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Professional Cricket Team Representing Clarion County in National Tournament

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 @ 12:07 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

imgonline-com-ua-FrameBlurred-OctVPFMHCJHnRHRCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County now has its first and only professional sport – Cricket.

The Clarion County Eagles Cricket Team has a confirmed spot for the U.S. Open Cricket Tournament from December 13 through December 19, 2021, according to Umer Shafique, President of Cricket Operations.

Yasir Bhatti, the owner of UK Gas Stations in Clarion County, including Clarion, Knox, Rimersburg, and Sligo, owns the new team and hopes to continue promoting Clarion County.

Ali Shafique Team Captain of Clarion County Eagles Cricket Team.

Ali Shafique Team Captain of Clarion County Eagles Cricket Team.

Bhatti has played Cricket all his life, loves the sport, and wants to represent Clarion County at the international level.

The team is going to be comprised of professional Cricket players, and Bhatti will also be on the team.

Bhatti recruited Ali Shafique, a professional Pakistani Cricketer who made his first-class debut for Khan Research Laboratories in the 2017–18 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on October 9, 2017. He is the new team’s captain.

Although most people in the United States know little about Cricket, it is more popular in the rest of the world. For example, Shafiqe, 24, has over 9,000 followers on Facebook.

“He visited Clarion County three times this summer and thinks people are really polite, nice, and appreciative in Clarion County,” said Bhatti. “He was at Cook Forest for horse riding, the river, and canoeing.

“I took him to the range here because he likes hunting and his new favorite ice cream at the Meadows near the Clarion Mall.”

The December tournament will be held at the ICC-approved Central Broward Regional Park, located at 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311. The biggest and most competitive cricket tournament in the USA. The games will be streamed on MAQ tv.

“It’s going to be competition at a high level, and we’re going to have some international players that are coming in to represent Clarion County and are well known by people who follow professional cricket.
“Our team manager is Umer Shafiqu, who is moving to the Clarion area, and we hope to have a local strength and conditioning guy.”

Other squad announcements are coming soon.

Bhatti said he expects to have a couple of players from Pittsburgh, but there is nobody locally that has the skill set to perform at that level.

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Future Field of Dreams?

“I do have plans to buy land for local Cricket grounds and a training facility so we can do coaching, training, and groom some local players.”

Bhatti recognizes that Cricket is not well known or understood in the United States, but he thinks that is changing.

“They have shortened the game at the professional level. The game used to be five days back in the day, and then it used to be one day. The U.S. market is very lucrative. Now, the games are shorter and similar in length to NBA and NFL games.

“They’re trying to penetrate this market. There’s a lot of Cricket going on this year.

“It takes more than $50,000.00 to take a team to this tournament, so I welcome some other local sponsors. The more local feedback that I can generate is the best for the team, and the players want to be liked locally.”

A Clarion resident for 12 years, Bhatti was formally a senior marketing analyst for FS-Elliot and an application engineer for Ingersoll Rand from 2005 to October 2008. He has a degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Purdue University.

Cricket Basics

According to Expedia, Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the center of which is a 22-yard (20-meter) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps.

The game of Cricket is most closely related to baseball, though with marked differences.

Two teams compete against one another. Both of these teams have 11 players each on the field. Of these 11 players, one player is the captain of the team. It is the captain of the team who has the primary responsibility of ensuring that at any given point. The fielding team has 11 players on the field while the batting team has just two players on the field, one at each end of the “pitch.”

Runs are scored after a ball is thrown, or “bowled” in Cricket terms, mostly by hitting the ball and running, or by hitting the ball to or over the “boundary.”

The “bowler” is actually trying to aim the ball at a wicket, made up of three upright sticks set into the ground, while the batter is attempting to hit the ball both to score a run and to protect the wicket.

A fielder known as a “wicket keeper” stands behind the wicket to catch the ball if the bowler misses the wicket and the batter does not hit the ball. Other fielders may also chase the ball after the batter has struck it.

An “over” consists of six balls, meaning each “bowler” throws the ball six times before another bowler takes over.

To score a run, two batsmen must both run from their wicket to the other wicket across the pitch before they can be “run out.” They can run between the wickets as many times as they want, with one run scored each time they do so. If the ball leaves the field after being struck without bouncing, it scores six runs. If it rolls or bounces out, whether or not the batter hit it, it counts as four runs.

There are also several ways a batsman can get “out.” The most common is being “bowled out,” when the ball hits the batsman’s body when it would have hit the wicket otherwise. A batsman is also out if a fielder catches the ball after it is struck but before it bounces or leaves the field.

Finally, where the batsmen are running, a fielder can throw the ball at the wicket, and if it strikes the wicket before the batsman nearest the wicket reaches it, the batsman is “run out.”

When a player is out, a teammate will replace them in the field, and when their team no longer has the requisite number of “not out” players to score (when ten of the eleven batsmen are out), the other team gets the chance to try to score.

The ruling of the umpire is final.

At any time, if a player does not follow the directions of the umpire or balks at the decision of the umpire, he will be turned over to the captain of the team for either immediate dismissal or any other disciplinary action.

Games of Cricket can be of different lengths, and the duration of the game is negotiated.

In shorter games, a team can also have to stop batting when the ball has been thrown to their players a set number of times. After both teams have had a set number of chances to score, the team with the most runs wins. In most single-day games, each side has one innings (the singular term inning, used in baseball, is not used in Cricket). Innings are limited to a set number of “overs.”

Longer games give each team two innings and have no specific limit to the number of “overs” in each innings.

All of these decisions regarding the duration of the game are made in advance of the start of the game.


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