My name is Binoj Mathew, and I work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Rio Grande Regional Hospital.

I have been playing cricket in the Rio Grande Valley for the past six years. I love this game and feel ecstatic and blessed to have such a vibrant cricket-loving community in the region.

Cricket is not only a source of healthy recreation but teaches patience, teamwork, and hard work. We have a mixture of people from all age groups and different occupations who constantly strive to find time to come together and play cricket almost every weekend. 

Our tournament is called the Valley Premier League 2021 and it will start on Saturday, November 13, at Dr. William Long School Park in Pharr. It will be inaugurated by the honorable mayor of Pharr, Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez.

Six teams will compete over the next four weekends (except Thanksgiving weekend) with two games, 20-overs a side played per day every Saturday and Sunday.

For the first time in the history of RGV, we have a team from Mexico! As the borders opened this week, we are incredibly excited to have them play in the Valley.

The best four teams in the league, mainly comprising Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi nationals, will progress to the semi-finals, with the finals slated for December 12.

We are very thankful to the mayor of Pharr, Dr. Hernandez, who made it possible to have a ground available exclusively for cricket in the Valley. We believe this ground will attract more people from various cities and states as we organize more tournaments in the upcoming year. It’s a gated cricket ground with a large grass field. We also have two pavilions for each team which was constructed lately.

There are tentative plans for adding floodlights in the future to allow more people to play at night. There are also plans for establishing a cricket club by having players from various teams join, thereby enhancing the opportunity to have more tournaments in the future. We have received a lot of positive feedback on this upcoming tournament and plan to have this as an annual tournament.

We also have two additional grounds in Weslaco and Brownsville, but we tend to use this ground in Pharr as it’s brand new and within reach to everyone.

Cricket is a sport that is relished by people all over the world. It has become a popular sport in many countries, including the U.S. We want to utilize this tournament to heighten the awareness of this sport in the Valley and motivate everyone to enjoy playing this beautiful sport.

Cricket provides the perfect opportunity to meet friends, relook into our nostalgic childhood memories, cheer teams, and generally have a good time as we enjoy the so-called “Gentleman’s Game.”

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by cricket enthusiast and player Binoj Mathew of Pharr, Texas. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Mathew can be reached by email via: [email protected]


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