Sunday 11 April 2010 witnessed yet another exciting sports event in London. It was the 12th National Yuvak Mandal Indoor Cricket Tournament.

Thirty-two teams from centres around the country, including a team by the name of ‘Highlanders’ making it all the way down from Scotland, eagerly turned up in the morning with a mix of nerves and excitement.

The Swaminarayan School and the Harrow Leisure Centre were the venues chosen for the initial group stages, with the knockout matches all taking place at Harrow Leisure Centre.

At 8.00am, teams turned up at their respective locations where the initial group stages were to be played.

The opening ceremony was carried out at the School gym and at the Harrow Leisure Centre in the presence of Thakorji and sadhus.

After some tough matches during the group stages, half of the 32 teams were soon eliminated leaving 16 teams in the first of the knockout rounds.

The atmosphere at Harrow Leisure Centre began to intensify with satsangis from their respective centres turning up to cheer on their teams.

It was very encouraging to have the eliminated teams stay on and witness the closing stages of the tournament. This helped in fulfilling Yogiji Maharaj’s vision of enhancing samp, suhadbhav and ekta (unity) among the yuvaks – the central motto on the Yogi Yuva Cup trophy.

After the quarter-finals were over, the semi-finals saw Finchley A, Finchley B, APC Lions and South A compete to claim a place in the final. Eventually, the APC Lions and South A proved too strong for the rest of the competition and both progressed to the much-anticipated final game of the tournament.

After many twists and turns during the game, the APC Lions scored a phenomenal 175 runs in eight overs – the highest of the tournament so far – leaving South A facing a formidable challenge to claim this year’s trophy. After a poor start, they got back into the game, but the score proved too strong and they eventually fell 60 runs short.

So there it was – APC Lions triumphed once again in a cricket tournament, to claim the coveted Yogi Yuva Cup for 2010. They add this to the BAPS Twenty20 trophy they won last year.

Individual players who shone in the different aspects of the game were also awarded for their outstanding performance. This year’s award-winners were:

Award Winner
Best Batsman Mayur Patel , APC Lions
Best Bowler Manojbhai Patel, South A

In all, it proved to be thoroughly enjoyable Sunday of good-spirited, high-quality cricket.

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