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THE 1998 SEASON



A Season of Excellence...and of New Faces


TABLE OF CONTENTS

[Click on any team's name and its particulars to go directly to that section...clicking on "Back to Table of Contents" will get you back here, to the top of the page.]

The 1998 season was of utmost importance for the SCC First Team, not only because we were playing in the First Division of the 50-team British Columbia Mainland Cricket League (BCMCL) for the first time in several years, but because there was this irresistible urge to stay in the First Division and to prove our potential.

Three times in the past decade, Seattle's First Team had won its way back into the BCMCL First Division, only to be relegated the following season due to sloppy performance. This yo-yo movement up and down the promotion/relegation ladder had become something of a jinx, and in fact there were many who thought that Seattle did not have the dedication or the temperament to play consistent BCMCL First Division cricket.

In the event, the First Team at last won the survival contest in 1998---for the first time in 10 years. Though we lost several close games, we did what we had vowed to do and we did it in style and valour. Some steady batting, notably by opening batsman Kevin Rattue who provided several solid starts and support to middle-order batsmen, proved effective in dispelling what had been our great "nemesis"---indecisive batting. There was a newfound zip to the bowling, along with added depth; and the fielding, at least on occasion, matched the top-class standard set by the best BCMCL teams.

An influx of new talent and committed play also helped the First Team. For the first time in years, there was a cadre of new players who combined discipline and enthusiasm with First-division talent and consistent skills. In any number of matches, they made the difference between decisive victory and squandered opportunities.

A few key victories against the top Canadian teams cemented Seattle's position in the First Division...although the final game of the season was a definite downer, with the University of British Columbia scoring over 350 runs in 50 overs against a flaccid Seattle attack (incidentally, this was the highest score ever recorded against any Seattle team in the BCMCL). Still and all, in 1999 the new and revamped Seattle First Team should be able to more than hold its own in the top Canadian Division.

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The second team started its BCMCL Third Division season on a high note with some outstanding performances from Tiki, Anwar, Ashraf and Aslam.
This season the second team had a mixture of old and new young players who were committed to the club. They showed lot of promise. Under the able guidance of Charles Benjamin and some cameo performances from Wayne, Shabu, Guli, Abid, Mohit and Rahul, they ended the season placed at No. 3 in the league table inspite of a few blown games and some squabbling over team selections, thanks to Seattle CC's only hat-trick of the season, achieved by Wayne Henry.
The Second Team might play in BCMCL's Second Division in 1999 if one of the two teams ahead of it choose not to be promoted, which appeared to be a distinct possibility as the 1998 season drew to a close.
Some Second Team members had hoped for an outright Division championship, and were not altogether pleased with the outcome. Still, a promotion by any other name could be just as sweet...and it is hoped that the 1999 season will find the Second Team playing in the BCMCL Second Division.

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The Third Team, captained by Shimoga Srinath,made heavy weather of the first half of the season in the Fifth Division of the BCMCL, losing or forfeiting many of its early matches. As usual, it often found itself short-handed because its regular players would be picked off by the first or second teams....a common complaint of third-team skippers!
The situation was not made easier by the Third Team's bizarre BCMCL schedule...nearly two consecutive months of "away" games during the first half of the season, when new recruits (which Seattle III depends on) were particularly hard to come by. By mid-July, the string of defeats and forfeited games would have put any SCC Third Team stalwart in the throes of deep depression. Things just didn't look too good.

The second half of the season was a different story. Bolstered by an influx of young talent, and a schedule of successive home games which worked in its favor, the Third Team added backbone to its attack and batting. A late-season reappearance by John Gannie of Guyana added devastating punch to the third team's bowling, and veteran Jiti Sandhu also chipped in with some sparkling batting performances. The Third Team ended the season on a high note, with several players destined for higher honors as first or second team probables in 1999.

