Cricket Masala

Six-a-side, five-overs extravaganza to hit Sydney

Cricinfo staff

April 8, 2006

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Jason Gillespie, before his Test recall, was set to represent the NSW Aboriginal All-Stars © Getty Images
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Come tomorrow another new form of hit and giggle game is all set to be unveiled in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported. Cricket Masala - a six-a-side, five-overs format, will involve local players, mostly Sydney first-graders, who will play for teams representing their own cultural heritage such as India, Pakistan or South Africa.

Cricket Masala is the creation of Patrick Skene, who has seen the success of similar festivals in cricketing outposts such as Vancouver, Hong Kong, Chiang Mai and Shanghai. "If you want excitement, non-stop entertainment, it's the way to go. This is going to be the most colourful celebration of cricket and of community that Sydney has ever seen."

Kersi Meher-Homji, a cricket writer, believes the atmosphere at Bankstown Oval will be "like that of a Roman amphitheatre and sub continental bazaar rolled into one". That hype is not unwarranted as worldwide television deals have been struck, through PanGlobal TV, and have attracted several big-name sponsors, including Commonwealth Bank, Milo, Dilmah Tea and SBS.

Lisa Sthalekar, the Australian vice-captain, will lead a Rest of the World team while Subroto Banerjee, the former India Test player, and Aminul Islam, the former Bangladesh Test cricketer, are some of the players involved. Jason Gillespie, before his Test recall, was set to represent the NSW Aboriginal All-Stars and his place has gone to Andrew Gordon, a recipient of the NSW Cricket Indigenous Volunteer of the Year award.

"I've just started rugby training and one of the guys said to me on one hand we've got Jason Gillespie, who has played more than 50 Tests for Australia and taken more than 200 wickets, " Gordon told the Northern Star website. "On the other hand we have Andrew Gordon, who would be lucky to have taken 100 wickets for Ballina Bears."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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