Articles, Blog

The Cricket Kings of Queens

November 6, 2019


– Cricket with this team,
you’re gonna get embarrassed because they’re too
good, they’re too good! (cheers) Every time any other team faces John Adams’ High School, they know that they’re facing the best team in the city. – I thought it would’ve
been like a perfect season. I was thinking you know,
maybe we should name the documentary “The Perfect Season”, but… – [Principal Scanlon]
Ozone Park, you know we’re sandwiched in between the Belt Parkway, the
old Aqueduct, Kennedy. – [Clarence Modeste] What is recorded as the oldest international cricket match was played here in New York. For many of us immigrants from former British Colonies, cricket was the single most important sport in our lives. We have a lot of high school kids from cricket playing countries, why not make cricket available to them? – [Richie] All right guys, let’s go! Cricket is my passion. All I think about is cricket. For me it’s all about winning. This is my first trophy in New York. I scored sixty something the first game and I got this trophy, best batsman. These are my certificates from school. Perfect attendance, honor
roll, honor roll, honor roll. I just lay and look at them and just say I can have plenty more. To come here was a big opportunity cause the way we were living in Guyana, it was not comfortable. I used to live with my aunt and five cousins in the same home. My Dad had abandoned us.
I think he was scared. And my Mom came illegal, into the country. I was a little kid when she
left. I was three years old. – [Richie’s Mom] When I decided to move to America it was tough with me, but I had to make that decision. I never regret it, and he will make it here better than Guyana. – [Richie] Most of these
guys they like cricket, but cricket don’t like them. I have to find a way
that I can get these guys motivated and make these guys play hard. – All right guys, listen up okay. This is our first day, so I own you. And it doesn’t matter where you come from, we’re all here for one reason: to play the sport that you love. (exclaiming) – [Richie] You wanna come to the side, and see what Alix is doing, come to the side. – My experience playing
Cricket you know, is none. I’m from Uruguay. I came here when I was 15 years old and I have one world English. I lived four blocks away
from John Adams High School. When I look at a kid that doesn’t speak the language, that is lost, that is looking around like “where am I going”, you know, I can read their minds. (exclaiming) (cheering) – [All] One, two, three, Adams! – [Richie] When I left
Guyana, it was pretty tough. For some of these guys
they have it tougher in countries like Bangladesh, like they don’t have the rights
that we do over here. So a lot of these guys, their parents tell them one day you can go back and make a change in your country. – [Coach Alex] MD’s the water boy. We call him the water boy, the clown of the team, but in a good way. – [Coach Alex] Alix is
everything that defines cricket. He can break any records he wants, but still have a lot to grow up. – [Alix] My whole life
I’ve been playing cricket. My reputation is like,
having fun with everybody, take control, making everybody laugh. Yo Tamesh, you should
throw into Uber now, son. – Who will I drive, you? – Of course, you’ll be my queen picking the king up, all right? Thank you. – [Coach Alex] You know, MD is very smart. But you can be smart in certain things, doesn’t mean that you’re smart socializing, you know what I mean? – [Coach Alex] What’s your name? – MD? MD I got good news for you. – All right? You’re not
doing the water today. – [Clarence Modeste] The match is being played two innings, one per team. It’s twenty overs, Team A goes out to bat. So the two runners are
running back and forth trying to score runs, and if he doesn’t get there before the wicket is broken with that ball then he’s out, run out. You can get bowled out. If a fielder catches it before it touches the ground, then he’s out. When you lose ten
wickets, you are finished. Team B now knows what its task is. Team B needs to make one run more than Team A in order to win that match. – [Coach Alex] Good fight, man.
Good fight guys, all right? I like your attitude. Good fight, man. – [Principal Scanlon] So we have about 2400 students in the building. About a third are from
the Indian subcontinent. About a third are
Latino, and a significant number of students from Guyana. – [President Trump] And replace Obamacare. – [Principal Scanlon] We
have a lot of students who’ve been affected by Trump’s proposals regarding immigration. And there were a lot of stories that were circulating around the
school that ICE agents were going up and down Liberty Avenue and Rockway Boulevard looking for people. – [Coach Alex] When Donald
Trump won, I seen kids crying. We’re talking about high school. I cannot imagine being on their side having the fear they might
not be here tomorrow. – [Alix] Kids on the
team, like they’re just nervous telling us about their families. Did they come illegal over here, somebody could use that against them to send them back to their home countries. – [Richie] Alix’s season
is going great because he has the highest batting
average in the city. But he never takes anything serious, he takes everything as a joke. I always tell him outside of the field you can be you, but inside of the field you have to show character. – [Alix] It’s cold
guys, hurry up hurry up! Richie always gets mad at me on the field. When I play, I like to be free and, like, make the other guys laugh and all that. Having fun on the game,
like you get the spirit of the game, like you
know you enjoy playing with the person, not always being serious. – [All] One, two, three, Adams! – [Richie] Hold on, imagine you’re captaining the team, right, and you get a man like you making jokes next year. Yeah so you’ve got to show the man that you’re gonna be the leader next year. – [Team mate] Shut your sorry- – [Richie] Oh you fuck off, fuck off. – [Alix] Yo, this is what to
be a part of the brethren. – [Team Mate] We talked about this- – [Announcer] Some balls
