The Relianz Forex Spirit of Cricket tournament is starting this weekend with more than 250 players from eleven teams participating in the game.

Started in 1998, the tournament has seen an overwhelming growth every year- some of the key players from the early days are still associated with this tournament as organisers, match officials and supporters.

The eleven teams competing in this tournament are Mighty Blues (the defending champion), AIS United (2018 runner-up), former champion Probasee Bengalee, Deccan Acers, Rising Stars, NZ Telugu Tigers, Black Hawks, Royal Knights, Tamil Thunders, Telangana City Boyz and founder TUFXI.

The tournament is hosted by Migrant Community Cricket Club, and the daily running is carried out by the winners of the previous year, which will be Mighty Blues this year.

With more than 250 players, umpires, scorers, and organisers couple with the support of various community organisations makes this tournament unique and the longest-running tournament in the country.

The tournament will kick-off December 1 with four games every Sunday for the next four months with the semi-finals and final on the last two Sundays of March 2020.

“This tournament is supported by NZ Cricket under their Community Cricket initiative and a regular on their calendar. We have had the pleasure of having several players from our tournament who have made it to Auckland Aces, and NZ Black Caps teams, most notably Tarun Nethula,” Prashant Belwalkar, organiser of the event told The Indian Weekender.

The tournament at the end awards best of its players in different categories such as best batsman, bowlers, all-rounder and player of the week besides the winners and runner-ups after the finale.

“The official inauguration will take place on Sunday, December 2019 at 8.45 a.m. at Auckland Domain near Grand Stand wherein officials from NZ Cricket, community heads, players, spectators and match officials will be present. The official inauguration will be done by V Giri, Chairperson of Relianz Forex, the Platinum Sponsor of the tournament,” Mr Belwalkar said.

The tournament has also created a web page dedicated to the progress and updates of each match and an app that people can see live scores.

People can visit www.mccc.org.nz for a complete update on each match and also follow live scores on app Spirit of Cricket on both iOS and Android phones.

“Relianz Forex has been the oldest and most dedicated supporter and sponsor of this tournament. We also have NZ Cricket, various Indian community organisations, CricClub (Software & App) and Cricket Express as the sponsors of this event,” Mr Belwalkar said.

The tournament is a kaleidoscope of cricketing fever representing cricket enthusiasts from