It was 6 am on Friday morning, 16th of March and I woke up to my alarm. Shit! I have to make it to Navi Mumbai Sports Association in Vashi by 8 and I don’t know where this place is! This wasn’t a client appointment but I didn’t want to be late especially after my team’s advisor had warned us that we better be present at 8 for a very important training session. This was very difficult for a guy who never makes it to office before 10:30 am (so much for my cherished sleep). Anyways, I made it by 8:30, 15 mins prior to the ‘official’ reporting time. The Renegade Blues (that’s what we called our team) had their first match at 11. We weren’t allowed to practice during the time when the other teams were playing so it was time to watch the playing teams and strategize. The first two games were one-sided but fun to watch. Time seemed to fly and it was soon time for our first match. We had to play ‘The A team’. We knew that this was the game we needed to win to gain momentum in the tournament. I had the added pressure to perform as I had being picked for a premium price (200 stars: P). We played wholeheartedly with a spirit to win the tournament at any cost. The group matches were a joy ride for us – I would say it was easy pickings but that also reflects the fact that we played comprehensively well.
We topped our group and paved our way into the semi-finals. It was clear to all teams now that we had the strongest girl player in the tournament - Meera Vinaykumar. Since we had topped the group we had the privilege of having two opportunities to make the final. We played our first semifinal against Royal Strikers, the most competent team in CPL 2012 I would say and were outplayed. The team morale was down and we needed an inspiring talk. This was the time when our true convo-character needed to be revealed. The pressure was on and we had to deliver, each one knew that this had to be a team effort- much like everything we do @ Convonix. This was when convo qualities like leadership, self-motivation, sense of responsibility and commitment needed to come out. We got together as a team and strategized and practiced hard. We knew that we could bounce back.
It was finally time for our do or die semifinal clash against Grey United. The atmosphere was ecstatic. We had to field first. I remember my team members diving around to save every possible run but alas our opponents batted really well and we were given a target of 93 runs to chase in 6 overs. We had a team talk and decided the batting order knowing that if one of the girl-players could hit a boundary, we are in with a real chance because for every boundary hit by a girl, it doubled! We fought hard and the game was poised for a close finish. We needed 38 of two overs and the fielding team had to give the ball to a girl. We scored 20 of the penultimate over leaving us a total of 18 to get from the last one. The pressure was on both teams as we knew that we had to win to make it to the finals. I had the responsibility to take my team through. We soon needed 12 off the last four and I had to go for the big hit. The bowl was a Yorker directed right at my feet. I managed to dig it though and hit it hard. It was almost certain that it would clear the boundary leaving us with just 6 to get from the last 3. The ball would have definitely cleared the fence had it not been for an outstanding catch, a catch that changed the entire tournament. I got out! I was disappointed for taking the team till the end but failing to finish the job. But the disappointment was short lived as our entire team got together to acknowledge each other for their awesome commitment and effort. It just reflected the culture at Convonix – there’s always acknowledgement from the supervisors/mentors for your efforts and encouragement to perform above your best potential. CPL highlighted what has always been a part of Convonix’s culture – responsibility will be given to you if you are willing to take up the initiative. The amount of trust supervisors put on you is just unbelievable, the amount of responsibility and empowerment that you get is just unmatched!
CPL could not have ended in 2 days and will stay with me in the form of great memories. During these 2 very memorable days, it was not only cricket but a lot more. We huddled, talked, discussed, questioned and once again felt the warmth of being friends instead of just colleagues. Looking forward to CPL 2013!!