The brotherly bond behind Eccles All Stars
Cricket is widely regarded as the sport of glorious uncertainties for its theatrics on the field, but for several friends, the gentleman’s game has allowed them to bond even further, which sparked the success of the Eccles All Stars Tapeball team.
They started playing in Eccles (Old Road) in front of the previous Manager and sponsor, Essu Rajak, and according to Vice-Captain Irfaan Alli, “The unity within the guys we then moved on by playing various teams on the National Cultural Centre Tarmac and start building a stronger team by recruiting players from various villages countrywide and we made an impact.”
The team comprises some simple men, from their captain Keshan Persaud, who is a driver at Express Logistics, Alli (Manager at Bryian’s Accessories and Repair Centre) and small business owners Dieon Thomas and Damion Vantull.
Of recent, they have recruited the services of national player, Bhaskar Yadram.
Tapeball is a growing phenomenon in Guyana, and Eccles All Stars are among some of the teams who have racked up serious accolades.
In 2017, they won the GTT countrywide tournament and are two-time finalists at the Saints Premier League T20 and Soesdyke Premier League among other top local tournaments.
According to Ali, winning the GTT tournament was one of their biggest accomplishments to date and touring to Suriname and gathering success is also most pleasing, but “the best success is keeping one bunch of guys together for over six years now.”
Apart from Panko Steel Fabrication, who have supported the team with branded uniforms, the finances are self-funded for tournaments, which more often than not do not have the enormous prize winnings.
“To be honest [we are] not looking forward for much, but to keep the positive vibes and brotherly love as a unit and win a lot more tournaments; have fun and pass on the team legacy to the upcoming youngsters,” the Vice-captain expressed.
If there is one area that the booming Tapeball fraternity needs to improve upon is greater structure and discipline and according to Ali, the buck stops at the players.
“Discipline is set up from a young age; I think once players have the love and discipline for the sport it’s going to be a big step and I personally would love for some major sponsors to come on board and boost tapeball in Guyana.”
Eccles All Stars are in preparation for a tournament this month-end in Soesdyke.