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MAY 19 - MAY 26, 2015

The President of the WNY Cricket League Comments On Bringing Cricket to Niagara Falls

May 19, 2015

Amol Salunkhe hopes to bring a new dimension to Hyde Park

Speaking of the game of cricket in much the same terms that an ardent baseball player might, Amol Salunkhe, president of the Western New York Cricket League, and team member of the Buffalo Niagara Cricket Club, a team which hopes to play in Niagara Falls, recalled when his father took him to the cricket fields of India when he was a boy.

As a player he speaks of "the smell of the leather… the feel of dew", and learning how to catch in the outfield bare handed.

"When you play on a cricket team, you lose your sense of self and become part of the team, so your emotions fluctuate with how the team is playing," Salunkhe said. "That is the first part, where you lose the sense of self, and the second part is when you are really focusing on the ball, you tune out everything else.

"That loss of self gives one tremendous joy. What you experience is subliminal; it's ethereal. It is something one can only experience when one tries their best to express it."

Becoming acquainted with the news that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster has told officials of the Babe Ruth Little League that they may have to make space concessions to accommodate a new cricket field in Hyde Park, Salunkhe suggested that cricket might add to the fabric and color of Niagara Falls, and not detract from it.

To illustrate this, Salunkhe told a tale from the Qissa-i Sanjan:

When the Zoroastrians fled from Iran to escape persecution from the Muslims, following the fall of the Sassanid Empire, they sought asylum in India, from the Rajput King Jadi Rana.

Jadi Rana motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the brim to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees.

In response one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk, indicating they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and instead make the lives of the citizens sweeter.

Jadi Rana gave shelter to the emigrants and permitted them, with certain conditions, to practice their religion and traditions.

Salunkhe said, "We intend to add to Niagara Falls… to make things sweeter. ... We are truly passionate about the game and we feel it is our duty to give people an opportunity to play it."





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