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Minor League T20: Player spotlight Gowda and Scott

Former India bowler Vinay Kumar, among others on the outskirts of Karnataka cricket, believed it was just a matter of time before Gowda assumed the batting mantle for the Karnataka Ranji team.

Sujith Gowda is a Karnataka cricketer with a long and illustrious career. Gowda did everything that was asked of him as a child and adolescent. Given the cutthroat character of Karnataka cricket, he represented and captained Karnataka at every age group from U-14 to U-23, a testament to his ability as a cricketer.

Karnataka’s Senior Side

Gowda, on the other hand, was never given the opportunity. Despite scoring over 500 runs in two consecutive seasons for Karnataka U-23, he was never called up to the senior side. With infrequent lower-order opportunities, he played in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL). However, the sincere Gowda, who opted to immigrate to the United States, believes his greatest shining moment is still to come.

“I want to keep doing the things I love,” he says. “I still train as intensely as ever. Bat for about eight hours a week. If at all, this is an extra motivation for me to keep pushing and do well and keep making my presence felt and be in the reckoning to play international cricket he added,  playing for the East Bay Blazers against the San Diego Surf Riders, he had breezy innings of 78 off 46 pitches.

“It was a big decision to make. I told myself I’ll be leaving no stone unturned with this opportunity. I just wanted to make one good move. I had a strong gut feeling that things are going to be good here concerning cricket. I know it will take me somewhere at some point,” he added.

At the crease, Gowda stands tall. As most of Karnataka’s good batsmen are, he was aesthetically pleasing and technically correct, and he brought those qualities to the fore with that knock against the Surf Riders. On a pitch when many batsmen struggled to get the ball off the square, his strokes stood out for their flare and fluency. The way he played the spinners, in particular, defied his wiry physique.

Gowda, who is known in Karnataka for his voracious appetite for runs, has proven he has what it takes to succeed in T20 cricket. At the age of 21, he was awarded the reigns of the Vultures Cricket Club, one of Bengaluru’s most prestigious cricket clubs. The fact that he was chosen to head a team that comprised three Indian players in Karun Nair, Sreenath Arvind, and Abhimanyu Mithun speaks something about his cricketing intelligence and maturity.

The first man to score a century in the Minor League T20

Ryan Scott works in a neighborhood restaurant as a line cook. He’s also worked as a lifeguard and has some experience with home renovations. Aside from that, he also made history by becoming the first player to score a century in a Minor League T20 match against the Houston Hurricanes. Scott thrashed his way to a brilliant 118 off 48 balls against one of the tournament’s most lethal attacks.

Scott made his intentions apparent early on, clobbering the star Trinbago Knight Riders paceman Ali Khan over deep midwicket with the first ball he faced. From then on, there was no stopping the southpaw in Jamaica. All of the bowlers suffered the wrath of his blade, including former USA bowler Usman Rafiq and former South Africa U-19 Willem Ludick. It had been a show of strength. Pure instincts were accompanied by a free-flowing, authentic Caribbean vibe. Scott packs a lot of punch for a guy who is 5’9″.

“This hundred is very special to me,” said Scott after the game. “I couldn’t sense the enormity of the occasion until I came back to the dressing room and quietly shed a tear. My wife told me I was about to be a father for the first time the night before. I’m a very emotional person. This day will be quite memorable for me,” he added.

Scott grew up in Kingston, just a five-minute walk from the Kensington Cricket Club, which has produced test players such as Wavell Hinds and Darren Powell. Scott’s life hasn’t been as glittering as his inning the other day. After representing Jamaica’s U-15s, he was unable to represent his country at any other age level and quickly faded from view. Scott received a soccer scholarship at an Oklahoma college when he was 18 years old, allowing him to move to the United States.

Scott has spent a significant amount of time in the cricketing wilderness. For months at a time, I haven’t played cricket. He feels fortunate to be able to train even once a week, juggling his day jobs and some game time on weekends. He recognizes, though, that it is his natural ability that has brought him this far, and that playing cricket at the greatest level will require a lot more professionalism.

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