Probasee Bengali Association of New Zealand has become the new champion of the Migrant Community Cricket Cup after seven long years of struggle. The team has been runner-ups twice and the last time they raised the trophy was in 2004, fourteen years earlier.

The twentieth edition of the tournament started in November 2017 with nine teams participating from the ultimate title. Of the nine teams, Tamil Super Strikers, Probasee Bengali, Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) and NZ Telangana Boyz reached to the semi-finals last month.

Telangana City Boyz took the fourth position after being defeated by AIS, and Tamil Super Strikers secured the 3rd position after losing to Probasee Bengali in the semi-finals. The final match took place on Saturday, March 17 at the Auckland Domain with Probasee scoring 90 runs with the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs. Probasee stopped the AIS team with wickets out at 84 runs at the end of 20 overs.

This concluded the Probasee Bengali team’s seven years long resilience and hard work to lift the trophy and was declared as the champions of 2018.

Shovik Nandi leads the Probasee Bengali team for the last seven years of which the team has reached the finals two times.

“Before the tournament, I said to my teammates that it's my last tournament leading the team so let's win this time. We were determined, and we practised hard,” skipper Shovik Nandi told The Indian Weekender.“Midway through the tournament we were in the fifth position, and then we won six matches in a row to become the champions,” Souvik added.

Best Players Awards:

Best Batsman: RohanKundu: Probasee Bengali: 203 runs

Best Bowler: Shakir Mohammed: Telangana City Boyz: 21 Wickets

Player of the Tournament: SaiChaitanya: Tamil Super Strikers: 175 runs with a one-half century, 11 wickets- with one hattrick and seven catches

Migrant Community Cricket Cup has been running for the past 20 years, and it gives the cricket-passionate migrants here to showcase their talents on the field.

“It's not just about cricket; this tournament gives the players and the youngsters an opportunity to come together and bond with one another as one community. “It also gives the platform to not so young cricket lovers who are too busy with their and lifestyle to showcase their passion for the sport and remain in practice,” Prashant Belwalkar, lead organiser of the event told The Indian Weekender.

The tournament from its very first instalment has been supported by Relianz Group and has been the backbone of the community sports event.

“Supporting such events is an opportunity for us to give back to the community and we commit to continue our alliance even in the future,” Chairman of Relianz Group, Giridharan Giri told The Indian Weekender.

The cricket tournament has provided the talented sportsmen to use this as a platform to jumpstart their career in cricket.

"Even Tarun Nethula who has played for Auckland Cricket Club, Auckland Aces as a leg-spinner had once played in Migrant Community Cricket Cup," Mr Belwalkar said.