Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jayasuriya & Tharanga to play for Eastern Riders, Singapore

Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga will play for the Eastern Riders, Singapore

Sri Lankan international players Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga will play for the Eastern Riders along with the Southern Kings, Western Challengers, Northern Spice Devils team in the inaugural Indian Association Twenty20 Super Challenge here in Singapore.

ONE of India's richest men, Dr Bhupendra Kumar Modi wants to put a fast spin on the local cricket scene by forking out about $50,000 to sponsor the Northern Spice Devils team, which will include Pakistani international player Taufiq Umar, in a tournament here from Jan 29-31.

"The international players in our team are going to be names which everybody have heard of - Sanath Jayasuriya who's a master blaster and we have got this upcoming guy Upul Tharanga who is also in the Sri Lankan team," said Sunder Mani, captain of Eastern Riders (Olam Cup).

"We've got Saad Khan, the promising fast bowler from Pakistan and we are getting Taufiq Umar from Pakistan," said Munish Arora, Northern Spice Devils (Olam Cup).

But it's not all about big names, as the younger players too will gain valuable exposure.

"We are gearing up very well. We have about seven national team players who represented Singapore so we have been training really hard for the tournament," said Buddhika Mendis, captain of Southern Kings (Olam Cup).

The organisers hope the event will also bring the community together.

"The focus is on the Indian community. We do have different sections of the community, but the common thread is all of them love cricket, and all of them play cricket. That provides a platform where all these different communities can come together with a common passion," said Murali Pany, chairman of Board of Games, Indian Association.

Sharing that passion with them is President SR Nathan who will be the guest-of-honour.

In addition to winning the cup, $25,000 will be offered as prize money, with the winning team pocketing $15,000.

The event will be held for the next two years but beyond the Olam Cup, Singapore cricket has big plans. The national team has already engaged a new coach, former Sri Lankan Team Captain and the 1996 World Cup winning team member, Marvan Atapattu

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