Team Flash Falcons wins Kovai.co cricket tournament
Kovai.co proudly hosted its inaugural turf cricket tournament—KPL 2023, on July 16th. Surprisingly 13 teams, or more than 100 people, signed up for the event. While some matches witnessed decisive victories, others kept the spectators on the edge of their seats with nail-biting finishes. Overall, the Sunday morning was brimming with high-fives, hugs, camaraderie, collaboration, and the spirit of cricket.
Many attendees were surprised to know that the event was meticulously planned within less than three weeks. Gunasekhar Paramasivam, the lead of sales development and the captain of the Kovai.co cricket team, initiated a casual conversation with Andrew Cloke, our Chief Operations Officer, during his visit to the UK for Integrate 2023.
Despite having a group of 30 people, assembling 11 players for a Saturday match was often challenging, Gunasekhar remarked. So, I persistently kept pushing for an internal cricket tournament to identify new talent and players, which could strengthen our team for corporate tournaments, he added.
Gunasekhar had envisioned such a tournament for more than two years, but Andrew’s genuine passion for cricket brought the idea to life. With the support of regular players, a committee was quickly formed, and a proposal was presented to the People and Culture (P&C) Team. The decision was made to organize the tournament on a turf, with six overs per innings, ensuring it would be completed within a single day. The organizers who initially expected around 6-8 teams to sign up, were pleasantly surprised to have 12 teams registering before the last day. The 13th team in fact requested entry after registrations were closed, as shared by Jessintha Johnson, People and Culture Specialist.
The scheduling of matches was efficiently managed using the Cric Heroes app. The excitement surrounding the event was palpable, with teams engaging in practice sessions, arranging practice matches with opponents, and even getting customized jerseys. Remarkably, almost every one of the 13 teams included female members, and the team names ranged from filmi terms like “Narikootam” to IPL-inspired names like “Kovai Super Kings.”
On the morning of the tournament, despite it being a Sunday, teams began arriving as early as 6.45 am. The toss for the first two matches, scheduled for 7 am, took place at 6.50 am.
In larger tournaments, delays are often anticipated, but both matches commenced promptly at 7 am. Even with a lunch break, we successfully concluded the tournament well before our targeted time of 2.30 pm, which is a noteworthy achievement, Gunasekharan shared.
Beyond the fun and employee engagement, the teams exhibited true sportsmanship throughout the tournament. The semi-finals were intense, and the finals, contested between IPM Sparks and Flash Falcons, concluded in a thrilling draw, leading to a super over. In the end, Flash Falcons emerged victorious, demonstrating sheer determination and grit. Notably, neither of the finalists had district-level players, showcasing the power of teamwork and dedication.
Following the tournament, many players expressed interest in representing Kovai.co’s cricket team. Moreover, athletes proficient in other sports, such as badminton, volleyball, and carrom, have also expressed their desire for future tournaments. In response, Sree Malathi, Manager of People and Culture, revealed the company’s plan to organize a sports weekend in with multiple tournaments side-by-side in the near future.
Undoubtedly, team sports have proven to be a catalyst for fostering camaraderie and teamwork among employees while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. Beyond the thrill of competition, these events provide valuable opportunities for employees to socialize outside of work, ultimately contributing to a stronger company culture, as emphasized by Malathi.