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Cricket tournament final draws thousands of migrant workers

Thousands of workers gathered at the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) recreation centre in Jurong on Sunday to watch a cricket final.

SINGAPORE: Thousands of workers gathered at the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) recreation centre in Jurong on Sunday to watch a cricket final.

This year a record 32 teams comprising more than 500 players participated in the tournament.

The final of the cricket challenge was between Eng Lee Engineering and Dragages Singapore.

This is the fifth year the competition is organised by the Singapore Contractors Association.

The Association hopes it will help foster stronger bonds among workers, and provide a social platform for employers to interact with employees.

Almost all of the participants are migrant workers.

However, these workers could be playing alongside Singaporeans in future tournaments.

"If Singaporeans are interested in the game -- just from our construction industry, we have foremen, we have supervisors -- we can form a team to challenge them," said Dr Ho Nyok Yong, president of SCAL.

Cricket is a highly popular sport, but sometimes the fervour towards the game can be intense.

In March, two groups of workers were involved in a brawl in their dormitory during the screening of a live cricket match.

Organisers believe a cricket challenge such as the Sunday's event can help promote fair play and harmony.

"(Workers from) different dormitories from all over the island come here. In fact, all these workers here are from different countries; they are from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka,” said Dr Ho.

“They can play in a harmonious way. So, everybody respects each other, whatever game it is… everything is done fairly. So, this is a good platform to promote harmony for all different types of workers from different countries."

The winner for this year's tournament is the team from Dragages Singapore.

Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor, presented the winners with their prizes.

"We are very happy to play. We put in a lot of hard work, we used good tactics, and there is very good communication in the team," said S Sasikumar, a participant from Dragages Singapore.

The champions walked away with the challenge trophy and S$2,000 in cash. 

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