Cricket: Close to 100 world beaters to arrive for international tourney in Nairobi

Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera makes an appeal in a past match. [File]

Ninety-six international cricketers from across the globe, including six test players, will take part in a unique six-team, 14-day tournament that aims to raise funds for 200 operations across Nairobi.

The Swaminarayan Pro20 tournament will feature some of the former international, national team players, Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) league players thanks to an impressive recruitment drive that has stars from West Indies, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and India.

The night cricket tournament will run from October 29- November 12 with all matches being played at the Nairobi’s Shree Cutchi Leva Samaj grounds.

The top players who will spice up the event, which will be played under floodlights, are West Indian Dwayne Smith, English allrounder Owais Shah, Kevin O'brien (Ireland) Richard Levi (South Africa), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Elton Chigumbura (Zimbabwe).

In addition to the six global stars, the organisers have also captured six players from Indian primer domestic championship-Ranji Trophy.

They include Chiraq Sisodia, Hitendra Jadeja, Aezaz Kotariya and Jaini Kumar Naran.

Uganda international players Riazat Ali Shah and Dinesh Nakarni have also been drafted in the six teams that will battle it out in the Twenty20 format event.

Players from NPCA super league sides will also be involved.

Tournament director Peeyush Kerai says the competition is the culmination of years of hard work.

"Despite the aim of the tournament being to raise funds for over 200 operations, we feel that this event will help in getting cricket's interest back. We have been starved of top flight cricket for years and we believe this is one of the steps to get it back to the people," said Kerai.

"It's been a long journey before we got these approvals in place, getting people to understand that we have a role to play in the society. We are here to complement cricket and help humanity." [Ochieng Oyugi]

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