The Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final is set to be played in Colombo and Galle from 10-16 September.
With teams from Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, the UAE and Sri Lanka having each qualified by winning their national tournaments, the following are the talented teams that will be seen shortly on Sri Lanka’s shores.
Sri Lanka: Business Management School
The defending world champions of the Campus Cricket title, BMS will again field a star-studded team, featuring no less than Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, Sri Lanka all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and left-arm spinner Amila Aponso.
Bangladesh: University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)
The runners-up in last year’s World Final, the ULAB team includes Morsalin Mortaza – brother of Bangladesh’s ODI captain Mashrafe – and also the likes of Avishek Mitra and Anjum Ahmed, who play in Dhaka’s vibrant leagues, with the latter also having represented Bangladesh at the age-group level.
Australia: University of Sydney
This is the third consecutive year in which the University of Sydney have won their national tournament to progress to the World Final. Among their most highly rated players will be bowler Devlin Malone, who has a Big Bash league contract with the Melbourne Stars, and batsman Henry Hunt, who has played for Australia’s Under-19 side.
Pakistan: Jinnah Government College Nazimabad, Karachi
Having missed out on qualification to the World Final last year, 2015’s Pakistan champions return to the fray with plenty of high-quality players. Faizan Khan and Arsalan Bashir play first-class cricket, while Hasan Mohsin and Ammad Alam have Pakistan Super League contracts.
India: Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (MMCC College), Pune
This is MMMC’s second successive year at the World Final, and having failed to make the knockouts in 2016, they will be desperate to make this campaign count. In their ranks are several highly-rated domestic players, including Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rohan Damle who already play for the Maharashtra Ranji team, which is one of the most difficult states to represent.
UAE: Herriot Watt University, Dubai
Herriott Watt also played in the 2016 World Final, and boasts of the presence of three UAE national players: Rohit Singh, Khalid Farhan and Chirag Suri. From among these three, Suri is the most accomplished. He earned an IPL contract with the Gujarat Lions for the 2017 season.
South Africa: North-West University
North-West University have had one of the toughest roads to the World Final having had to defeat two-time World Final champions University of Pretoria, in their national competition.
Zimbabwe: National University of Science and Technology
This is the first time a team from Zimbabwe is being represented at the Campus Cricket World Final – and what better year to make an appearance than 2017, a year in which Zimbabwe’s national team beat Sri Lanka in an ODI series for the first time.