As Red Bull Campus Cricket graduate, KL Rahul, the India opening batsman, stars in the West Indies, the next generation are preparing for the fifth edition of the world championship of college cricket. The 2016 Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals will take place in Sri Lanka from September 5-11.
College teams from eight countries – Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa and United Arab Emirates – have qualified through their own national competitions, with Assupol TuksCricket (University of Pretoria), aiming for the hat-trick after winning the last two World Finals in 2014 and 2015. The stars from Tuks’ victories are already making their way to the top of the game, where they will face Rahul, who credits being the lead scorer in the 2013 Campus Cricket Indian nationals with reviving his career.
England’s Loughborough University will be looking for revenge after losing in the final last year and MMCC College, Pune will hope they can emulate India’s victory in 2013, the last time the World Finals were in Sri Lanka. All of them will have to beware the team representing the hosts, BMS, Colombo, who have three Sri Lanka internationals – Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka – in their side.
“We’re very excited to be hosting Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals again in Sri Lanka after the inaugural Asia cup in 2012 & World Finals in 2013,” Brendon Kuruppu, the tournament director and former Sri Lanka cricketer said. “It’s the world championship of college cricket and a unique opportunity for some of the best young cricketers from around the world to showcase their talents. In Sri Lanka it has become one of the most important tournaments for our young cricketers and we were proud to see so many Sri Lanka players representing their colleges in the national finals last week. Three of them, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka are part of the BMS, (Colombo), side that will represent Sri Lanka in the World Finals in September. The same is true around the world, as there are already players from India, Pakistan and South Africa who have gone on from Campus Cricket to play professionally and for their country, KL Rahul being a shining example at the moment for India in the West Indies. Every year it gets tougher to win this trophy and 2016 promises to be the hardest fought event yet.”
The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four at the tournament draw on September 4, 2016. The group stages will take place in Colombo from September 5-7, at the headquarters of Sri Lankan cricket, the SinhaleseSports Club, and at the adjacent Nondescripts Cricket Club. The semi-finals and final will take place at the Galle International Stadium on September 10 and 11 respectively.
The competition this year will see the trial of a new Energiser Over, where the runs for one over per side, tactically nominated by the batting team at any point after the Powerplay overs, will count double. Any wickets taken during that over will cost the batting side 5 penalty runs.
The teams competing in the 2016 World Finals:
Sri Lanka: Business Management School (BMS), Colombo
Australia: University of Sydney
Bangladesh: University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)
England: Loughborough University
India: Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (MMCC College), Pune
Pakistan: University Of Central Punjab, Lahore
South Africa: Assupol TuksCricket, University of Pretoria
UAE: Heriot Watt University, Dubai