do spin, some balls don’t. – [Richie] There’s other leagues outside of the USA, that they pay you to play. If I be good enough, I can make those leagues, like the IPL. That’s my dream, to be a
professional cricketer. – [Coach Alex] So Richie
has an amazing opportunity to go to LA to try out
for the US National team. You have to be mentally strong and physically strong, and you know I think he has a chance, hopefully. On the other hand, you know, looking at Alix who could’ve gone into the trip, say, “You know, I’m not gonna go”. He’s afraid maybe, he can’t handle it. But Richie’s not like that. But he doesn’t look like he’s fit. He needs to lose weight, man. – [Richie] Buddy you
know Coach tell me how I won’t make it if I
go up there like this, I tell him, “Yo I’m working,
buddy, I’m working.” I will lose weight like this here, right? – [Richie] I know right? I didn’t see my mom for 11 years until I moved to America. – [Richie’s Mom] When I
saw him I started to cry cause, I leave him very small and short. When I saw him, he was big and tall. I couldn’t believe that’s my son. – [Richie] My parents never saw me play cricket, cause they’re
always working or busy. – [Richie’s Mom] Richie
is very quiet, if he’s sad I don’t know, if
he’s happy, I don’t know. – [Richie] Feeling a little bit excited, but nervous at the same time. There’s forty eight players and only twenty can make the team, so you gotta be the best on that day. (train honking) – [Principal Scanlon]
Ramadan is difficult. Muslim students are not allowed to eat, they’re not allowed to drink. They persevere through, but yeah I recognize that it takes a lot out of them to go through the entire day. – [Coach Alex] I never
had an undefeated season. We’re number one. It’s just
crushing teams like crazy. 183, 189, 194, 193, 202, 207, 208. – [All] One, two, three, Adams! – [Richie] During the tryouts, a game can take between
five and six hours, so it’s pretty intensive. Mostly they’ll be looking at
fitness, that’s number one. This is gonna just be a long day. – [Try Outs Coach] We’re all done! – [Richie] Unfortunately I got cut. Everything I did up there I tried my best, but unfortunately I failed. It shows me that I need
to step up, work harder, and hopefully I can get a next shot at it. – [Richie] What I’m
most worried about going into the playoff is the thing that the team is so confident that they’re not really showing the effort. – [Team Mate] Yay, you’re a monkey! – [Richie] And I think
that’s gonna come back and haunt us in the playoff,
because if we don’t put that energy and that
effort in, just one game we can be eliminated from the tournament. – [Coach Alex] One more match, that’s all I need to tell you, one more match. And we’re talking about a final, a New York City final, we’re not talking about a regular game or a playoff game. We’re playing Richmond Hill, they beat us two years ago in the
final and it’s kind of like, you know, we want revenge. For them to lose today, it would be probably the
biggest disappointment. You know, going undefeated, and the way we dominated the whole
season, and then you go to the final, and then you lose. It would be devastating, you
know, I would be speechless. There’s an old saying that says “no one remembers second place,” and it’s true, you know. – [Richie] Today is just like a regular day, it’s just like a normal game. Don’t go out there and panic just because there’s a
guy talking in the mic, there’s a commentator, or it’s a final. Anything can happen. – [All] One, two, three, Adams! – [Commentator] John Adams having won the toss deciding early,
they’re gonna bat. – [Second Commentator] This is the seventh championship final
appearance for John Adams. An impressive record built over the years. – [Coach Alex] Oh my god! – [Richie] Nice shot Alix! Push it! Push it! – [Coach Alex] Go for
two! Go for two! Yeah! – [Commentator] All the wind
now at the back of John Adams. – [Richie] Bring it on! – [Coach Alex] Come on Alix, focus Alix! Come on, come on, come on, yes! – [First Commentator] Ah, takes him out! A big blow for John Adams,
Alix Hussein goes back for five, he falls cheaply today. – [Second Commentator] This match certainly at a crucial
point for John Adams. – [Coach Alex] Oh no. Now I’m nervous. Why are we making these
mistakes in the final? It’s like a nightmare. I don’t even want to see the score. – [Coach Alex] If you think that this game is over, you’re so wrong right now. You’re so wrong right now. Maybe we didn’t play with the intensity that we should’ve played, but 117 is a lot of runs. And now we’re gonna go and defend and we’re gonna keep them low. And I know you’re gonna show me everything you have, because there’s
no tomorrow. This is it. In my heart you guys are the championship. One, two, three, Adams, ready? – [All] One, two, three, Adams! – [Coach Alex] I can’t believe Alix. Him getting out so early, it was shocking. Psychologically, it can
affect you, you know? Get him out, get him out, get him out! That’s it Richie, yes! That’s it Richie! Be the hero, Alix! That’s a catch, that’s
a catch, that’s a catch! He dropped it? Oh man, you don’t drop
a ball all season, man! This is not happening,
man. This is not happening. This is it, one ball left,
and if they score they win. Walk in. Walk in! Hold it, hold it! Don’t throw it! (screaming) – [Richie] All right guys, uh– your character is not determined by how you celebrate the victory, guys, it’s determined by how
you pick yourself up. So I’m not gonna be here next year, but I would like to see you guys make it to the final again, all right guys? – [Principal Scanlon]
Congratulations once again to the Class of 2017. – [Coach Alex] I was devastated. And I was crying, I was really crying. And I thought, maybe this is not for me. I need to walk away. And it’s always the
kids that bring me back. – [Richie] Cricket, there’s only one opportunity, same as life. From the first day of
practice to the final, I think that these guys have grown. And it’s not about what’s in the field, it’s about leaving an impression.

