Courtesy of the South Australian Cricket Association and its magazine STUMPS
Local Indian and Pakistani community celebrate an inaugural SACA cricket event.
Friendship Cup makes history as World Cup excitement hits fever pitch
The excitement of one of the biggest cricket matches in World Cup history is not lost on the local Indian and Pakistani community and was celebrated in an inaugural cricket event run by SACA in January. More than 1000 people turned up to Kilburn Cricket Club on 18 January to celebrate the inaugural Friendship Cup played between Indian and Pakistani community teams.
The Friendship Cup Twenty20 match was a collaboration of the Multicultural Sports and Community Club (MSCC) and the South Australian Cricket Association, and brought together two of the world’s biggest cricketing nations, India and Pakistan, ahead of Adelaide’s blockbuster ICC Cricket World Cup clash between the two sides on Sunday 15 February.
Having restricted the Pakistani side to 92 from their 20 overs, India made light work of the chase, passing the total with four overs to spare thanks largely to an unbeaten 38 from opening batsman Rajeev George. While India took home the Cup, there is no doubt that cricket was the overall winner.
“I think it’s a fantastic day and I think one of the most historic days in both our communities; I think it’s the first collaboration in four or five decades,” said Shahyan Shabbir, Chairperson of the Pakistani Australian Association of South Australia. “The Australian way of life is integrating into both communities and that is what we are promoting as well, with Australia being our new home.”
For Rakesh Mohindra, President of the Indian Australian Association of South Australia, and members of the community that attended the day, they hope that it becomes a regular fixture on the cricketing calendar.
“I think it’s one of the wonderful things to happen and both communities are hoping that this becomes a regular event,” said Mr Mohindra. “The children’s clinic was another added feature which was fantastic because the community kids particularly and the parents are looking forward to that happening on a regular basis.”
“I think the communities have been eagerly looking forward to the World Cup and when this came up as a pre-emptive event two or three weeks earlier, people were so excited which you can see from the number of people who attended. I have got a large number of seniors from the Indian community who are here today basically to support the teams, enjoy the game, enjoy the weather and the food of course and all the other excitement.”
Fans of all ages took part in various activities throughout the day, including a free come-and-try session cricket clinic for boys and girls, kids’ activities, Bollywood style entertainment and they were treated to a range of Indian and Pakistani food.