​Report on the Ekal Cricket Cup 2014 held on 11 April 2014 at Dubai Men’s College


Report on the Ekal Cricket Cup 2014 held on 11 April 2014 at Dubai Men’s College
Following the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of ‘Ekal’, the Ekal Cricket Cup 2014 was the fourth year of a fun filled sports eventat Dubai. Friday 11th April 2014 was indeed a special and spectacular day for all members of the ‘Ekal family’ in the UAE region. The venue of the event was Dubai Men’s College Cricket Ground and the program was a full day and night cricket tournament of 8 corporate teams playing and a good sporting audience cheering. The ambience was fun, camaraderie, action and purpose. Ekal and Cricket are a good combination; both make you feel good and nice. With the IPL being announced to take place in UAE, the timing of the ‘Ekal Cricket Cup 2014’ was welcome.
The highlights of the 9 AM to 10 PM program were as follows:-
• The chief guest, guests of honor and guests were warmly received by Mr. Harshad R Mehta, Ms. Geeta Chhabra, Mr.  Ashit Gandhi and all committee members and volunteers of ‘Ekal’.
• Chief Guest of the program was ambassador of India H.E. Mr. T. P. Seetharam released the Ekal souvenir entitled ‘Glory to Education.’ His speech was truly inspiring stating the importance of these activities that bring about a huge contribution to the development of the country and he was given a special Ekal memento.
• The Guests of Honor were Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga, 1996 World Cup Winning Sri Lankan Captain and Mr. Romesh Kaluwitharan, dashing Sri Lankan opening batsman of the 1996 World Cup and Mr Jitendra   Bhansali, Ekal Trustee from Mumbai along with Mrs. Jitendra Bhansali. Mr. Ravi Samarakone was instrumental in getting the cricket celebrities who travelled from Sri Lanka for the event.
• It was interesting to see the chief guests, cricket celebrities and Mr. Harshad R Mehta on the cricket ground playing for a while to the entertainment of the audience. They also briefly addressed the audience; on the good work done by ‘Ekal’ and the advantages of community service.
• The cricket tournament was ably conducted by Mr. Gopal Jasapara and G Force Team with co-ordination by Mr. Sameer Mavani and Mr. Ravi Samarakone.
• Complimentary homemade snacks and craft stalls from the volunteers team, snacks sponsored by restaurants apart from ice cream, tea, water by sponsors.
• Free Health Check was provided by Zulekha Hospital.
• Eight Corporate Houses played exciting 10 over cricket matches; the teams were Jain Social Group, Diamond Village DMCC, DUD Real Estate, Danube Lions, Shrenuj Jewellers, Unique Friends, Brilliant Diamonds and Homes4Life. There was a good combination of cricket commentary interspersed with ‘Ekal’ concept.
• The ambience was colorful – a sports festival which was full of fun, team spirit and community service. Many teenagers had volunteered for the event and this was appreciated by all.
• The final match was between ‘Homes4Life’ and ‘Danube Lions’ teams. Ekal Cricket Cup 2014 was won by Danube Lions. There were trophies given to the best batsman, best bowler and man of the tournament.
• The cricket celebrities enjoyed the program and appreciated the great work done by ‘Ekal’. They signed autographs oncricket bats and balls and were magnanimous in giving three sessions of meet and greet the crowd with photo sessions. They expressed that they would certainly like to be part of the great work we were carrying out on this cause.
• The Ekal Souvenir was distributed as one per family. The souvenir was designed by Mrs. Geeta Chhabra and was well received as it has a variety of photographs of past event, ‘Van Yatra’ of volunteers to different Ekal schools, brief on Ekal concept and 108 ‘Harsh quotes’ – which was a novel inclusion. The thoughts were indeed inspiring – for example ‘ Peace is not only the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice’; ‘think of giving not as a duty, but as a privilege’ etc.
• The target for the program was 500 schools and the team was able to get a commitment for 640 schools.
• Founded on the hard work for several months before by the volunteers it was finally a moment of satisfaction andfulfillment for all.