Mangaluru: The inaugural ceremony of the much awaited Amaco Mangalore Premier League was held at NMPT Cricket Stadium, Panambur here, on 13 December.
Chairman of MPL, Mohammed Sirajuddin welcomed the guests and the gathering. District minister in-charge, B Ramanath Rai inaugurated the tournament by releasing balloons along with other dignitaries on stage.
Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader said that Mangaluru is famous in various fields and with this tournament, it will take a step towards building itself in cricket too. “This is a moment of pride for all of us. In the future, this tournament should reach all people at the rural level, so that talents can be recognized.” He advised the players to play with a sportsman’s spirit and use this opportunity to exhibit their talents, so that they are recognised at the national and international levels. “Let this tournament bring unity and brotherhood among the people. Winning or losing is not important. Give it your best,” he added.
District minister in-charge, B Ramanath Rai appreciated the organisers for organising this tournament in Mangaluru and giving a chance to players from the region to showcase their talents. He wished that the tournament would be a huge success.
Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said, “This is a nice moment for us. Mangaluru has been a pioneer in various fields, but has lagged behind in representing the nation in sports. I hope that this tournament helps in shining light on the talents of players from the region.”
Chancellor of Yenepoya University, Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi expressed immense pleasure to be a part of the tournament. Addressing the gathering, he said, “Cricket is in our blood. The young and the old follow the game loyally. But if you look at the national players, you find that most of them belong to metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, etc. The people from other cities and regions are not recognised and they do not get a chance to play and show their talents to the nation.”
Convenor of KSCA Mangalore Zone, Manohar Amin administered the oath to the players, and said, “We had the 1st Mangalore Premier League four years back over here. After change in the administration of the KSCA, they were not keen to organise T20 type matches and did not provide consent for the next MPL. When there was another change in KSCA and the organisers, Sirajuddin and Imthiyaz approached me expressing their desire to organise MPL again in Mangaluru, I conveyed this to the KSCA administration in Bengaluru. They were happy and gave consent to it.” Manohar appreciated and congratulated the organisers. Encouraging the players, he said, “We have a lot of talent here but lack the required infrastructure and opportunities. That is why many players go to Bengaluru since there are more opportunities there and not because we are less talented than them. Infact, none of the players from this region is any less talented than those who play in Bengaluru.” He wished the players success for the upcoming matches.
The first match was played between Surathkal Strikers and Coastal Digest. Surathkal Strikers win the toss and elected to bat.
RJ Anurag and Madhu Mailankody compered the programme. Asif Mohammed – CEO of Amaco; Imthiyaz – Convenor MPL; Rathan Kumar – Chairman of KSCA Mangalore Zone; Ismail Ullal – CEO of Realtech Industrial Service; Zakariya Jokatte – Chairman of Almuzain; Sheik Mohammed Sherif – Chairman of Kushi Medical Centre; P A Abdullah – P A College of Engineering; Tallur Shivaprasad Shetty – MD, Tallur Group of Concerns; Yashpal Suvarna – President, Udupi & DK Fish Sellers Federation; Villas Nayak – MD, Hanuman Mototrs and others were present.