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Cricket Australia official urges Sydney Thunder to recruit Indian, Sri Lankan players

February 19, 2012 - Melbourne

A Cricket Australia official Harry Harinath has advised the Sydney Thunder team to recruit Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers to increase supporter base of 90,000 cricket fans, who live within 15 minutes of their Olympic Park base.

"If you [recruited] two Indian and two Sri Lankan players it'd be fantastic for the Sydney Thunder. No matter who they signed - M.S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma or whoever - it doesn't really matter, it'd do wonders for them," The Sydney Morning herald quoted Thunder, as saying.

"The whole idea of taking the T20 international to Olympic Park was to provide a form of cricket entertainment for the people living in the western suburbs of Sydney, of which 90,000 of the population come from [south] Asian countries - of which the majority is India. It was clearly shown the population supports cricket and the Thunder must work to make them [Indian-Australians] the home team," he added.

Harinath stressed that the Thunder could benefit by encouraging Sydney's south Asian community to form a Swami Army-style supporter club.

The Sydney Thunder franchise are looking for ideas after they finished last in the Big Bash's inaugural season

Harinath admitted that the popularity of Twenty20 cricket was surging.

"The public are supporting the Big Bash League, the television ratings are very good, and the crowds that turned out to the internationals in Sydney and Melbourne were outstanding," Harinath said.

"I'm having people tell me they never followed cricket but after going to Homebush they will continue to go to Twenty20 games," he added.


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