Sanmar – Nurturing Cricket Talent for Decades
The Sanmar Group has been in the vanguard of sports promotion for nearly four decades. It has sponsored cricket teams in all India tournaments besides offering job security to cricketers of calibre. Many of its players have played for their state and some for India.
The Chairman of the Group, N Sankar, and Vice Chairman, N Kumar are past Presidents of the Madras Cricket Club, while Sankar has also been President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Both have headed apex tennis bodies-at the national and state levels.
For nearly five decades, Sanmar has contributed outstanding talent to state-level and national cricket. The IIT-Sanmar cricket ground the group has developed and maintains is the jewel in the crown of Chennai cricket. Developed and maintained by Sanmar, the ground is a world-class facility with a superb outfield and sporting wickets, besides an elegant pavilion that combines old-world charm and modern comforts
The Indian cricket team has on numerous occasions trained at the IIT-Sanmar cricket ground. The state-of-the-art facilities at the ground have earned the praise of cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand.
Sanmar’s flagship cricket team Jolly Rovers has won the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association senior division league 16 times. Its most memorable feat has been that of five successive triumphs in the recent past. Another team, Alwarpet Cricket Club, mainly comprising young talent, is also under the Sanmar umbrella, often acting as a feeder for the senior team Jolly Rovers. The players are groomed under the watchful eye of former Indian wicket keeper Bharath Reddy, who has been spotting and nurturing talent on behalf of the Group for some 30 years now.
The Group also sponsors cricket tournaments in Chennai, including the annual PC Sekhar Memorial Inter-School (under-14) cricket tournament’, conducted by PS Senior Secondary School and the IIT-Sanmar Inter-College tournament at the IIT cricket ground. All schools and colleges in the city participate in these tournaments. Sanmar also sponsors the VA Parthasarathy Memorial Trophy, which Jolly Rovers won for the fifth time this year, against fierce competition–making it five out of seven wins, since the inception of the tournament in 2005-06.
Recently, the Group responded to a request from the Indian Army to host a youth cricket team from Kashmir (‘Srinagar Shah Jahans’) in two friendly matches at the IIT cricket ground, as part of a major peace and goodwill initiative titled Operation Sadbhavana.
The most remarkable feature of Sanmar’s involvement with cricket is that it has been motivated by love and passion for the game, a genuine desire to provide young cricketers the right atmosphere and facilities to hone their skills and a platform on which to build their careers in sport. There has never been an attempt to leverage this activity for any kind of mileage in the business world.
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