With so much conjecture about cricket at a national and international level at the moment, a competition which focuses on what makes the sport special will start at South Dubbo Oval this weekend.
The Dubbo Premier League launches on Saturday, a tournament designed by those who both love the game and who want to focus on diversity and inclusion.
The competition is about bringing communities together and eight sides will compete in the inaugural fast-paced, big hitting event.
Organised by a members of numerous ethnic groups in Dubbo, the Dubbo Premier League will see Twenty20 matches played across two weekends at South Dubbo Oval.
“It’s going to be quite exciting for us and people in Dubbo,” said organiser Sanu Joy, one of the many members of the Dubbo Rhinos side.
“There’s different communities here and at the end of day our goal was to organise a cricket tournament that involves different communities.”
Players whose heritage rests in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Fiji and are all expected to take part.
Previous events in the city have focused on different those community groups playing against each other but Edwin Jacob, another of the organisers, said this one has a much more broad aim.
“This time the aim is to bring people from NSW to Dubbo and help them get to know us,” he said.
“Cricket is something that can bring people together and what started as a small venture now has teams coming from Penrith, Newcastle, and Orange and we’ve got five different teams from Dubbo.
“That’s a big achievement when you look at something that’s still in it’s beginning stage.”
The matches will be slightly different to an average cricket game as well, the main difference being the type of ball used.
A harder ball somewhere between a tennis ball and regular six-stitcher cricket ball will be used.
“You will see some huge sixes and it will be spectacular,” Jacob said, a sentiment echoed by Jerose Joseph.
Joseph has been playing regularly with the CYMS Cougars club for a number of seasons but is now excited to show off a brand of the game which is loved by millions on the subcontinent.
“In India we have matches played like this under lights and it’s a big deal but here everyone starts with the six-stitcher ball. They don’t have exposure to this hard tennis ball,” Joseph said.
“This ball is a bit more bouncy and stops a bit more and holds up more than normal ball.
“Bringing this different aspect of the game to Dubbo is a proud moment for us because we’re infusing something new into the community and if everyone likes it then we can carry on every year.”
Helping make the competition attractive is the $1000 prize for the winning side, which has been put up by event major sponsor Brett Harvey Constructions.
There’s high hopes the cricket carnival can grow in future seasons and potentially involve clubs from within the Dubbo and District Cricket Association.
“We’re doing it because we love cricket and want to promote it,” Jacob said.
Games are played both days this weekend from 9.30am Saturday before finals on November 10 and 11.
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