EVOLUTION OF INDIAN IFCR AS A COUNTRY
The Welcome to India page on this website would suggest that India has been one of the catalysts for growth of Rotary cricket ( IFCR) right from the inaugural year of Rotary Cricket festivals in 1997 , but the interest initially was isolated and fragmented ( within the country) in smaller units across India, which is a vast nation.
The passion for cricket in whatever form was unquestionable in Rotary India but the will to tap this interest/passion across different Rotary districts and channel it through a properly structured national representation was lacking.
IFCR, one of the most popular recreational fellowships of Rotary, was spread only through word of mouth or through incidental discussion during Rotary conclaves.
In the above scenario, Rtn. KRP Sarathy of RI 3150,Hyderabad (who had a chance browsing of IFCR details on the internet in 2006 and thus joined the fellowship) along with Rtn.Kittu of Chennai (the then Chairman of IFCR in India) dreamt big to launch a properly structured country body for IFCR in India.
Sarathy was greatly motivated to do so after he participated in and experienced the well organised IFCR World Cricket Festival in Colombo in August 2007 along with the 18 member strong team from Hyderabad. (He also took a 13 member IFCR Hyderabad team to participate in the IFCR Australian festival at Bundaberg in 2008).
Rubbing shoulders with 250 odd Rotary cricketers across the Rotary world in the Colombo festival and the prevalence of the proud national flavour (with common jerseys/jackets of each of the other participating countries) left a lasting impression which he carried back to India.
This resulted in a firm resolve that India would participate in future IFCR festivals as a cohesive country unit instead of fragmented individual units from different Rotary districts of India.
Thus began the enormous and untiring efforts to achieve this dream. With a “Let’s do it” signal from Kittu, Sarathy began the long and tedious process of establishing contacts with all the active cricket loving Rotarians from different districts to seek their opinion, which eventually culminated in a historic meeting alongside a cricket fellowship event organised by Rtn.Prakash Saraswath of RI 3190 (GMK) at Goa in May 2009.
Thus was born IFCR ( India) as a well-structured country unit in May 2009, with the unanimous election of Kittu as charter chairman, KRP Sarathy as charter secretary and Neel as the treasurer.
So the IFCR family witnessed at the 6th World Cricket Festival in Durban, South Africa during March 2010 a rejuvenated and new born IFCR India , with common jerseys/ jackets and national tricolour logo/flag predominant.
Seven teams and nearly 130 IFCRians from India took part. This was more than 50% of the total membership. The dream really turned into a reality for every IFCRian in India including Kittu and Sarathy.
The enormous gains from above “EVOLUTION” are that IFCR ( India) has now a well-structured country body elected by AGM during every world festival and it has a single window of communication/co-ordination for participation in all International events including world festivals.
It conducted an excellent 7th World festival in Vapi, India in 2012 and it has a well-planned annual tournament/festival calendar for in-country activities with two to three annual all-India events.
IFCR has now spread from Kolkata in the east to Nashik in the west and down south to Kerala by addition of several new districts. It now boasts of a total membership of approx. 700 IFCRians. IFCR India also actively initiated and has co-ordinated the launching of new IFCR country units in Nepal, Bangladesh and Greece.
India has contributed two IFCR International chairmen for the world body ( Kittu and Ravi) and, last but not least, contributed enormously to the overall growth of IFCR.
The following are some pictorial depictions post 5th World Festival in Sri Lanka on the progress made during the EVOLUTION of IFCR in India.