Mumbai: Wednesday’s Maharashtra Bandh has cost the Swami Vivekanand International School, Borivali a place in the final of the prestigious Giles Shield (U-14) inter-school cricket tournament. The Borivali boys were barred from travelling to south Mumbai to play the final day of the two-day semi-final, leading to organisers Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) awarding a walk-over to their opponents.
Unfazed by the bandh call, MSSA continued with the semi-final matches that were already halfway done. While IES VN Sule Guruji and Don Bosco boys played the second day of their semifinal at the Parsee Gymkhana, Rizvi Springfield waited for the Vivekanand team to arrive at the Police Gymkhana. When they failed to show up, the umpires awarded the game to Rizvi at 11.50 a.m. It was also announced that Don Bosco and Rizvi will meet in the three-day final beginning on January 8 at the Wankhede Stadium.
On the first day of the semifinal played on Tuesday, Rizvi Springfield had scored 352/3 in 81 overs.
School to protest
The MSSA’s decision to not defer the match by a day has not gone down well with the Swami Vivekanand coaches and management. Coach Dinesh Lad said, “There was no school bus to take the team, which had assembled at the school entrance in the morning, to the match venue. I got in touch with the management, who advised me against taking so many young kids in a local train as the situation could turn dangerous.”
He added, “I requested the MSSA to reschedule the second day’s play to Thursday, but the match was awarded to Rizvi. We’re going to register a formal protest against the decision on Thursday.”
Nadim Memon, cricket secretary, MSSA, said rescheduling the match was not possible. “The other three teams had travelled to south Mumbai without any problems. The ground staff, umpires and scorers had also come. Considering these and other logistical factors, we had no option but to award the match to the team that had turned up at the ground.”
Inter-school tournaments Giles Shield and Harris Shield are integral to Mumbai’s cricketing culture, and are organised by the MSSA in association with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). The latter was caught unawares when the issue was brought to its notice. “I shall discuss the issue with the concerned MSSA authorities,” Dr. P.V. Shetty, joint secretary, MCA, said.
The Borivali school has a rich cricketing history, with Lad honing many talented players on its premises. While its most illustrious alumnus is Rohit Sharma, Lad’s son, Siddhesh, has cemented his place as one of the most reliable batsmen in the Mumbai line-up.