Swamibapa Cricket Team
Swamibapa Cricket Team has a short and proud history, beginning with the founding and growth to its present position. It was zeal and devotion of the members to preserve religion and culture in today’s environments that led to the foundation of Swamibapa Cricket Team. This was indeed a challenging and herculean task.
The team’s foundation was laid by our Adya Acharyapravar of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, 1008 H.D.H. Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa during His divine tour of East Africa in 1974/75 and with His blessing, the team was very much honoured and bestowed to be given the name “SWAMIBAPA CRICKET TEAM.”
In the beginning, practice sessions were attended by many members of the team in the spirit of brother-hood. It was the collective effort of the whole team that it was able to enter in the Kenya Cricket Association Division 2 league for the forthcoming season.
The team entered for the first time in the Kenya Cricket Association 1976/77 league and during the first season the team’s performance was very impressive. This literally proved that the team was capable of achieving an even higher standard of cricket. During the second season, 1977/78, the team showed a solid beginning for the championship. The team, at this stage made every effort to maintain high standard of cricket and every member worked very hard to contribute whatever was possible.
For further encouragement, in the year 1978, the Managing Committee introduced two trophies to be awarded yearly to the best batsman and bowler in the team. This lifted the spirits and commitment from all the players to a higher level as each player wanted to win the trophy. This made a huge difference in the overall performance of the team as a whole.After only three years, during the 1978/79 season, the team had a very spectacular achievement of being crowned the champions and promoted to play in the first division.
During the 1979/80 season, the team played in the Kenya Cricket Association Division 1 League where it faced giants of Kenyan Cricket. The team played with tireless efforts and there were times when they put the opponents in difficult positions. Luck was not with the team as it lost three games by very narrow margins which made a huge difference .The team won just a couple of matches and at the end of the season, it finished on the last spot with a margin of only two points separating the last two teams. The team was relegated back to second division.
Having been relegated to second division, the season 1980/81 was not a very successful one. Despite being tipped as the hot favourites for the title, the team finished a poor third position in the league. That season the team only managed the runners-up trophy in the junior knockout tournament. The only achievement in the whole of the 1980/81 season!
The season 1981/82 found the team more determined and seriously looking forward to wipe out all the trophies available. The team did just that! It won all the three trophies available i.e. Junior League, Junior Knockout and the Kenyatta Cup tournaments. In fact, something worth mentioning here is that the team finished the 1981/82 season without even losing a single match. Technically, the team also managed to clinch a place in first division league for the season 1982/83 after hammering the last team in the first division on the home and away fixtures.
The team played in the 1st division in 1984/1985 season and won three trophies, the league title, knockout competition and the Uhuru Cup, and most of the other seasons, The team has either finished in top position or as runners up.
The team has always comprised of a mixture of experience and young talent. The selection of players is purely performance related irrespective of colour or religion. From the very beginning till today the team has comprised of Africans, Hindus and Muslims playing in the spirit of brother-hood. This proves that the team is in the forefront as far as training and encouragement of youngsters is concerned and having long term goals in development of sports in Kenya.
During the opening ceremony of the new temple in Mumbai on Bhulabhai Desai Road, the team toured to India and played against teams from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hydrabad and Kutch. The team won all their games. It was a very successful tour in terms of valuable international exposure gained by players which vastly improved their game.
It is very pleasing to mention that, in the past and at present, many of our players have been selected on various occasions to play for the Kenya Cricket Association representative teams and the Kenyan National team. At present, majority of the players in the Kenyan National Cricket team are from Swamibapa Cricket Team.