Champions fare icing on cake for young tourists
A group of young Southland cricketers look set to get the unique opportunity of watching the Otago Volts compete on the world stage on Tuesday.
The Volts' rise to the main draw of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament coincides with a tour to India by the youngsters.
Seven Southland cricketers leave Invercargill on Saturday bound for New Delhi where they will play games and take part in training camps.
Delhi but Cricket Association general manager Ian Mockford, who will manage the players in India, felt that with the Volts qualifying for the main draw, it was a good opportunity to travel five hours to Jaipur to watch them play Indian Premier League team the Rajasthan Royals.
Mockford said it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the youngsters to watch the Volts play an Indian team in India.
He said Volts officials had been in contact to say they would provide the Southland tour party with tickets to the game and look after them on game day.
While on tour, the Southland youngsters will be mixed in with Indian players for seven games, two Twenty20 fixtures and five 40 over-per-side matches.
One of the Twenty20 games will be played under lights, which will be a unique experience for the Southlanders.
Mockford said it would be challenging to head from a New Zealand winter to likely temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, with 80 or 90 per cent humidity, and they would need to look after the players in this area.
He said it was hopefully the first of more trips for Southland cricketers to play and train in India.
A New Delhi team visited Southland in January and played games against Southland representative and club teams, and Mockford confirmed another Indian team would visit Southland for matches this season.
He said it was the early stages of a partnership between Indian and Southland cricket folk, and had been supported by the Southern Institute of Technology, which has a large number of Indian students.
Mockford said sending players to India was as much about providing the Southlanders with a life experience than it was about enhancing their cricket skills.
- © Fairfax NZ News