Migrant workers and lawyers team up to play cricket at Padang

SINGAPORE – Lawyers and migrant workers teamed up to play a friendly game of cricket at the Padang on Sunday.

Part of the first Migrant Justice League, the organiser, Pro Bono SG, used the tournament to raise awareness of the free legal services it offers migrant workers here.

Facility operations manager Rengaiah Venkatesh, 34, took leave from work to play in the match. For him, it was the venue that made the day memorable.

“It’s a dream to play here because the ground condition is almost international standard. We were eager to play here,” said the worker from Tamil Nadu who has been working in Singapore for 11 years.

“We are very much interested in socialising with others, so there is a lot more interest in playing cricket than other sports,” he added.

Mr Rengaiah and Tan Rajah and Cheah partner Moiz Haider Sithawalla were on the same team.

Mr Sithawalla said the two teams comprised five lawyers and six migrant workers each.

The lawyer added: “We could see the talent that was on display. Lots of sportsmanship and joy in having the good fortune of playing on this ground.

“(The migrant workers) insisted that we participate rather than just stand idly, so it was wonderful to share that rapport with them and feel included in a team that they were very much in charge of.”

About 150 teams signed up for the tournament, but only 64 were chosen to compete over five Sundays.

The Tamil Brothers team won the league on Sunday, taking home a $1,000 cash prize.

The team’s captain, Mr Chinnakkaruppan Murugesan, 32, said his team takes part in tournaments frequently.

The air-conditioning mechanic said: “We started the team in 2013… We all come from the same village in Tamil Nadu, so we enjoy playing whenever we have a day off.”


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