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Seattle's Fourth (NWCL) Team, captained by John Wainwright, posted an erratic performance for the season, losing comprehensively to the worst teams in the US Northwest yet posting impressive victories against the best.
Conflicts with BCMCL schedules, for one thing, meant that there were wide variations in team quality between NWCL matches. Ashraf Khan, for example, posted the highest batting average in the entire NWCL, but was available for only half of the matches. Naval Ramdin played in 7 matches out of nine, and scored the most total runs for Seattle. Rahul Reddy and Tehmosp Khan had brilliant bowling spells, and Tehmosp in particular bowled consistently through the NWCL series These performances, however, did not lift Seattle from the middle of the NWCL rankings for the season.
Exactly how Seattle should be approaching its obligations to the NWCL remains an open question.
Certainly, the quality of NWCL cricket has improved enough over the past few years that a "recreational" fourth team cannot play up to the standards being set by most other teams....it takes First- or at least Second-team calibre for Seattle to post good figures in the NWCL.
So, how should available SCC talent be divided between Canadian and US leagues? And what priority should assigned to selections for BCMCL as opposed to NWCL fixtures? Until these questions are fully answered, the problems will remain.
In spite of this, it appears that the Fourth Team is finding its niche in the NWCL. With the rapid development of cricket on the US side of the border, this may prove to be important in the years ahead.
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INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

SCC I
Naveed Deen CAPT SCC I
With his extensive background in first-class cricket in England and his knowledge of the game's finer points, Skipper Naveed Deen showed tremendous temperament and all round skills throughout the season. His fighting knocks and agressive economic bowling figures many a times gave solidarity to SCC I. He showed exceptional all round ability on the field, shrewd thinking and quick decisions were his forte, and he contributed substantially to the first team's success in staying in the BCMCL First Division.
Mark Demos
Another player with first-class cricket experience overseas, and the holder of several records and awards in the BCMCL in previous years, former SCC I captain and "star" all-rounder Mark Demos needed a comeback performance in the 1998 season, and achieved this personal result to a considerable degree. With his concentration and effortless stroke making, he is a joy to watch when he is in form. This season he played a couple of valuable knocks, and it can be said that he was the nucleus of the batting strength. Bowling with aggression and maintaining a strict line and length was his key this entire season.
Kevin Rattue
A classic batsman with a great deal of international cricket experience to his credit, veteran Kevin returned to Seattle for his first complete season in several years, and made a great difference in the batting line-up. He provided the needed consistency to Seattle's opening batting, and had a very good season with the bat. He led the SCC I batting averages, and made some good scores with a several 50s.
Mike new
having moved from California this season after considerable experience in the Souther California league, Mike was a very good attacking batsman and a thinking bowler. Many a times played some good knocks with excellent exhibitions of stroke play.
Zia Khan
Zia, year after year one of the best all-rounders to play for Seattle in the past decade, was rather unlucky at the beginning of this season. He broke his finger during practice and had to sit out for one month. He came back with a fighting half century in Upper Brockton, Stanley Park. As always, his thinking bowling was an addition to this season's bowling achievements. A very good fielder and humorous person, Zia was at his best throughout this season.
Bunty Sarai
Not only did fast-medium opener Bunty have a very good season with his excellent bowling; his string of "not-outs" at the tail-end of Seattle's batting order had him near the top of the season's batting averages! Late in the season,he showed that his batting abilities were no fluke, by scoring a disciplined half century against the ISMAILI's.
A. J. Handa
Another "import" from sunny Southern California, in his first full season in Seattle, "A.J." took top honors at the 1998 Annual Banquet for his bowling, which proved to be accurate and devastating.
"A.J." was a major contributor to SCCI's bowling performance, and also added some very useful mid-order runs when needed.
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SCC II
Charles Benjamin CAPT SCC II
Among the oldest players currently playing full-time for Seattle (see "The Hardy Perennials"), Charlie had a very good season as a skipper AND a player. He had some good all round performances on the field. Exceptional fielding and shrewd cricketing brain were his hallmarks throughout the 1998 season. A couple of good knocks in times of need helped SCC II to a creditable performance in the League standings.
Soumendra Tiki Mohanty new
A new face this season, Tiki did everything well. Opening the batting for SCC II and giving an aggressive start for the team made things easier for the rest. His 133 N.O. was a gem of an innings, and he also scored a couple of 50s. Undoubtedly the highest run getter for this season, Tiki was an excellent batsman and also had a safe pair of hands behind the stumps. It can be said that this season was his season.
Anwar Sarmad
This season, Anwar opened the batting for Seattle II, and was instrumental in giving SCC II many valuable starts. Came up with some brilliant slow left-arm bowling performances against some formidable teams.
Ashraf Khan
For the past 10 years one of the best all-rounders playing for Seattle, Ashraf batted superbly throughout this season giving a rock soid foundation to the middle order.Ideally, Ashraf is the best NO. 3 batsman for this season for the second team. Had a couple of good matches with his bowling skills too, varying his pace cleverly between fast- to slow-medium and catching batsmen off guard with swing and cutter.
Wayne Henry new
An aggressive opening fast bowler, Wayne Henry was one of the speediest performers with the ball for Seattle in 1998. With his sheer speed and movement, Wayne was the key figure this season for the Second Team. He ended this season taking 8 wickets in a match against Wanderers CC including a hattrick, the only one recorded for Seattle in 1998. Scored a couple of half centuries too.
Rahul Reddy new
A budding all rounder. He has tremendous potential and scope for improvement. A very valuable talent for the future of SCC.
Shabu Khan new
A very sound middle order batsman and an exceptional wicket-keeper and fielder. Has a lot of promise and talent. A very bright prospect for SCC for the coming years.

