The top cricketers in the city were on display for the NYC Mayor’s Cup All-Star Game at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday, including DeWitt Clinton senior Asmar Khan and junior Muyin Ariful. The game was played in the afternoon of a picture-perfect day in the park, the first day of summer.
Clinton was part of the Bronx/Brooklyn/Manhattan all-star team that lost to the team from Queens, 91-94, after 17.4 overs. But the Governors had a fine season, finishing 12-0 in the regular season to earn the division title before losing to Midwood in the quarterfinals of the PSAL playoffs.
Khan and Ariful are both rounders, meaning they both bat and bowl (the cricket equivalent of pitching in baseball). Khan was the opening batsman on Saturday, which is akin to a leadoff hitter in baseball — a player who is “more stable and able to face the bowler,” according to Clinton coach Ravindra Gopaul.
The opening batsman position was a role Khan played for the Governors during the season.
“He can go in and analyze the situation and execute as it comes,” said Gopaul, who just finished his second season as head coach. “I would have rather for [Khan and Ariful] to do better than they did, but it was a bigger stage, and it’s hard when you’re faced with the best around in the city.”
Ariful hit lower in the team’s lineup, but simply playing in a game like this is an honor, Gopaul said.
“It’s always special, because that’s what you strive for,” he said. “It’s something you aspire to do.”
Gopaul also said the Mayor’s Cup is a chance for scouts to see the best talent in New York City. Some players get chances with the United States under-19 national team, or are scouted by local adult league teams.
“Your names go a long way throughout the city,” Gopaul said. “It’s all the kids with natural talent and we want them to get exposed and have their name out there.”
The Mayor’s Cup series, which features 10 sports throughout the school year, is produced by NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization company of New York City.