The 20th instalment of the Migrant Cricket Tournament has started with nine teams playing for the championship.

The tournament sponsored by Relianz Forex Ltd. held its first match on Sunday, November 19, at the Auckland Domain. The four-month tournament will host matches every Sunday with its finals on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

As per the rules of the tournament, the winner of the previous year’s tournament takes charge of organising the event. In March 2017, the team Telangana City Boyz defeated Desi Warriors in the finals and is hosting the tournament 2017-18.

“This year we have the opportunity to host this event, and the energy amongst the teams is just outstanding. The matches are going to get exciting as there is a good number of audience participating in the game too,” President of Telangana Association of New Zealand Kalyan Rao Kasuganti said.

The nine teams playing this year are Probasee Bengali, Tamil Superstrikers, AIS United, Indian Warriors, Telangana City Boyz, TUF XI, MTS, Telugu Tigers and Deccan Acers.

Every weekend, four matches will be held on four different Auckland Domain grounds, and a total of 36 matches will be played in the first round to reach the second round, the quarter-finals. The one team not playing on the day of the match will take the responsibility of umpiring and moderating the four games.

Four teams will qualify for the quarter-finals and the two winners from round two will play team placed one and team put two in the semifinals, which will be held on Sunday, March 4.

The idea to host such a tournament is to get the youth of the community come together and keep the passion of cricket alive in them and give them an opportunity to showcase their talents on the field.

Telangana Association of New Zealand is sponsoring ‘Player of the week’ award with a  $50-worth Rebel Sports voucher.

The tournament was an initiative taken 19 years ago by patron Prashant Belwalkar, and the tournament has since thrived with more participation from the community.