So, this is what it had all come down to!!! Our relentless pursuit to unearth ‘Mumbai ka Accurate Bowler’ was about to come to a conclusion. The young men (and a few women too!!) who mattered were all in readiness, raring to get the red cherry in their hands to talk. The sense of excitement was palpable among participants and spectators alike, as the first thunderbolt made its way towards the sticks at the Grand Finale of ‘NATARAJ Mumbai ka Accurate Bowler’ at Kandivali’s ‘Ithinksportz’ cricket academy.
There were the ‘champions’ from previous chapters, looking for an encore. Then there were the ‘battle-hardened’ finalists, who had come agonisingly close to winning earlier, looking to change the narrative on the big day. And then there were the latest hopefuls, gunning for a major coup, perhaps spurred on by witnessing their peers being engulfed in crowning glory. They all made for a heady mix of raw, mercurial young talent, just looking to explode. We knew we had all the ingredients of delivering a cracker of a finale!!!
A total of 149 participants from schools and colleges around the city registered for the finale. The ‘finalists’ from the earlier chapters were given a direct entry into Round 2, courtesy their consistent performances. Basically, the first-timers were up against it from the word go, with them having to prove themselves to be worthy enough to compete with the best of the best. And compete they did, with a significant number of them progressing through to the final round at the expense of a few finalists from earlier chapters.
A total of 9 players from the college competition made it to Round 3. With the margin for error virtually non-existent, each one of them were feeling the heat amidst a burden of expectations. The lone-standing stump, the only constant between these warriors and their quest for glory. With each close shave to the target, the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ kept getting louder, frustrating the competitors at times, while also making them more determined than ever.
And in a classic ‘David vs. Goliath’ moment, Pravin Upadhyay, the 17-year-old spin bowler from Nutan College in Kalyan, competing in the tournament for the first time, trumped all other finalists from earlier chapters to emerge as ‘Mumbai ka Accurate Bowler’. The crowd watched in bewilderment as the unlikely champion let out a celebratory roar. This was HIS moment!!!
For his unbelievable achievement, Pravin was presented with a kit bag from Mr. Rajeev Mishra from ‘RM Sports’ and a certificate of appreciation from NATARAJ PENS and Cricketgraph. The coach of the academy Mr. Umesh Patwal was full of praise for all the participants who played a part, while also congratulating ‘Cricketgraph’ for their persistent quest towards celebrating local talent via such initiatives.
We, at Cricketgraph, would like to thank all those who have played a part in the success of NATARAJ PENS Mumbai ka Accurate Bowler contest.