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SCC III
Shimoga Srinath, Captain SCC III
One of the "old-timers" for Seattle Cricket Club who has re-entered cricket in the last five years, veteran and former SCC I skipper Shimoga played with an earnestness that belied his grey hairs, and kept the team together under all the usual circumstances that the plague Third Team skippers. He bowled and batted with consistency, and made the most of his available talent, achieving success in the second half of the season. His efforts were recognized at the 1998 Annual Banquet, by a special "inspirational" award.
Niyaz Sarmad
A regular player for Seattle in all three teams over the past decade, Niyaz has been a consistent performer with the ball. This season he has taken wickets in every match he played, and had made some valuable contributions with the bat too.
Mohit Nagpal new
An outstanding fielder and a good batsman. Made some runs playing for the SCC III. Has a lot of potential and is a valuable asset for the club.
Rahul Rastogi new
A good batsman. Played a couple of valuable innings playing for NWCL. He has taken some wickets too with good pace bowling, which will be even more effective with greater control over line and length.
Bhaskar new
A very attacking opening batsman. Made some runs opening for NWCL. He is a good prospect for the future.
John Gannie
After several seasons away from Seattle Cricket, John Gannie, former captain of Seattle's first and second teams, re-entered cricket in fine style late in the season with his devastating off-cutters and top-class fielding. He provided excellent backing to the talents of the youngsters in the team, and it is hoped that he will play more regularly in future.
Jiti Sandhu
After an on-again, off-again series of seasons over the past 20 years, veteran Jiti played regularly in 1998 and, with some sterling knocks, added a much-needed stability to the sometimes volatile batting. He also performed usefully as a bowler, and was recognized at the 1998 Annual Banquet for his batting contributions.

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SCC IV (NWCL TEAM)
John Wainwright, Captain, SCL IV (NWCL)
John W did a Herculean job with the NWCL team under very difficult conditions. His was no easy task, given problems with rhe schedule because of BCMCL commitments, uncertainties about player availability, and other assorted annoyances. He provided sound leadership, consistent batting, and yeoman service behind the wickets. His best batting performance was 60 in 98 balls against Portland CC.
Naval Ramdin
Veteran Naval seemed to have found his niche in the NWCL after a disappointing performance in the BCMCL. His 83 in 72 balls against Multnomah CC was the best single batting performance by a Seattle batsman in the NWCL. He scored 201 runs in 7 matches with an average of 28.71, and was also the most accurate bowler in the NWCL (fewest wides per over)!
Ashraf Khan
Ashraf added to his performance in SCC II (see above), by having the highest batting average, of 47.50, for the season in the NWCL. Had he been able to play more often in the NWCL, the team might have fared better in the standings.
Rahul Reddy
Rahul's 5 wickets for 22 runs in 8 overs against Beaverton CC, the eventual winners of the NWCL, was one of the finest bowling performances for Seattle in the NWCL. He also bowled well in other matches.
Tehmosp Khan
Tehmosp, taking a wicket every 2.57 overs, had one of the highest strike rates in the NWCL with his consistent bowling. His 5 for 41 in 8 overs against Portland CC was second only to Rahul's as a top bowling performance for Seattle.

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