Sydney Cricket League Division 1 Grand Final, match between Shaheen Cricket Club and Oceans 12 at Bradbury Oval on February 26, 2023 in Sydney, NSW. (Photo By: May Bailey/Clusterpix Photography)
by Noeline Nagle
10 years ago we had a cricket team of highly traumatised young men playing very ordinary cricket. Their world was one of fear, and uncertainty. The only thing that held them together was the love of cricket. This journey has been incredible. A roller coaster ride of uncertainty, triumph, despair and elation .
No matter what, Ocean 12 has stood their ground . The name Ocean 12 being they crossed the ocean in an old rickety boat in 2012. This week they celebrated the Labor governments decision to apply for a permanent visa and just to put the icing on the cake they won the coveted Sydney Cricket League’s RIA Cup. Unfortunately 2 of the men don’t qualify for the opportunity to apply for the permanent visa.
Paul and I went to Bradbury Oval to support the men. They lost the toss and were put into bat. Immediately it was evident that they were in top form. They scored 163 runs with an impressive number of huge hits. (One ball lost never to be seen again)
The opposition were a team with form. They had never lost a game in this competition. Ocean 12 had them all out for 102.
Even if you don’t understand the game of cricket I am sure you would love this success story. The man of the match was Puri. He is an Australian citizen who has mentored the men for years. His encouragement and quiet unassuming manner is a joy to watch.
The team has changed over the years. Only 7 of the original team still play. One has been contracted to a cricket club in Melbourne and has become their star player. Another 4 men are interstate or country NSW to comply with the conditions of their SHEV visa. They all keep in touch and in October this year they will be celebrating their 10 years as OCEAN 12.
You can follow the story of Ocean 12 from 2013 on the blog posts on the BMRSG website. Put Ocean 12 into the keywords box on top right corner.
Thank you Kartheepan Ratnavadivel for permission to use photograph.