To inspire the next generation of South Asian communities in London, Capital Kids Cricket and London Tigers have come together with the support of The England and Wales Cricket Board, Middlesex Cricket Board and Essex Cricket Board to initiate the “T20 Asia Blaze”. The teams will named as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and representative of England. The countries will be represented by UK based British Asian players with one professional player allowed in each team.Media launch was held at the ECB Board room on 3rd February with representatives from team organisers, county board, corporates were present. Jane Hannah, National Volunteer & Participation Manager of ECB welcome all and mentioned “We will be looking forward to the build-up this exciting competition and will support through the county boards”. Shahidul Alam Ratan, who is the founder of the competition, explained about the concept and introduced the team organisers. He hoped to finalise a title sponsor soon.The teams will be selected and manage by different league organisers / clubs & community groups who are heavily linked with the concern countries. All the organisers are confirmed and they will select players from the different leagues and clubs. Team organisers are:
Afghanistan – Afghan Association Paiwand
Bangladesh – London Tigers
England – Capital Kids Cricket
India – Telugu Association of London (TAL) Premier League
Pakistan – Elliot Davis Cricket league
Sri Lanka – ETCL (English Tamil Cricket League)
Later Jawar Ali elaborated aims and objectives of the competition.
The aims of the competition are:
- To bring the top British Asian cricketers together
- To integrate the South Asian communities by promoting different leagues to work together
- To engage business and corporates from South Asian backgrounds in recreational cricket
- To raise funds for the development of cricket amongst South Asians in grassroots level
- To showcase the young talented South Asian players/match officials in London and signpost to wider opportunities
- To increasing the percentage of South Asian cricketers who progress from recreational cricket to professional cricket.
- To run this event annually and expand the competition nationally in the future
- Games will be played in two groups at the same venue on a league basis with the top two in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. Our ground chosen allow the all the teams and communities to enjoy the competition as both games take part at the same place with the competition completed within 5 weeks.
- Games will take place Peter May / The Walker Ground, Southgate CC. The final will be played at a top venue of Premier League standard or above.
- Matches will be every Tuesdays between 19th May to 16th June 2015 with games starting at 5:30pm.
- Under 25 non first class players. One first class / international player will be allowed per team of any age. Each team should have minimum two under 19 players. Players must be eligible as local resident players i.e. Non Overseas
Post Competition Development
A representative squad from all the teams will tour one of the South Asian countries in 2016 for a pre-season training and further development. This team will comprised of the best talented young players from the competition. There will be some winter nets training before the tour to progress and further development the players with the aspiration that some of the best players are offered opportunities with counties such as Essex & Middlesex in 2016.
Team Auction: All teams will be auctioned during a high profile event by early March 2015. The winning bidders will secure the title of main sponsor for their respective countries for a two year period. Bidding will start from £5,000 as we want to have stability for a minimum of two years. All surplus funding after the event costs will be ring-fenced towards the pre-season tour and allocated to a grassroots development fund.
Team kit: Team will wear colour shirts and trousers based on their respective country and trying to emulate their international cricket heroes. The highest bidder for each country will have their branding on the shirts of their team along with the Title Sponsors logo. Among others present Katie Berry – Director Development of Middlesex, Dan Feist – Head of Cricket Operations of Essex Cricket, John Challinor – Chairman of Capital Kids Cricket along with many other cricket organisers.