Among the many sports activities that take place at the City of Knowledge campus throughout the year, there is one that stands out for how uncommon it is in this region of the world. We refer to cricket. Cricket is a sport originally from England and massively practiced in India, but although these two countries are very far from here, in Panama there are 2 cricket leagues that are played on the CdS campus, thanks to Manish Ramanbhai Bhakta, resident of Panama for more than 24 years.
Manish owns a pawn house, a hotel, a workshop, a restaurant and real estate, but in addition to all this, he has been also organizing two cricket leagues at the City of Knowledge for more than 12 years. The national and the international league.
In the national league, we have teams mainly from Veraguas, Colon and Panama City, but “if there is anyone interested in participating in the league, who resides in another province, he can join the team from Veraguas or Colon,” said Manish. This league is composed today by 24 teams represented by 12 players each. That is, only in the national cricket league, more than 288 people play who come accompanied by their families, making this activity a highly anticipated family event every year. The national league takes place during the summer, between January and April because the implements that are used, such as the bat (wood) or the ball, which is made of leather, are expensive and cannot get wet. Manish tells us that the national league is open to all public and you do not have to be from India to play in it. “Here some American (US), Canadian or Australian plays as well. You just have to sign up in the league and that’s it. Something basic is charged for renting the pitch that varies according to the participation”. The national league mixes players from all levels competing to be the best team. Winning a game represents 2 points and they are added during each day until reaching the final phase, where the four best teams of the tournament participate. The two best play the grand final.