The recent selection of Ish Sodhi to the New Zealand Cricket team to tour Bangladesh is another instance of a player of Indian origin making it to the Black Caps.
Before him, Dipak Patel, Jeetan Patel and Tarun Nethula had the privilege of representing our national cricket team. These selections testify the passion and calibre of Kiwi Indians for Cricket.
The Indian team’s victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup was an important milestone in Cricket, making it the favourite sport in India.
When India won the same tournament again in 2011, it helped to increase the game’s popularity amongst the younger generation.
New Zealand offers a good work life balance.
Families have the opportunity to pursue their hobbies, and pick up new interests. If we look at score boards across age group cricket, many Kiwi Indians find a place of importance. You would find a large number of Indians played Cricket at clubs on weekends.
Summer months present the ideal climate for Indians to play Cricket in their home gardens and outdoors.
Sport is a great medium to keep mentally and physically fit. By playing team sports, Kiwi Indians get a chance to integrate with the wider community and contribute towards the success and development of their respective teams.
This is a wonderful showcase for healthy living, and can be used as an effective tool in the anti-obesity campaign. Wide participation of Indians in Cricket is strengthening grass root cricket in New Zealand.
More patrons also make the game more attractive for sponsors.
At the national level, the interest evinced by the Indian community will help in lifting the standard of the game, making the Diaspora a proud partner in Class Cricket.
It would indeed be a success story with packed stadiums across the country and television rights accruing large income. Additionally, thousands of Cricket enthusiasts and players will visit New Zealand, boosting our tourism sector.
Cricket has the potential to showcase New Zealand as a safe and beautiful country.
Players of Indian origin representing Black Caps can be good role models for these initiatives.
Cricket has always been a unifying factor between New Zealand and India. Inclusion of players of Indian origin will benefit our country and bring Kiwi Indians closer to the mainstream society.