CA board member urges Sydney Thunder to sign up Indian players

Cricket Australia board member Harry Harinath feels the Australian board should take recruit players of Indian and Sri Lankan origin to attract the strong fan base of South Asian origin Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Sydney: Feb 18, 2012

Cricket Australia (CA) board member Harry Harinath feels it augurs well for the Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sydney Thunders to appoint players of Indian and Sri Lankan origin to pull large crowd of Indian origin for home matches in Sydney.

Harinath was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as saying, ”If you [recruited] two Indian and two Sri Lankan players it’d be fantastic for the Sydney Thunder,.

”No matter who they signed – M.S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma or whoever – it doesn’t really matter, it’d do wonders for them.

”The whole idea of taking the T20 international to Olympic Park was to provide a form of cricket entertainment for the people living in the western suburbs of Sydney, of which 90,000 of the population come from [south] Asian countries – of which the majority is India. It was clearly shown the population supports cricket and the Thunder must work to make them [Indian-Australians] the home team.”

Harinath feels recruitment of South Asian cricketers would encourage local fans of ethnic groups to turn out in large numbers to support the home team.

He also felt the time was right for CA to make right moves as the T20 format was catching people s imagination Down Under with the advent of the BBL.

He said, ”The public are supporting the Big Bash League, the television ratings are very good, and the crowds that turned out to the internationals in Sydney and Melbourne were outstanding.

”I’m having people tell me they never followed cricket but after going to Homebush they will continue to go to Twenty20 games.”