Indian immigrant selected to play for Israel

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Jerusalem:An immigrant from India, Sanjay Gupta, has booked a place in the Israeli national cricket team, which will compete in the European Cricket Council (ECC) championship beginning in Belgium.

The championship is part of the qualifying series for the 2007 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

An ecstatic Gupta, who has been a prolific scorer in the national league this season, said, "I didn't expect to make it to the team so soon. This is my first season in the league and I never dreamt of a call to play at the ECC championships. Certainly not this year. I see myself being rewarded for all the hard work."

Married to an Indian Jew back in Mumbai, Gupta immigrated with his wife to Israel in 2001. He has earlier played for Mohammadan Sporting, Kolkata, and with teams in Kenya and Bangladesh.

"With an impressive pool of young talent among immigrants from India, South Africa and England, Israel won the Under-13 European championship last year and has been slowly nurturing talent to build up a formidable team in the foreseeable future," said Israel Cricket Association's (ICA) secretary, Naor Gudker, also of Indian origin.

The ICA has been an associate ICC member since 1974 and was one of the founding members of ECC in 1996.

ICA chairman, Stanley Perlman, was recently elected to the 13-member executive board of the ICC.

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