The Wonder Cement #Saath7 Cricket Mahotsav – a spectacle which will probably end up defining the start of a new era in Indian Cricket, concluded its first edition on Sunday in Udaipur’s DPS ground. Hundreds of spectators flocked to the stadium as Bikaner’s MSG Club beat Udaipur’s Pradhan Club to be crowned the inaugural champions of this mega tournament.
The final event was graced by the presence of a few esteemed chief guests – Shri. Gulab Chand Kataria, Hon’ble Home Minister of Rajasthan and Dilip Vengsarkar, Former Indian Cricket Team Skipper & Chief Selector. The tournament was officially launched in November by World Cup winning captain and legend Kapil Dev.
Looking back at the last month of pure cricketing extravaganza, it’s safe to say that this revolutionary venture by Wonder Cement is a grand success. For an entire month, the people of Rajasthan had been struck by cricket fever and every town and village buzzed with the excitement of India’s favourite sport – cricket.
Wonder Cement #Saath7 Cricket Mahotsav was a seven-over an inning, seven players per team cricket tournament which covered a staggering 248 Tehsils, 33 Districts and 9894 Villages, solely in the state of Rajasthan.
The tournament saw close to a whopping 9000 team registrations, with 90000 active applicants. Out of these, 4000 teams were shortlisted to battle it out for the ultimate prize – INR 3,50,000/- and the right to be called state champions, a prize bagged in style by the MSG Club from Bikaner as they won the tournament with a 6. The runners-up were given INR 1,40,000/-. A total of 30 lakhs were given as prize money to the champions at various levels.
Along with a refreshing new format, the Wonder Cement #Saath7 also gave a huge boost to women’s cricket as it gave an incentive of 7 additional runs for fielding a girl member in the team. The competing teams even included an all-girls team and also a special team where all the members were suffering from disabilities. Read more.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri. Gulab Chand Kataria, Hon’ble Home Minister of Rajasthan said, “I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to Wonder Cement for organising such a large tournament that helped not only in identifying talents from the state but also developing peace of mind, brotherhood and respect. I would also like to applaud the winners and even the teams who participated in the tournament at various levels and would like to wish them best of luck for their upcoming endeavours.”
Mr. Dilip Vengsarkar said, “I would like to appreciate Wonder Cement for the efforts taken in organising a great tournament. Such tournaments helps in identifying new cricketing talent & stars from the grassroots of India. I would like to applaud the efforts of the Wonder Cement family for engaging the entire state in such an interesting format.”
Commenting on the success of the tourney, Mr. Vivek Patni – Curator of the tournament and Director, Wonder Cement Ltd., said, “We are extremely thrilled at the response that Rajasthan has given to our initiative ‘Wonder Cement Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav’. We had launched the tournament with an aim of getting people together, irrespective of their age, gender and religion.
“The Saath:7 platform was aimed at presenting the cricket enthusiast with an opportunity to showcase his/her talent to the entire state. This year we plan to extend the reach and launch Wonder Cement #Saath7 Cricket Mahotsav in geographies like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana.”
In addition to organising the mega-scale tournament, Wonder Cement has also set up an Wonder Cricket Academy in Udaipur, which aims to identify and develop some of the brightest cricketing talents in the country. The Academy will employ some of the top coaches in the game. 4 of the best players (3 boys and 1 girl) from the #Saath7 tournament will be given direct entry into this Academy.
As MSG Club and Pradhan Club collected their winners and runners-up prizes respectively, several individual awards were given out as well. Some of the accolades presented were-
- Best Batsman – Vikas from Jaipur Zone with 444 runs
- Best Bowler – Kamal From Jaipur with 29 wickets
- Best Fielder – Jaspal Singh of Bikaner
- Best Girl Player of the tournament – Vandana from Jaipur zone
- Man of the Series – Sukhwinder Singh from Bikaner zone
The success of the tournament and the format is hopefully a sign of a bright future for Indian cricket. Once this tournament is expanded into all Indian states, it might not be too soon before we get another Sachin Tendulkar.
A sports enthusiast since 2003 with my first experience of connecting with sports being the Cricket World Cup 2003. Studying Engineering in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi, but pretty sure will not become an Engineer.