Mumbai: A biannual Twenty20 match, the first one scheduled for next year in Sydney, is to be played on a regular basis between 39-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai and 45-time Australian Sheffield Shield winners New South Wales.
The two sides would fight for the joint trophy to be named after former Australian skipper Mark Taylor and a top Mumbai cricketer whose identity would be decided by the Mumbai Cricket Association, it was announced on Monday.
A MOU for exchange of the two teams` reciprocal visits biannually and co-operation in other spheres like coaching, junior development and women`s cricket was signed here today between Mumbai Cricket Association and Cricket New South Wales at the former`s premises inside the Wankhede Stadium.
NSW Premier Barry O`Farrell, visiting members of the NSW Trade Commission, along with MCA joint secretaries Nitin Dalal and Payyade Shetty, were present at the signing of the MOU between Cricket NSW chairman Dr G K Harinath and MCA vice-president Prof. Ratnakar Shetty.
The deal would see not only exchange of visits on a reciprocal basis by Mumbai and NSW, but also areas of co-operation in coaching and development of junior and women`s cricket, it was announced.
"It’s a very happy day for us and we are glad that the NSW Premier is present to witness the signing of the MOU between the two stalwart cricket associations," said MCA vice president, Prof Shetty.
"There would be an exchange of men`s and women`s teams, co-opertion in coaching and a T20 match that would be played between Cricket New South Wales and the MCA every two years. Sydney would host the first edition of the T20 game (between Mumbai and NSW) in 2012," he added.
"Cricket New South Wales is delighted to get into a partnership with MCA. Both organisations have an outstanding history in the game and have provided great leadership. Mark Taylor has agreed to lend his name to the joint trophy while MCA would nominate a name," Dr Harinath said.
NSW Premier O`Farrell said he was eager to visit the Wankhede Stadium where the Indian team won the World Cup (on April 2), where the Australian side captained by Ricky Ponting was shot out for 93 in 2004-05 and where Ravi Shastri slammed six sixes in an over in a Ranji Trophy match.
"I`m pleased to be here to witness the signing of the MOU. I am eager to visit the Wankhede Stadium where Ravi Shastri hit six sixes in one over (off Baroda`s Tilak Raj), India won the World Cup and Australia were shot out for 93 in 2004-05," he remarked.
"Cricket is a strong biding force between the two countries India and Australia. It’s a pleasure to be in the state which has produced two of the world`s greatest cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar," he said.
He also presented Prof Shetty with a tie and a cap from the Bradman Museum located in Sydney.
On being presented a MCA cap by the local association official, he remarked that he would wear it on the first day of the forthcoming Test series Down Under between the two countries.
"We are looking forward to the forthcoming Test series between India and Australia," he said.