Jain University wins Toyota University Cricket Championship Trophy
Victory is sweet but it is sweeter when it comes on the opponent’s home ground. The Southern Champs, Jain University emerged victorious at the Toyota University Cricket Championship (TUCC) 2013 by defeating Kent RO Northern Stars Jamia Milia Islamia at the Jamia Sports Complex in New Delhi on March 9, 2013 despite a huge support from the crowd for the Northern Stars. Clinching the deal by two runs, the Southern Champs continued their winning streak after their victory at the Rohinton Baria Tournament earlier in the year.
The decisive match witnessed clash of the titans. Both the Northern Stars and Southern Champs had remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. Batting first, the Southern Champs, Jain University had some early disappointments. The first two overs witnessed a downfall of three wickets with no runs scored. With all the ace batsmen back in the pavilion, it was definitely not a start that the Southern Champs were looking for. However, the Southern Champs made a spectacular comeback in the game with Gopal and Abbas providing stability with their respective scores. At the end of 20 overs the visiting team had scored 122 runs at a loss of six wickets. The beauty of the match lied in the way the Southern Champs, Jain University defended a relatively low score and the team work that was on display.
The Northern Stars, Jamia Milia did not fare any better than their opponents in the beginning of their innings. Their score at the second over were mere five runs at the loss of two wickets. Though a good partnership developed between Shivam Sharma and Surinder Dahiya, Jain University bowlers maintained a disciplined bowling restricting runs and picking up wickets.
Finally, Jain University contained the home team for a 120 for seven wickets at the end of 20 overs homing in a victory in a closely fought match. Gopal remained the top scorer of the match with 83 runs off 62 balls. He was also awarded the Man of the Match title. Victory became still sweeter for Jain University when the Player of the Tournament title deservedly went to Kaunain Abbas, the captain of the winning team. Abbas who admires Rahul Dravid as a sportsperson started playing cricket at the age of nine. The Southern Champs, Jain University maintained a consistent performance throughout the tournament proving time and again their capability in handling a crisis. In the semi-finals too, Jain University valiantly fought against Mumbai University to book a slot in the finals. In their first match the Southern Champs had registered a thumping victory against Eastern Eagles (Jaunpur) by 130 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
The TUCC jointly organized by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India and NDTV is aimed at reviving cricket at the University level. The matches under the University Cricket Championship is said to have reached 200 universities and more than 20 lakh students in India. The teams selected to play the league matches included Jamia Milia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Mumbai University, Jiwaji University, University of Madras and Jain University. University cricket has a great history in India and was very popular till the 60s and 70s. In fact many great talents were spotted while playing at this level. However, it lost its former glory after the 70s even though inter-university cricket is still played in different parts of India. With the tagline Ab Humari Bari Hai (It is our turn now),the TUCC is aimed at infusing a fresh breath of life in the university cricket, spotting talents early and nurturing them.
Back on the home turf after the tournament, the Bangalore boys celebrated their victory in style at the Jain University Campus. With the TUCC trophy on display and clippings for the matches being replayed, it was clearly a triumphant evening for the Southern Champs who are now eyeing the Team India. Some players from the winning team have already represented Indian in the under-19 cricket.