$1Million for champs…2 guest players allowed per team
By Sean Devers
Two of Guyana’s top Beverage manufacturers have collaborated with the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and plenty of high level excitement is anticipated today when the Carib/Pepsi T20 Big Smash explodes with opening round matches in Berbice and Demerara.
Church’s Fried Chicken Corentyne Titans oppose Mario Pizza West Berbice Super Kings from 09:00hrs at Albion before the Titans face-of with New Amsterdam/Canje Tigers at the same venue from 13:00hrs.
The other double header is fixed today sees the two developmental teams (Noble House Young Conquerors and the GCB President’s X1) battling each other from 09:00hrs and again from 13:00hrs at Bourda.
The Demerara zone begins tomorrow with Nauth’s Motor Spares East Coast Jaguars playing the Gizmos & Gadgets Pitbulls at Everest from 09:00hrs before the Pitbulls oppose Carib Foods East Coast Pirates from 13:00hrs at the same venue.
The Essequibo zone commences on Sunday with a double header at the Anna Regina ground where South Essequibo Smashers take on Hotel Tower West Demerara Cavaliers from 09:00hrs before facing North Essequibo Warriors from 13:00hrs at the same venue.
The Nation-wide competition, which will be used to select the National team for January’s Caribbean Cup T20 tournament in Trinidad and Barbados, has attracted 11 teams and the GCB has assisted in acquiring sponsors for some of the teams involved to help off-set their expenses.
In addition to the nine area teams from the three counties, two GCB developmental teams will also compete for championship honours in the competition which concludes with the final on December 3 at Albion in Berbice.
At the launching of the tournament at the GCB secretariat yesterday, GCB President Ramsay Ali informed that the two semi-finals will also be contested at Albion on November 25 in addition to the third place game which precedes the Final at Albion on December 3.
Ali, a former GCB Marketing Manager said the traditional large crowd support for cricket in Berbice and the unavailability of the Guyana National Stadium during December, influenced the decision to stage the ‘final four’ at Albion.
According to the GCB the three teams from each County will play in a round robin format among them while the two developmental teams will face each other.
After the preliminary rounds two teams from each county will be named for the Super-Eight stage of the competition along with the two development sides.
The two county teams will be picked by the county selectors while the national selectors will re-pick the two GCB teams which could include players who participated in the preliminary round in the county zones but were not selected for the Super-Eight stage by their county selectors.
The Super-Eight stage will be played on a knock-out format, while the teams for the semi-finals and finals can again be changed. It was also disclosed that any team can have up to two guest players from anywhere in the world but for them to qualify for the ‘final four’ they must have been a part of any squad for at least one match before the final four stage of the tournament.
Cricket Operations Officer of the GCB Robin Singh is the tournament Director. He said as the GCB moves towards a modern professional approach, all squads have been allowed a sponsor apart from the main tournament sponsor.
Singh added that regulations are clearly set out by the GCB that govern this process including accountability, placement and size of sponsors logo and restriction of ambush marketing.
The GCB is embarking on a modern approach to organising and marketing its cricket and this competition is geared to embrace the development of cricketers while at the same time ensuring pulsating competition for the fans who will be admitted to the venue free of charge for the preliminary and Super-Eight rounds.
Ansa McAl’s PRO Darshanie Yussuf, said, Carib Beer has been associated with the GCB for a number of years and is a true friend of cricket.
She said that over the last year there have been rough patches for Guyana’s cricket but says Ansa McAl continues to support the GCB and cricket as their contribution towards ‘getting over’ these rough patches and hopefully producing more Guyanese West Indies players.
“Sponsorship of events like this is important for us as a Company since many young people benefit from their involvement of cricket. I wish the players the best and I think this is a very good tournament,” Yussuf said.
DDL’s Pepsi representative, Larry Wills, said, DDL always provides sponsorship to sports in Guyana since DDL is committed to helping youth showcase their skill.
He said that all cricketers should aspire to improve to reach the highest level and play for the West Indies and feels this will be a very exciting tournament which has the full support of DDL and the Pepsi brand.
The cream of Guyana’s cricketers will be on show in this competition with Test players Narsingh Deonarine, Royston Crandon and Sewnarine Chattergoon along with Jonathon Foo and National Skipper Assad Fudadin all named in the Corentyne Titans side.
The Georgetown team includes West Indies t20 players Chris Barnwell and Derwin Christian along with National players Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Trevon Griffith and Shemroy Barrington.
Mahendra Nagamootoo, Gajanand Singh and Paul Wintz are all part of the Tower Hotel West Demerara Cavaliers, while Zaheer Mohamed, Krishna Deosarran, Brian Sattaur and Clive Andries are in the East Coast Squad. Esuan Crandon will Captain the President’s X1 side, while former Guyana under-15 Captain Shaquelle Williams will lead the Young Conquerors.
Norman Fredericks and West Indies under-19 pacer Ronsford Beaton are members of the two teams from the Essequibo Coast.
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