Buoyed by a great showing on their debut at a major indoor cricket tournament, Singapore will compete in the Indoor Cricket World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand, from Oct 18 to 25.
In their journey into the unknown in South Africa last year for the Masters World Series, Singapore scored convincing victories over established countries such as India (over 30s), England and Sri Lanka (over 35s).
Encouraged by these successes, Singapore will make cricket history by participating in the Wellington tournament.
And the national team hopes to post an upset or two at the tournament which includes cricket powerhouses Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England and India.
Indoor Cricket is relatively new in Singapore, having only been played in 2009 when sports events and marketing company Seasoned Pro ran weeknight and weekday leagues year-round.
The eight-a-side sport is typically played in tightly-tensioned netted courts with players batting in pairs and scoring runs in different zones within the court.
Every player gets to bat and bowl in this format and a game lasts less than two hours.
"Singapore's tropical weather isn't always conducive for outdoor cricket and with our fast-paced lifestyle, a shorter version of the game in a covered arena seems tailor-made for our country.
"A compact, faster format means it's easier to get kids and parents interested and at senior level, allows us to be competitive," said Shehzad Haque, managing director of Seasoned Pro, also the main sponsors of the national team."
The success in South Africa was all the more remarkable as Singapore does not have any dedicated indoor cricket courts, with the players playing and practising at futsal courts at the Cage in Kallang previously.
This time round, the national team have been practising at Premier Pitch on Balestier Road because the hockey court there has the closest conditions to the real thing.
The World Cup preparations are being managed by Singapore Indoor Cricket which is under the auspices of the Singapore Cricket Association.
The New Zealand trip is funded by the players themselves ($4,000 per player), helped by the goodwill of some vendors and a handful of sponsors.
The Singapore over-40s will be sending a team to play in a mini-tournament, held concurrently with the World Cup.
The national team:
Karthick Subramanian (captain), Rashid Khan, Tony Chisholm, Rohit Meena, Abhinav Chintamani, Wahab Dilawar, Jigar Patel, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, Mustafa Hussain, Suhail Pansare, Ajit Ramsagaram, Rohan Tripathi.
Vinod Ramaswamy (captain), Paul Hutton, Muralidharan Govindarajan, Gautham Devlekar, Manu Panda, Binu Azad Gangadharan, Narayan Chawla, Muthu Ganapathy Kannappan, Srikanth Venkatraman. Srikanth Venkatraman, Shankar Ramasubramanian, Abhijeet Arun Harolikar, Vijay Bharadwaj.
This article was first published on October 08, 2014.
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