MSUCC Matches/Events:

Bulldawg 7s Championship Trophy-04

Organized by MSU Cricket Club

Date: August 14,15 2004
Venue:Drill Field, MSU Campus

By Lokesh Shivakumaraiah

Bulldawg 7s Championship Trophy, brain child of MSU Cricket Club brought in the first inter-collegiate cricket tournament into the Central West United States. The inaugural championship tournament held on August 14th and 15th in the Drill Field of Mississippi State Campus saw six Universities traveling all the way as far as 10 hours from Starkville, MS, participate in the mega cricket tournament. The tournament was aimed at publicizing cricket in United States, which is the premier goal of MSU Cricket Club.

The tournament was organized with the help of huge support from Mississippi State University and the local community in Starkville, MS, turned out to be a highly competitive one, drew a considerable proportion of crowd and achieved the goal of bringing awareness of cricket in Mississippi State University.

The Bulldawg 7s Champinoship cricket tournament was the first of its kind in many ways. This is the first Cricket tournament in the Mississippi State Campus where in more than 3 cricket teams have participated. Cricket teams from Auburn University, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, University of South Alabama-Mobile, Southern Methodist University, Tennessee Technological University, competed for the top honors along with the Cricket Dawgs from the Mississippi State University who had a splendid run with a win percentage of 76% prior to this tournament. The tournament was made possible by the support from MSU's Recreational Sports Department and funded by MSU Student Association, International Services Office, Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, MSU Alumni Association, and MSU Printing Services. The corporate sectors that funded this tournament included Wal-Mart and North Mississippi Coca-Cola Bottling Co sponsored the winners and runners-up trophies for the tournament. The visiting teams were given complimentary rooms by Hampton Inn, Comfort Suites, Microtel Inn, Bestwestern Inn and University Inn. Enterprise Car Rentals provided an SUV over the weekend for bringing in food from Tuscaloosa. The publicity for this tournament was provided by MSU's University Relations which made it possible to advertise the event in the radio, newspaper and television. The USA Cricket Association, the official governing body for cricket in USA sponsored the Central West Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.

The tournament was played with great sportsmanship on field and camaraderie off-field. Teams were formed into two pools, A and B. Pool A consisted MSU, SMU and AU and Pool B consisted of TT, UA and USA. The teams in each pool played their opponents twice in the first round of the tournament. Then the top two teams from both the pools went on to play the semifinals. The finals were to be played between the winners of the semifinals. The tournament got off to a flier with a brilliant display of cricket between USA and TT. The first match ended up with a tie between the two teams. The second match between MSU and SMU turned out to be disappointing to MSU when MSU were handed the shock defeat. This was a wake up call for the Cricket Dawgs and inspired MSU to do better in the next three matches. At the end of the first day, TT and MSU were at the top of their respective pools. The teams were then refreshed by a social event organized by MSU Cricket Club where the participants danced to the tunes of English and Hindi songs. The tournament also featured live commentary in English and Hindi to explain the game of cricket to the onlookers and spectators who came to watch the game.

The second day started pretty gloomy for the USA team who were staring elimination at the start of the day, but the below par performance of UA, one of the teams in the Pool B, made way for USA to qualify for the semifinals along with TT the Pool B toppers. In the other pool the charged up Cricket Dawgs topped the pool whereas AU was placed second. SMU and UA were knocked out of the tournament. The first semifinal was played between TT and UA with TT ending up as the first finalist. The second semifinal was played between the home team MSU and USA. The poor batting form of the MSU players made MSU set the total of 100 runs to win the semifinals. Pramod, a former MSU batsman who was adjudged "Best Batsman of the year 2003" by MSU Cricket Club was now playing for the USA team. The batsman who had played with MSU team for a year in 2003 was now playing for USA team. Pramod played a brilliant innings and carried USA to a comfortable victory against MSU, his former team. Thus MSU was eliminated in the semifinals after topping their pool in the first round of the competition. The final too had a surprising result with TT who remained undefeated in the tournament until the finals, were handed a shocking defeat by the USA team. USA who was almost knocked out of the tournament at the end of the first day came back strongly and displayed brilliant cricket and character to win the inaugural Bulldawg 7s championship. The only solace for Cricket Dawgs was Abdud Dahian winning the "Central West Most Valuable Player of the tournament" sponsored by USA Cricket Association. Abdud played brilliantly throughout the tournament to make the most number of runs by an individual in the tournament.

MSU Cricket Club in association with the Mississippi State University successfully organized the first inter-collegiate cricket tournament in the Central West US. MSU has been a tremendous support for the game of cricket whose fan following is second only to soccer. MSUCC since its establishment in October 2002 is making rapid progress in bringing awareness of cricket among the American students and involving them in the game of cricket to make USA, a cricketing super power.