In a nail biting run up to the finale of the MoneyGram Cricket Bee, Schaumburg, Illinois’ Alpesh Gohil correctly answered “Michael Holding” in response to the question “Who infamously kicked over the stumps during a test match against New Zealand in 1980.” In so doing, Gohil became the 2017 National Champion of the Cricket Bee, winning $10,000. The finals were held at the TV Asia studios in Edison, N.J., where anxious parents of the regional winners from around the U.S. and Canada, came to witness their children’s prowess.
The runner-up was Sentilkumar Sethuraman of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, who took home the $2,500 prize.
The Cricket Bee in its second year is a game of cricket trivia that is conducted in a bee format on a miss-and-out basis. In 2017 the Bee was expanded to two additional cities and almost 900 enthusiastic cricket whizzes registered to battle it out for a chance to win the coveted title of National Champion.
“We are pleased to be able to return for the 2nd annual MoneyGram Cricket Bee and have it done with such great success,” Johnny Rosario, MoneyGram’s head of account management, is quoted saying in a press release. “Congratulations to Alpesh Gohil and all of the finalists. It is an honor to support community events like the Cricket Bee that unite friends and loved ones around the world.”
Contests were held in Hayward, Calif.; Dallas, TX; Chicago, IL; Edison, NJ; and Toronto, Canada, from where the top two were invited to the finals. Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 were given out at the regional levels.
MoneyGram, along with its marketing agency, AAAZA, commissioned the idea for the Cricket Bee from Touchdown Media in an effort to connect with the more than 10 million cricket fans in North America, organizers said in a press release.
“To watch the finals yesterday was no less gripping than the last few overs of a hotly contested T-20 match, Rahul Walia, founder of the Cricket Bee, is quoted saying in the release. “It was intense, dramatic and extremely gripping. A hearty congratulations to Alpesh and to all the finalists for what was a truly exciting, edge of your seat finale,”
TV Asia has the exclusive broadcast rights and will telecast a packaged programming later this year, the release said. Malaysia-based food conglomerate Kawan Foods, was a sponsor.
TV Asia Chairman and CEO H.R. Shah, an avid cricketer himself, said it was an honor to be the exclusive broadcaster of the event.