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Nations Cup strengthens Adelaide community

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The international sport of cricket is being used to bring people together from diverse cultural groups in South Australia.

The Adelaide T12 Cricket Nations Cup 2016 tournament is a partnership between the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy and ONE DEGREE EVENTS and will be held on Sunday, March 20, in the city’s vast parklands.

Cricketers living in Adelaide from more than a dozen nations will vie for a country of origin world cup to promote the game in emerging communities and welcome new arrivals to South Australia.

Event organizer Sean Holden said the tournament, in its second year, was a way of using cricket to bring communities together.

“One of the biggest things new arrivals to Australia struggle with is they don’t have a network of friends who can help them when they don’t know how to connect the electricity or don’t understand how the law works,” he said.

“So I asked myself ‘what if we can use cricket as a vehicle to bring these people together so they can share their experiences and challenges and the ways to solve some of those issues’.”

The tournament’s 16 teams will be split into two groups, the first comprising of players from traditional cricketing nations such as India, Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The second group, partly aimed at attracting interest from the growing number of international university students in Adelaide, would include non-traditional cricket nations such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Holden said Adelaide’s African community would again field a “continental” team made up of migrants from many nations.

“They see this as a means to an end, if they can work together on a project putting a cricket team together, think of all the other issues they could work together on to solve.

“Speaking to the Bangladesh community, their leader said ‘this is great for us because we’re a community who basically goes to work and goes home so this is a way to help us get out more’.”

Holden said the tournament was an opportunity to unearth future champions.

“I also wanted them to have fun and for people who come to our country to understand that they don’t have to choose between being South Australian and say a Pakistani, they can be both so all of our teams are called SA Pakistan, SA Bangladesh and so on.”

The matches will be played across five co-located ovals and consist of 12-over innings per side.

Every player, except the wicket keeper, will bowl an over with two bowlers allowed two overs each. Batsmen must retire upon completion of 25 runs and can bat again only after the ninth wicket has fallen.

Holden said this year’s tournament aimed to build on the success of last year’s event, which attracted 10 teams.

“I could easily fill four or five Indian teams and two or three from Pakistan this year,” he said.

Darren Lehmann is a former Australian Test cricketer and the current coach of the national team.

“Playing for my country was an incredible honour and privilege. The Cricket Nations Cup gives an opportunity for many more South Australians to represent their country of origin in cricket, the national game,” Lehmann said.

This year the German, Italian and Greek communities planned to enter, making it a truly international event, Lehmann said.

“There is a great sense of rivalry, but everybody is there to have fun, so international cricket really is a great way to bring nations together.”

Holden said the lack of cricket opportunities for some young players Lehmann met while playing County Cricket in England inspired him to start the academy in his home city of Adelaide in 2005.

“He saw a lot of kids in Yorkshire who didn’t have a clearly defined accessible pathway into cricket because they probably didn’t go to the right school or whatever. He wanted to right that wrong so he brought some kids from Yorkshire (to Adelaide) for a few months so they could have that opportunity,” Holden said.

The academy has helped to fast track the careers of players such as Monty Panesar, Samit Patel and Joe Root to higher honours.

It plans to open a “Centre of Excellence” in India this year.

 


 

Key Contacts: Sean Holden

holdensg@hotmail.com

+61 428 101 990

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