Season 2: The sophomore Blues The start of the season was a scare as a few of the players got injured before even the season started and Pacers were forced to look for replacements at such a short notice. Replacements were not easy to come by as they have to meet the founding principles of the team. We as a team regard talent as one of the Criteria but not the only criteria and in fact Talent is not even the top criteria. Looking for people that fits into the culture wasn't easy and it had been an arduous task for the team management to put together the playing XI. The team management tapped into their personal network all across bay area to fill the slots. The result was a semi-final appearance in just the second season of existence. We lot again a close game to the Tigers and we figured we were just one piece away from the championship game.
Season 3: We figured it out...NOT We thought ourselves lucky when we found Praveen from Patriots to come play for us. He is the missing piece to make the Finals and now we are all set to go to the finals was the feeling. We were winning but the team also has become a revolving door as most of the people that were part of the team also play in other leagues for other teams and the commitment factor was lacking. It showed as we took the games easy once we secured a place in QF. Pacers finished 4th in their group and it was clearly evident that the team wants to just make it to the next round but wasn't giving it's best. The result was another exit in Quarter Finals.
Season 4: Should we play this Season? There were days when we didn't want to participate anymore as we were not gelling as a team...we were lured by Mergers with other teams looking for that quick fix and were generally hard on ourselves especially when we had days where we didn't play as a Team (in losses and Wins). Gopi, Naren and Vijay resisted the easy fixes and generally kept the morale of the team high through these phases. We tightened a few more ground rules on what we were looking for in a teammate and made no changes to the team. We were reinforcing what we are looking from each of the team members. We ended up being the Group champions but had another early exit in the quarter finals to a better team in LCC. This gave us hope that we were doing something right as we saw the commitment and willingness to play all the games with the same intensity.
After that loss, we looked back and figured that we had individual play makers who had pulled us through in every game but no one has shown up in the Quarter Final which resulted in a loss. This time we decided to focus more on the team aspect and not on individual brilliance. The next season was an acid test to that theory. Season 5: We're there.... Unexpectedly, we were lucky to find 2 more great players who fit our mold in Murali Kommuri and Phani Devella. Manoj Vuriti now moved to San Ramon and has become a regular part of the team. This team had the look and swagger to go all the way. It took a while to find the fluency and the results ranged from complete team effort (in the opener Vs Cool Dudes) to pathetic display and flashes of brilliance in the same game against Nawaabs..letting them make 42/0 in 6 overs defending 63 and then coming back and making it 56/9 in 16 overs and eventually losing the game in 19.1 overs on a missed catch. The Nawaabs game instilled the confidence of our bowling unit which went on to dismiss the opposition in next 2 games for 46 and 49 but the batting unit never showed up. While we were all pondering when both the units will click again it happened in the very next game against LCC. Against Bay CC Reds the bowling unit again faltered and we required a win in last game to make it to the next round which we secured.
Once we made it to the next round something has clicked in the team against the Champions CC. Out of the blue the team started playing like a "TEAM". A quiet confidence has taken over Pacers and they started to believe that they are not going to lose no matter what. It showed in the semifinals too and will definitely be on display in the finals. We wish we had Gopi and Vijay to enjoy this run from the team they formed and built. They are in India but are thoroughly enjoying this run of Pacers from halfway across the world. We have only fulfilled part of the goal and we still have lot more to achieve. Fun Facts about Pacers:
Has a good winning percentage but very low margin of victories.
While almost every team boasts of a batsman with a 50+ score...Pacers have none till date...but yet made it to post season every time except their inaugural season.
Arguably the best bowling attack in SRCA and we have no bowling leaders as wickets are hard to come by for individuals...just like WI bowlers of the 80s.
Have fun while playing...must be an entertainer to join the team.
Now on to the final 15 of Pacers and a little about them: Gopi Sirineni...Founder of the team and is willing to do anything for the team...Ultimate team player with some idiosyncrasies that the team had learned to live with. He is our fearless leader and we are all lovingly fearful of him.
Vijay Vemulapalli..The voice of reason behind the Pacers. He is the one who strategies all our games and he still does that sitting half-way across the world. Why do we feel like we just outsourced our strategy?
Ranadhir Chandrupatla...Our Chaudvin ka chand. He is the most fearsome bowler on the field but entertains us rendering all the classic melodies (slow romantic songs) of Mohd. Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore bhai off the field.
Murali Kommuri...Our latest addition to the team and he is our Shane Warne. Come watch him weave his magic around the legs of batsman with his bowling. He lends much needed variety to the Pacers Bowling.
Phani Devella...Another Rookie for Pacers who is very hot headed and hot blooded. He would like to finish the game in one ball if the rules allowed it. Watch out for him as he is all over the field as a bowler, batsman and a reliable fielder. He is our highest wicket taker for the season.
Praveen Parvataneni...This lanky guy can blow you off with his bowling but when the wind blows against there is a good chance he gets blown off in the wind. If you have watched Pacers Semi final you would have noticed that he was flying during bowling...as the wind swept him off his feet.
Naren Punati...Our elder statesman and our sponsor. He keeps the team intact and prepped up. He is a good compliment to Gopi and Vijay in keeping this team together. Manoj Vuriti...Another new guy who is part of the think tank. One of the few unselfish guys who will put the team ahead of himself at all times.
Sunil Subramanian....our own MS Dhoni...who has so many gears that he can play perfect anchor or be a destroyer.
Hitesh Thakker...Pacers version of Michael Clarke....who can hold an innings together. He bats in such a silken way that before you realize what happened he had already done his damage.
Chirag Jobanputra...the right-handed Yuvraj...when he gets going the opponents team can kiss the game goodbye and he has the ability to turn the game head over heels in a matter of few balls.
Deep Dhillon...when in flow you would see the artistic flow of a Azharuddin in action. His wrists are so supple that he can play any shot with ease. Playing for Punjab State Field Hockey team definitely helped his wristy strokes. His first love is still hockey and you can see him practice it in Milpitas High school on days when he has no cricket game.
Srini Kotamreddy... not sure what he does except scream at people....and somehow that seems to work. On a serious note, he is our bowling coach and a good bat. He keeps our team loose with his dances on the sidelines :-).
Raviraj M...who is always there when the team needs him. He is a successful leader and a captain of a highly successful team called Seamers playing in Cricbay. He has led that team to 7 consecutive victories after a opening day loss but still accepts any role in this team to help out.
Last but not the least..Sunil Shenoy...who is a good opening bat and a good Keeper. We wil miss him next season as he is moving on to play with Cool Dudes.
We have countless others ..just to name a few...Giri, Kishore, Ravi Datla who have helped us in the past 18 months and to get here... and we thank them all. Come watch us play on the Jun 26 and we guarantee that you will not be disappointed. It is a long journey to get here and the best thing that happened in this journey was we found ourselves and we found our teammates personally and emotionally. In that process we became a TEAM playing for each other as opposed to playing for individuals. We know for sure that when we take the field on Jun 26 we are "not going to lose the game"....and in the end if Nawabs win it will mean that "they beat us and they were the better team on the day" instead of "us beating ourselves".
Not boasting....we are one of the cleanest clubs on the field. In the Final you will continue to see us uphold those values we have exhibited as a team until now...which are..
Don't argue with Umpires. will let them know our disagreement but will not dwell on it or make an argument
Umpire's word is final...we will move on.
Don't get into arguments with the opponents
Don't make personal comments...an example would be...saying "good bowling" or hooting for a wide or a no-ball or a missed catch