Lawyers set for a battle with a difference

Indian lawyers will shun their black coats to wear white flannels to defend their cricket world cup, starting in the United Kingdom on Sunday. Lawyers from 12 countries—India, the UK, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and the West Indies — will vie for the Second Lawyers’ Cricket World Cup between July 26 and August 4.

India, the champion of the first World Cup held in Hyderabad in 2007-2008, has a daunting task ahead as the number of countries participating in this year’s event has doubled. In January 2008, India defeated Pakistan in the finals to lift the cup.

Several legal luminaries, adept at tackling opponents in courtrooms, will pad up to handle bouncers on the field from the lawyers of other countries. Some of the big names in the Indian team include L Nageshwara Rao, P Suresh Kumar, K Surayanarayana, Milind Godbole, Amal Kakde, Arman Khan, G K Parida and Girija Shankar Mishra.

The tournament will be formally launched by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales on July 26 at Fenners, Cambridge University ground. The final will be played at the Oval in London on August 4.

“The idea of lawyers getting together under the umbrella of cricket with the motto ‘cricket for friendship’ germinated in India and the Indian Advocates Cricket Association with its pioneering efforts gave shape to this idea,’’ said R Santhana Krishnan, Indian Advocates Cricket Association (IACA) president and a Supreme Court lawyer.
Titled “Cricket for Friendship,” the international tournament is the brainchild of the IACA, which has been organising the annual All-India Advocate Cricket Tournament for the last 20 years.

What started off as a tournament between lawyers from the four high courts —Hyderabad, Bombay, Karnataka and Kerala — in 1989, has now grown to be an international tournament keenly awaited by the legal fraternity. Going international was a brilliant move. “Such events provide an informal platform to promote interaction among the members of the international legal fraternity and help in exchange of ideas,” said Krishnan.

On the sidelines of cricket tournament, the lawyers will attend seminars on subjects such as the development of international criminal law and the role of the lawyer in sports.

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