The Annual BAPS Twenty20 cricket tournament was held at Hainault Recreation Ground in East London on Saturday 6 August 2011. This was the fourth year of the increasingly popular competition. The event welcomes participants from the ages of 16 to over 50, the key ethos being to encourage all ages to integrate and play as a united team.
This being a national tournament, teams had arrived from as far afield as Scotland, Ashton, Preston, the Midlands and various teams from London representing the North, East, South and West regions. A total of 24 teams participated, making it a record breaking year in terms of participation.
With 8 pitches available at the excellent location of Hainault Recreation Ground, the traditional straight knockout tournament was adjusted to accommodate all participants. As a result, 8 groups of 3 teams were formed, where each team played each other once, with the top team qualifying for the main BAPS Twenty20 Trophy and the runners-up qualifying for the BAPS Twenty20 Plate.
Following the group stages, the format switched to knockouts, starting with the quarter-finals. Both the semi-finals in the BAPS Trophy were a close contest going into the last over where Harrow A ultimately defeated the current holders APC Lions, and South A overcoming a massive target of 117 set by East A on the last ball. There was some brutal hitting by Jignesh of East A and Tejal of South A. In the BAPS Plate semi-final, Ashton and Birmingham A fought out a pulsating match where Birmingham A triumphed. In the other semi-final, Mandir (Harrow C) was defeated by the Mandir Sevaks.
This year’s finalists for the BAPS T20 Trophy were Harrow A and South A – two teams who are always there or thereabouts in the tournament every year, with an excellent friendly rivalry containing some of the best talent that the tournament has to offer. With both teams going for the big win, this resulted in an excellent exhibition of the shorter format of the game, with Harrow A beating South A to take the title for 2011 in the last over – it was a very tight game with relatively low scores but high quality bowling from both sides. Additionally, Birmingham A took the Plate trophy back to the Midlands to reward an excellent team performance against an enthusiastic sMandir Sevaks team.
All games were played in great sporting spirit where individual performances were also rewarded.
Best Batsman: Viren Parmar – Birmingham A – 168 runs
Best Bowler: Rakesh Patel – Birmingham A
Best Batsman: Jignesh – East A – 154 runs
Best Bowlers: Bhavin Patel – South A & Devang Amin – Harrow A