A new project that will give a group of young Indian cricketers the opportunity to experience the State’s world class cricket facilities as part of Adelaide’s 2015 Cricket World Cup program was yesterday launched in Delhi by Premier Jay Weatherill.
The Dreamteam15 project is a personal initiative of the Premier, who first canvassed the idea with senior Indian government and cricket officials during a visit there in November 2012.
“What I wanted to do was use our shared love of cricket to build new relationships between us and to give a group of youngsters from a range of backgrounds an opportunity they wouldn’t ordinarily have,” Mr Weatherill said.
“These young cricketers will learn from some of our top South Australian Cricket Association coaches, train in our world class facilities and play matches against a range of similar aged teams, including an indigenous team.
“Cricket is followed with great intensity in India. However it is a game that at a higher level requires space and expensive equipment, which only a relative handful of young Indians may have access to.”
“Our objective with this program is to harness the passion that Indians have for the game and provide an opportunity to good cricketers who have the skills and love for cricket, but have not enrolled in a formal training program.
"Building economic relationships with nations is very important for our State and we believe that cultural exchange is an integral part of those relationships."
Working with renowned Rajasthan Royals cricket team, the project will reach out to approximately 100 schools in India, in a search to identify a group of 15 cricketers from India and Mumbai that will make up the squad to come to Adelaide.
Adelaide will host what is considered to be the biggest game in world cricket when they defending champions India take on Pakistan on 15 February.
The game is expected to attract a global audience of up to a billion.
“I’m looking forward not only to welcoming the young Indian cricketers in Adelaide for their own program of training and matches, but also hosting them as guests of the South Australian Government at this iconic match,” Mr Weatherill said.
The Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission, specially bid for significant Indian content as part of its host city bid for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and hosting India in Adelaide for the event will give the State enormous opportunities for leveraging investment, trade and tourism opportunities,” he said.
The engagement of the young cricketers is just one of the programs that the State is engaged in around the Cricket World Cup to maximise the opportunity to raise the State’s profile.
“Others include business events and forums around the event that will match Indian business leaders with opportunities in the State.”
The squad of young Indian cricketers will be in Adelaide for 16 nights leading up to and including the India v Pakistan match on 15 February, before flying back to India on 16 February 2015.
“I hope this is a program that will strengthen our links with India. There may even be another Sachin Tendulkar waiting to be discovered in the process,” Mr Weatherill said.
For more information about the program, visit the Dream Team 15 website.
For more release from Jay Weatherill Premier of South Australia please visit news archive.