All posts by annanyajohari2018

Coach Niraj Patel readying his team to take on the upcoming season

By Annanya
Medill Reports

The Naperville Baseball Academy, always a home for one of America’s favorite sports, has a growing second life as a cricket center for Chicago United, one of the major  area clubs.

Coach Niraj Patel is readying his team to take on the upcoming season if games against other clubs in the region.

Patel, who represented Rajasthan Royals when they won the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008, now permanently lives in Chicago.

Continue reading

Cricket in Chicago kicks off league games in April

By Annnaya
Medill Reports

Cricket is all the rage in Southeast Asia where India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka  revere this pastime as more than  a major league sport  and something closer to a religion.

Actual shrines in India are dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar, one of the game’s greatest players.

Immigrants who move here miss the sport. So cricket lovers in and around Chicago who are from the Asian subcontinent got together and decided to start a cricket league. The American Cricket Conference was born in 2001. Continue reading

A Place to Button It Up: Inside One Of Chicago’s Most Unique Museums

By Annanya Johari
Medill Reports

Maybe it’s a victory celebration button from  George Washington’s inauguration that you’re hoping to see.  We have the place to find it.

Nestled in a quiet corner of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, is one of its most unique museums. Founded and run by Christen Carter and her brother Joel Carter, the Busy Beaver Button Museum houses a collection of more than 25,000 pinback buttons.

Continue reading

El Tayeb and Elshorbagy deliver an Egyptian sweep at the Windy City Open

By Annanya Johari
Medill Reports

Under the chandeliers of the iconic Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago, Nour El Tayeb and Mohamed ElShorbagy claimed a championship sweep for Egypt Wednesday at the Windy City Open 2018 squash tournament.

An Egyptian winner was a certainty in the men’s draw since the finalists were the ElShorbagy brothers, Mohamed and Marwan. A lot more than just the title was on the line for Mohamed, the elder of the two.  The win took him back to the top of the world rankings.

Continue reading

Egyptians flying high at the Windy City Open

By Annanya Johari
Medill Reports

Monday was a great day to be an Egyptian squash fan as top-ranked  Mohamed ElShorbagy and his brother Marwan ElShorbagy made the semifinals in Chicago’s Windy City Open. However, women’s World No. 1 Nour El Sherbini lost to her Egyptian compatriot Nour El Tayeb in a major upset.

At the end of day 5 of the world’s most lucrative squash tournament, where prize money totals $500,000 this year, five of the eight remaining contenders were Egyptians.

The day opened with one of the two matches not featuring an Egyptian player as Sarah-Jane Perry of England took on Camille Serme of France. Serme had not lost a single game coming into the match and it looked like the streak would continue after she won 12-10 in the first game. Perry, however, was in no mood to let Serme walk all over her and stormed back to win the next three games and advance to the semifinals.

That comeback was great, but it was no match for Nour El Tayeb’s comeback victory over El Sherbini. She appeared set to progress after she won the first two games, but an inspired El Tayeb fought back and took the next two games by the narrowest of margins to level the match. El Sherbini failed to contain El Tayeb’s momentum in the deciding game and went down 7-11 in a match that lasted 77 minutes.

“It was an unbelievable match,” El Tayeb told reporters after the match. “My coach told me not to worry about the first two games because I was playing well, and it could have gone either way,” she added.

World No. 3 Nour El Tayeb beat  World No. 1 Nour El Sherbini in the best match of the tournament so far. (Steve Line/SquashPics)

El Tayeb will be joined in the semifinals by Joelle King of New Zealand, who beat American hope Amanda Sobhy in four tight games.

Defending champion Raneem El Welily of Egypt will complete the women’s semifinal line-up after she extended her winning streak at the Windy City Open to 18 matches. She is undefeated in Chicago since 2014 and is yet to drop a single game at the tournament this year.

On the men’s side, both the ElShorbagy brothers won their matches in straight games. First up was Marwan ElShorbagy, who beat the German ‘Tree Chopper’ Simon Rosner 11-7, 11-4, 11-8. Rosner had beaten ElShorbagy in their last two matches and was in good form having won the Tournament of Champions in New York earlier this year. But he could not contain his unforced errors on Monday and handed his opponent an easy victory.

The elder ElShorbagy brother had a similar result against Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Colombia, beating him 11-7, 14-12, 11-4.

“It’s great to have my brother in the semifinals as well. A lot of the Egyptians have been playing well this season. I think we’re giving something different to the sport with the way we’re all playing at the moment,” he told reporters. “I’ll be happier when it’s the older ElShorbagy who wins the tournament.”

The third Egyptian in the men’s semifinal is Ali Farag, who took the court right after his wife Nour El Tayeb completed her sensational victory. Farag’s match wasn’t nearly as exciting as his wife’s though, as he needed just 46 minutes to outlast Australia’s Cameron Pilley in straight games.

El Tayeb and Farag aren’t the only married couple in the semifinals as El Welily’s husband Tarek Momen beat Karim Abdel Gawad in the second all-Egyptian quarterfinal of the day.

The players had some long exchanges in the first two games, both of which were tightly contested. The first game was particularly close and had 5 deuces before Momen finally won it 16-14. As the match progressed, Momen increasingly wrestled the control out of Gawad’s hands and finished with a 16-14, 11-8, 11-3 win to make his first semifinal at the Windy City Open.

The semifinals are tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the University Club of Chicago, 76 E. Monroe St. The finals are Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. at the same venue.

Photo at top: Marwan ElShorbagy beat Simon Rosner 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 to reach the semifinals at the Windy City Open 2018 (Steve Line/SquashPics)

Bring on the obstacle course: Jeep Wrangler makes traction at Chicago Auto Show

By Annanya Johari
Medill Reports

Navigating an indoor hillside pulled drivers to the  biggest draw at the 110th expo of the country’s largest auto show. The “Jeep Camp” allowed visitors to rev up the 2018 Jeep Wrangler and set  course for an 18-feet hill, boulders and other off-road obstacles. The Chicago Auto Show highlighted hundreds of vehicles and drew thousands of car enthusiasts of all ages this month.

Other popular attractions included the Cadillac Escala, powered by a twin-turbo V-8 engine, a prototype for future Cadillac models.  It was voted the best concept car at the show, narrowly edging out the Lexus LF-1 Limitless featuring technologies such as digital side-view monitors and 4D navigation.


The Chicago Auto Show Welcome Globe. (Annanya/MEDILL)