Sydney Thunder Factors Ramadan Into The Nation Cup Final Between India & Pakistan

GM Trent Copeland says the fact that some Muslim players may be fasting has been taken into consideration ahead of the match.

It’s been two months since it was initially scheduled to take place in early January, but finally Team Pakistan and Team India will face off in the HomeWorld Thunder Nation Cup Final on Wednesday. 

The delay in the highly-anticipated match (cancelled on January 8 due to inclement weather), means that cricketers will now be playing during Ramadan. 

Newly appointed General Manager of Sydney Thunder, Trent Copeland says the fact that some Muslim players may be fasting has been taken into consideration ahead of the match, with extended drinks breaks (so players can have a longer rest) and prayer rooms available.

“It's definitely been a focal point of the discussions around the match and when it’s been hosted,” Copeland told media at a press conference on Tuesday. 

“We’ve got an extended drinks break and a plan around this, and it’s been well-communicated – the ask of the players on what they need to make sure that this is just basically a fun time for them and that they are also not removed from the moments of significance within Ramadan.” 

Sydney Thunder Team India

Team Pakistan. Image Source: Supplied/Cricket Australia

Back in 2016, Usman Khawaja spoke about Cricket Australia being supportive of him playing while observing Ramadan. 

“I've been doing it for the past 10 years playing cricket,” he said at the time. "Sometimes people forget that I'm doing it because I don't like to talk about it. I think that might have happened last week when we were doing that big fielding session. But they're quite understanding about it now since I've been doing it for so long, so it's been good."

Wednesday’s final at Blacktown International Sports Park is set to be an important occasion, for fans and cricket players alike. Being part of the Thunders has somewhat been a rite of passage for some well-known South Asian Australian cricketers (Usman Khawaja, Jason Sangha and Alana King) in the past, who have gone on to play for Australia. 

Sydney Thunder Team India

Team India. Image Source: Supplied/Cricket Australia

“We had Tanveer Sangha who’s playing for NSW at the moment. He’s played for Australia, he’s obviously a superstar of the Sydney Thunder,” said Copeland. “He played in this competition when he was 16 in 2017/18 and he was part of the match in the final. 

“I really hope that this can be not just a community engagement tool and exposure of heightened awareness around inclusivity of South Asian engagement… but also a tool that can expose players that we might have missed in the pathway.” 

The HomeWorld Thunder Nation Cup Final between Team India and Team Pakistan will take place on Wednesday, March 13 at 5pm at Blacktown International Sports Park. 

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