Chennai beach cricket goes to Lords

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Chennai’s very own beach cricket, passionately played by cricket lovers at the Marina most mornings, will now be immortalized at the game’s Mecca, the Lord’s cricket ground, thanks to a city-based photo journalist.

S.L. Shanth Kumar’s beautiful photograph, capturing a bunch of youngsters playing cricket on the beach even as a storm gathered, has won the prestigious MCC — Wisden Photo of the Year — 2012 for the best cricket photograph and will be exhibited at the Lords’ for the 2012 season, a Wisden release said.

It said Kumar’s “stunning image” beat off “intense competition” from over 330 entries that captured some of the most sensational cricketing moments in big matches across the world. The Wisden award includes £500 cash prize and a £500 Park Cameras voucher for Canon equipment.

Beach cricket in Chennai dates back several decades and spawned many stars who even made it to Team India. Interestingly, city police banned it at different points saying it disturbed traffic and the beach walkers. Yet, the cricket lovers carried on, so much so it has become a tradition.

Kumar’s picture of a bunch of lads braving an approaching storm for their beach game captures like a painter’s canvas the city’s craze for the sport and has now taken our tennis-ball cricket where it deserves to be. The Lords.

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