games, Bengaluru being the only team to win all three games.  The closeness was evidenced by the fact that each of Bengaluru's wins was by no more than 12 runs.

A special feature at the festival was the Ability Unlimited Night.  This included an outstanding display by young people with disabilities and also a segment emphasising the polio campaign.  Prior to this display the festival was graced by the presence of RI president Sakuji Tanaka who met each competing team separately and was photographed with its members.  The world president also made several memento presentations to various persons involved with the festival.

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation by Vipul Patel, IFCR India chairman, of a cheque for USD 30,000 for End Polio.

There will be another festival along the lines of Hyderabad held in Chennai between February 21 and February 24, 2013.

No report of this Hyderabad festival would be complete without acknowledgment of the organisers in the six local Rotary clubs and, specially, Rotarians Agam Rao and Sarathy and their committee.

(Richard Groom)