For the first time ever in 22 years, Migrant Community Cricket Club’s Spirit of Cricket Tournament 2019-20 declared the top two teams to be competing in the finals as joint champions.

TANZ City Boys and AIS United with 44 and 42 who won nine and eight matches of the total ten matches each in the playoffs were awarded as shared champions after the semi-finals, and final was cancelled due to Covid-19 scare.

Teams Mighty Blues and NZ Telugu Tigers were awarded the 3rd place which lay on the table with 39 and 27 points.

Organisers of the tournament MCCC under the guidance and direction of New Zealand Cricket called off the tournament’s finals.

“New Zealand Cricket, in conjunction with its Major and District Associations, has agreed to cancel community cricket, including clubs, schools, programmes and training, for the rest of the season.

“This decision follows our most recent medical advice and recognises our obligations towards the New Zealand Cricket family and the wider public interest,” Prashant Belwalkar, the organiser from MCCC posted on Facebook.

Speaking to The Indian Weekender, Mr Belwalkar said as per the rules set by MCCC for the tournament, when the finals are washed out the top two teams are declared shared winners. Since there is no second place, and winner losers of semi-finals compete for the 3rd place, we had two teams to share the 3rd place spot as well.

“Initially we planned to conduct the semi-finals and final match on Sunday, March 22, but given the situation of Covid-19 widespread in New Zealand and the danger of hosting mass events and under the directions of NZC and associated Major and District Associations, the executive committee on Wednesday, March 18, decided to abandon any further matches and declare the winners as per the rules,” Mr Belwalkar added.

In the elimination round last Sunday, NZ Telugu Tigers defeated Probasee Bengalee as the chasing team failed to score the target of 81 runs in 20 overs. Probasee scored 69 runs off 19.1 overs losing all ten wickets.

In another eliminator match, team Mighty Blues defeated Deccan Acers who failed to reach the target of 99 runs. Deccan Acers were all out for 38 runs in 15.4 overs.

Even though Probasee Bengalee has 34 points on the table standing at number four, but after losing in the eliminator round, they fell short to be a part of the top three teams.

Hemadri Chakraborthy from Probasee Bengalee was awarded as the Best Batsman of the tournament with 315 runs to his name, Sukeerth Madaka from TANZ City Boys with 26 wickets was awarded as Best Bowler, Avishek Chanda from Probasee Bengalee as Best  Fielder with 19 total catches (10 field, 7 wicket catches, 1 stumping and 1 indirect out). Individual prize owners will receive $50 and an individual achievement trophy each.

Best Batsman Hemadri was also awarded as Player of the Tournament with a total of 1652 points, (972 batting, 480 bowling, 50 fielding and 150 for Man of the Match).

The last six spots on the table were taken by Tamil Thunders at number 11 with 4 points, Black Hawks at 10 with 5 points, Tuf XI at 9 with 15 points, Deccan Rising Stars at 8 with 17 points, Royal Knights at 7 with 20 points, and Deccan Acers at 6 with 25 points.

Winners of the tournament TANZ City Boys and AIS United will get $500 each team, and the trophy will be rotated, holding it for six months each, the same will apply to third place winners Mighty Blues and NZ Telugu Tigers with $250 each team.