14 Comments

  • Reply The Later Skater November 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Stick to stick sports. Great doc. RIP Deadspin

  • Reply Harry Blackwood November 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    This was great, Jim Spanfeller is an herb.

  • Reply Spencer Israel November 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Long Live Deadspin

  • Reply Avin official28 November 1, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    patiently waited for this…. well done lads 
    ps. we still are undefeated today

  • Reply KillerUgly November 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Fuck jim spanfeller. I hope he dies. RIP deadspin

  • Reply Brent Cairns November 2, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Stick to sports

  • Reply A man has no name November 2, 2019 at 1:33 am

    The writers should have just stuck to sports. Now I hope they’ve learned to code.

  • Reply Josh Perry November 2, 2019 at 3:40 am

    this was so good. thank you for this

  • Reply Modustollens1 November 2, 2019 at 9:42 am

    How dare those bastards demand a sports blog stick to sports!

  • Reply Michael Fondacaro November 2, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Just wish you did not tell your people to stick to sports. But I love cricket.

  • Reply Raiders Husky November 2, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Stick to sports assholes lol. Too late now though.

  • Reply FMF Forsyth November 2, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Rotflmao…cricket is not a sport…and yet no coverage of the biggest MMA fight at MSG…Get woke go Broke, keep getting rid of the soy boi's…..

  • Reply Monish Kumar November 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

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  • Reply lee32476 November 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    RIP Deadspin. Spanfeller is a herb

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