Cricket: New year-round tournament for migrant workers

The Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) has reached out to migrant workers on Tuesday as part of its community outreach project, giving them a chance to indulge in cricket on their days off from work.

The SCA will be organising Moneygram Cricket Ke Badshah (CKB), an annual cricket tournament consisting of three leagues. The event will be launched with a carnival this Friday. Two consecutive leagues will run for the rest of this year. The first begins on May 10 and the second is slated to start during the Deepavali holidays.

Matches will be held on Sundays at Farrer Park and the association is targeting 40 teams of ten players each for each league. The tournament will have a format similar to the World Cup, with teams batting each other in preliminary rounds before progressing to the knockout stages.

In Singapore, cricket tournaments for migrant workers are not uncommon but they usually last a day or two. The organisers of CKB hope to get more participants with the longer format of their competition.

"Our main principle (behind this league) is maximum participation and outreach," SCA president Imran Khwaja explained. Playing attire and equipment will be provided to tournament participants, ensuring minimal expense on their part.

Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, Vikram Nair, who was the guest of honour at the tournament's press conference on Tuesday, lauded SCA for reaching out not only to the local community, but also migrant workers.

He said: "Facilities (for recreation) are one thing, actually taking the effort to organise sports for them (migrant workers) is taking it one step further."