Trading their formals for sports jerseys, 48 corporate teams are batting it out and having a ball at Space Circle Clubs & Resorts for The Telegraph 10th Corporate Indoor Cricket Tournament presented by Royal Challenge. The month-long event swung into action on August 17 and with three major trophies at stake, the excitement levels are rising, on and off the pitch.
Matches for the Gold Plate are under way; in this category a total of 24 games will be played over the next week. The eight-a-side team that wins will continue to compete in the Gold Plate league, while the losing sides will be demoted to the Silver Plate and then the Bowl categories.
From Friday, the matches for the Silver Plate and Bowl will start simultaneously and each team will play a minimum of two matches before entering the knock-out phase of the tourney.
As many as 23 matches in both the Silver Plate and Bowl league will decide the final teams for each. The semi-finals will be held on September 14, 15 and 16 and the three grand finale matches (for Gold Plate, Silver Plate and Bowl) are slated for September 18.
Competition aside, the tournament is also about camaraderie. When a match is in progress, the indoor stadium reverberates with hoots and claps of the cheering squads who come to support their teams. Family members of players troop in mostly over the weekends to catch the action and spend a leisurely day at the club.
I have come to watch my husband play for the Mani Group team. Its a lot of fun. We usually stay back after the matches for drinks and dinner, said homemaker Manica Tamang.
Tournaments like these bring us together outside office for some fun. We have been putting in a lot of of practice since none of us play regularly. A game like indoor cricket requires careful strategising and teamwork, which is what we are concentrating on, said Arnab Bakshi, the captain of Team Ixia Technologies.
RULES OF THE GAME
A team comprises eight members.
Batsmen are sent out in pairs after every two overs.
It is compulsory for every team member to bat. He also has to bowl at least two overs.
For a wide ball, five runs are awarded but no extra ball is allowed for the first seven overs. After that, wides mean an extra ball and two runs for the batting side.
For every no-ball, the batting side gets three bonus runs.
The matches last an hour, with eight overs for each team.
Its an 11-member team.
Openers apart, one batsman walks out to the middle at a time.
No such rules apply.
Every wide ball means an extra ball to be bowled and the batting side gets an extra run.
A no-ball means one extra ball and a run.
Duration ranges from six hours to three hours, depending on format.
Pictures by Sayantan Ghosh