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Cementing closer ties between NSW, India and China is high on the list of priorities for any government: the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, with the help of NSW Multicultural Business Advisory Panel (MBAP) has achieved just that. He recently announced that a charity cricket tournament to begin later this year between NSW and India , has attracted $200,000 from China Southern Airlines.
Mr O’Farrell revealed that the NSW Maharashtra Cricket Cup to be held in Western Sydney in October will be sponsored by China Southern Airlines to the value of $200,000. The tournament between the Mumbai Cricket Association and Cricket NSW, announced during the Premier’s trade mission to India in November last year, will have the proceeds of the biennial game between a NSW XI and a Maharashtra XI, directed to charity.
“Funds raised during the inaugural China Southern Airlines Tournament will go to the 40K Foundation which takes on joint venture projects to reduce poverty in developing countries,” Premier O’Farrell said. “Each series, a different charity will be chosen to benefit from this new relationship that strengthens the already strong ties between our two states. With the support of China Southern, former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor AO as Ambassador, and the commitment of the two cricket associations, I am confident the inaugural event will be a success”.
Mr O’Farrell also acknowledged the role played by MBAP chairman Nihal Gupta who met both China Southern Airlines and the Mumbai Cricket Association during the trade missions last year and has successfully brought the two parties together.
According to official sources, the term of the sponsorship is one year and though the terms of the arrangement are commercial in-confidence, there will be some travel with the airline flying the Maharashatra XI to Australia for the inaugural match. “The China Southern Airlines Tournament is the airline’s first foray into Australian sport,” China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He said, adding that his company will provide a combination of in-kind benefits such as free air travel and cash.