Red Bull Campus Cricket is an annual international T20 (20-over) tournament for college cricket teams, providing a platform for young talent to play on a world stage and make their way into professional cricket without having to give up on college education. The competition was launched in 2012 and is now in its fifth year.
College teams from eight countries - Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa and United Arab Emirates - have qualified through their own national competitions, with Assupol TuksCricket (University of Pretoria), aiming for the hat-trick after winning the last two World Finals in 2014 and 2015.
England’s Loughborough University will be looking for revenge after losing in the final last year and MMCC College, Pune will hope they can emulate India’s victory in 2013, the last time the World Finals were in Sri Lanka. All of them will have to beware the team representing the hosts, BMS, Colombo, who have three Sri Lanka internationals - Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka – in their side.
Brendon Kuruppu, tournament director and former Sri Lanka cricketer:
"We’re very excited to be hosting Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals again in Sri Lanka after the inaugural Asia cup in 2012 & World Finals in 2013. It’s the world championship of college cricket and a unique opportunity for some of the best young cricketers from around the world to showcase their talents. In Sri Lanka it has become one of the most important tournaments for our young cricketers and we were proud to see so many Sri Lanka players representing their colleges in the national finals last week. Three of them, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka are part of the BMS, (Colombo), side that will represent Sri Lanka in the World Finals in September. The same is true around the world, as there are already players from India, Pakistan and South Africa who have gone on from Campus Cricket to play professionally and for their country, KL Rahul being a shining example at the moment for India in the West Indies. Every year it gets tougher to win this trophy and 2016 promises to be the hardest fought event yet.”
The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four at the tournament draw on September 4, 2016. The group stages will take place in Colombo from September 5-7, at the headquarters of Sri Lankan cricket, the Sinhalese Sports Club, and at the adjacent Nondescripts Cricket Club. The semi-finals and final will take place at the Galle International Stadium on September 10 and 11 respectively.
The competition this year will see the trial of a new Energiser Over, where the runs for one over per side, tactically nominated by the batting team at any point after the Powerplay overs, will count double. Any wickets taken during that over will cost the batting side 5 penalty runs.
The teams competing in the 2016 World Finals:
Sri Lanka: Business Management School (BMS), Colombo
Australia: University of Sydney
Bangladesh: University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)
England: Loughborough University
India: Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (MMCC College), Pune
Pakistan: University Of Central Punjab, Lahore
South Africa: Assupol TuksCricket, University of Pretoria
UAE: Heriot Watt University, Dubai
2012 - Rizvi College, Mumbai, India (in Sri Lanka)*
2013 - DAV College, Chandigarh, India (in Sri Lanka)
2014 - TuksCricket, University of Pretoria (in England)
2015 - TuksCricket, University of Pretoria (in India)
*This was the Asia Cup, a tri-series competition between Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India not a World Championship