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Cricket champs SCC Divas seeks new players as training set to start

07 August 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

All-Filipina cricket champion SCC Divas is looking for more players as it plans to make its presence felt by fielding a team in each of the three leagues on Cricket Hong Kong’s calendar in coming seasons.

A structured training begins this Sunday, Aug 5, for SCC Divas’ players to prepare them for the 16-over Development League, the next-level T20 and the 35 Overs League for the 2018-2019 season beginning on Sept 5.

Coach Najeeb Amar in a groufie with players. Supporters and sponsors  gave them individual trophies for Best Player of the Year, Best Bowler of the Year and Best batsman of the Year and medals for their contributions to the team.

“We are inviting new players. Anyone who is interested, we welcome them,” manager Animesh Kulkarni told The SUN during the team’s victory party at the United Services Recreation Club’s Garden Room in Yaumatei on Jul 22.

The team was awarded the Development League championship trophy, while individual players were given three smaller trophies and six gold medals for special awards. Another 24 gold medals were given those who saw action last season.

“Our vision is to field three teams with a hope that SCC Divas will make an impact and let its presence felt in the Main League, taking forward its performance this year in the Development League,” said Kulkarni, an Indian businessman.

On its cricket debut last season, the all-domestic-worker SCC Divas swept all its nine games to become the grand slam champion in Hong Kong’s Development League.

But Kulkarni admits the triumph of the team, organized by captain Josie Arimas and trained by Pakistani coach Najeeb Amar, may be hard to repeat in the higher leagues because Divas will be facing National Team players distributed in the various sides. “The girls will be playing against the national side. We may not win every game like this time, but we may not lose badly. I’m very confident we will give them a run,” the manager said.

“We know we will have limitations playing against the National Team players, but with the help of coach Najeeb Amar, we will prepare our players through more structured training in skill development starting on Aug 5,” Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni said those of the 32 who played this year will be promoted immediately to the higher league, the T20, where teams will compete in the 20-over format.

He said those who did not play last season will maintain the team’s trophy in the Development League, the 16-over division that is considered the entry level in the sport.

Ravi Lulla, manager of JD Jaguar men’s cricket team and a sponsor of SCC Divas, congratulated the team and promised continuous support to the Filipinas as they move to a higher league.

“It will not be an easy game next season, but if you do half as well as you have done, then you’ll do very well,” Lulla said.

He said the Filipinas will be given T-shirts for their training this Sunday and their official training kits before their next games.

As the SCC Divas advances, Kulkarni said he is seeking their recognition by the cricketing body in Manila. “Now I am in contact with the Philippine Cricket Association to plan future meetings,” he said.

He said he will also train the team members to do scoring and every aspect of cricket as he wants the Filipinas to hone up their skills.

Anyone who is interested to join the team can contact captain Josie Arimas.  He said Divas will form one development team, which will start cross-training on Aug 5.

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