Cricket leagues work out agreement allowing all to play

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — It was a bit of a “sticky wicket,” as they say in cricket circles to describe unfavorable conditions, but it now appears two teams excluded from competition as part of the Detroit Cricket League will be able to play.

The Troy Cricket Association was prepared to go into Oakland Circuit Court this week for a temporary restraining order against the Oakland Township-based Detroit Cricket League for excluding two Troy teams from competing this month.

“We have reached a mutual agreement and are looking forward to playing,” said A.J. Gollapalli, whose Stallions and the Beavers teams thought they would be idled this season.

Attorney Jeffrey Maynard said Monday team captains from the association and the Detroit Cricket League met Friday night and discussed concerns.

“They worked out a gentleman’s agreement and it was written out and signed,” said Maynard, who had filed a complaint last week on behalf of the association.

Maynard suspects there were hard feelings about Gollapalli founding his own Michigan Premiere League, which plays a different style of cricket, and concerns the leagues might end up competing for the area’s same playing fields at the same time.

“I don’t know all the particulars but there were some concerns about the league play and his (Gollapalli’s) newly formed league. But there will be no crossover and no conflicts.

“They’re all satisfied and I’m satisfied enough to withdraw our complaint,” Maynard said.

Gollapalli’s league uses a harder ball than the softball-type used by the Detroit Cricket League.

After all, cricket is considered a gentleman’s game where fairness is paramount — hence the slang of “It’s not cricket” commonly used to describe an unfair situation.

The game, which dates back to 16th century England, is not that well-known in this country but popular in England, Australia, India, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The game involves a player called a bowler throwing the ball to a player on the other team, who then tries to hit the ball with a wooden bat before it strikes a wooden stump behind him called a wicket. Once the batsman hits the ball, he tries to run between two sets of wickets 22 feet apart to score runs before the ball is fielded by other players.

There are more than 32 cricket teams in southeast Michigan who participate in league play, according to Gollapalli.

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