NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced the charity cricket tournament to begin later this year between NSW and India has attracted international sponsorship.
Mr O'Farrell says the NSW Maharashtra Cricket Cup to be held in Western Sydney in October will be sponsored by China Southern Airlines.
"I am delighted with this support from China Southern Airlines for what will be a big moment for cricket in NSW," Mr O'Farrell said.
"The tournament between the Mumbai Cricket Association and Cricket NSW was established during my trade mission to India last November.
"It was agreed between the two States that the proceeds of the biennial game between a NSW XI and a Maharashtra XI would be directed to charity.
"With China Southern Airlines getting behind the event, two of our key trading partners, India and China have come together.
"This is another run on the board for the NSW Multicultural Business Advisory Panel (MBAP) which negotiated the sponsorship agreement worth about $200,000.
"I congratulate MBAP chairman Nihal Gupta who met both China Southern Airlines and the Mumbai Cricket Association during our trade missions last year and has now successfully brought the two parties together.
"Funds raised during the inaugural China Southern Airlines Tournament will go to the 40K Foundation which takes on joint venture projects to reduce poverty in developing countries.
"I was moved to see firsthand, the work of the 40K Foundation during my visit to the Banyan School in Bangalore - a project for the education and support of 200 impoverished children whose parents work in nearby quarries.
"Each series, a different charity will be chosen to benefit from this new relationship that strengthens the already strong ties between our two states.
"With the support of China Southern, former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor AO as Ambassador, and the commitment of the two cricket associations I am confident the inaugural event will be a success," Mr O'Farrell said.
China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He said the airline was thrilled to be involved in such an exciting new venture that connected two of its biggest growth markets through sport.
"We know how important cricket is to India and Australia - and China Southern is proud to help strengthen the sporting bonds between the two states, Maharashtra and NSW.
"China Southern is proud to be able to use our international network to bring Mumbai's best cricketers to Sydney for the inaugural match of this very exciting new Twenty20 cricketing series.
"The China Southern Airlines Tournament is the airline's first foray into Australian sport," Mr He said.
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