Foreign workers win big in cricket

SINGAPORE - Cheered on by a crowd of 12,000, Indian nationals S. Sasikumar and E. Pandirajan are living the dream of playing tournament cricket here in Singapore.

Working for construction firm Dragages, the two batsmen had a ball of a time at the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) Cricket Challenge.

And yesterday, Mr Sasikumar and Mr Pandirajan, along with their colleagues, emerged top among 32 teams at the competition held at SCAL Recreation Centre in Soon Lee Road.

The event started on Labour Day and resumed yesterday with a crowd providing loud cheers in the rain. Facing the workers of Eng Lee Engineering in the final match, captain Pandirajan led his teammates to a 36-22 victory, outscoring their opponent by 14 runs to clinch their first title in the championship.

Mr Sasikumar, 28, was awarded the Best Player accolade while victory was especially sweet for 27-year-old Mr Pandirajan, who combined batting duties and coaching the team.

Mr Sasikumar said: "Our company has supported and sponsored our jerseys and equipment. And our superiors have helped us a lot throughout.

"It is like a small family here when we play together, and workers from other companies also join us sometimes."

The event is into its fifth year, and SCAL president Ho Nyok Yong is hoping to grow it further.

"Over two days, 32 teams is the maximum we can accommodate, but we are thinking of adding one more day next year to allow for more teams to participate," Dr Ho said.

This article was published on May 5 in The Straits Times.

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