By Sean Devers
A cheque of $1.4 Million was presented to Georgetown Cricket Association’s (GCA) President, former West Indies Off-Spinner Roger Harper, as the New Building Society (NBS) yesterday launched the eighth annual NBS 40-over Second Division cricket tournament for 15 teams in the City.
The launching was held at the NBS’s Head Office at North Road and Avenue of the Republic and for the second year will be played with Coloured Uniforms, white balls and Black Sightscreens with the finals being played under lights at DCC.
The Winners will receive $120,000 and the NBS Trophy, while the Runners-up will get $90,000. The losing semi-finalists will take home $50,000 each.
GCC, who beat DCC in the last finals, are the defending Champions and holders of four titles including the first three.
The tournament will be contested in two zones, with the defending Champions opening their campaign on September 29 against Malteenoes at MSC in a Zone ‘A’ clash. The runners-up will face off with Transport Sports Club (TSC) at TSC ground which is scheduled to host its first GCA match in nearly two decades.
Harper thanked NBS for their continued sponsorship and said their financial support is used to help develop the young players, not only from the City but from as far as Essequibo.
“This sponsorship gives the players the impetuous to succeed and I hope we continue to benefit from NBS’s sup
port and their sponsorship, like their business, continues to grow,” said the former West Indies Vice-Captain.
He also told the gathering that the NBS tournament has produced several players who have gone on to represent Guyana and West Indies at various levels.
Present Guyana Amazon Warriors players Chanderpaul Hemraj and Sherfane Rutherford who both played for the Regional Team in ‘white ball’ cricket, played in this competition.
GCA’s Competition’s Committee Chairman told those present that team’s must use fast bowlers for at least 16 overs in a completed game and that all no-balls will result in ‘free hits’ adding that a team that wins can get a maximum of 20 points.
NBS’s CEO/Director/ Secretary Floyd McDonald said the NBS was pleased to be associated with the sponsorship for the 40 overs Second Division cricket competition with the GCA, which has, as part of its mandate, the stewardship of organised cricket in Georgetown.
“The Directors of the Society, having recognised the people at the helm of the GCA, decided to grant their request for an eighth successive year,” McDonald informed.
He disclosed that over the years NBS has successfully sponsored cricket in Berbice and once the Weather holds, another NBS sponsored tournament will soon commence in Guyana’s second largest County.
“We at the Society strongly feel that this sponsored cricket will contribute to the upliftment of cricket in Georgetown and by extension nationally and regionally, which is more needed when one considers the current state of West Indies Cricket,” McDonald said.
This second division competition, he said, provides an excellent opportunity for players with talent to emerge and make a name for themselves.
“For the first time since our sponsorship began, the semi-finals and final of the recently concluded 2018/2019 competition were played under lights. We will maintain this innovation for this up-coming tournament,” the NBS CEO promised.
“NBS feels that discipline in Sports is of the utmost importance, and consequently we urge the GCA to maintain a high level of strictness during the tournament,” he added.
McDonald reminded that NBS sets aside $8 Million annually for donation to Charity and education purposes including Sports.
“We recognise our Social responsibilities and this is part of our giving back to the Community,” continued McDonald.
He said talks were being held with Harper and the Berbice Cricket Board’s President Hilbert Foster for the possible staging next year, of a T20 play-off between the top two teams in the Berbice NBS competition and the two sides from the GCA tournament.
“These teams will clash in semi-finals with the GCA runners-up facing the Berbice winner under-lights at Albion and the Berbice Runners-up battling the GCA winner under lights at DCC. The final will be played at DCC.
Stabroek News’ Romario Samaroo won the coverage of the NBS 2nd division tournament for his reports on the last competition.
Fixtures for the 1st round are as follow:
Zone ‘A’ MSC v GCC at MSC, MYO v UG at MYO, 3rd Class v GDF at GDF & Diplomats v GYO at GYO.
Zone ‘B’ Sophia v Police at Eve Leary, Everest v Ace Warriors at Everest & TSC v DCC at TSC. GNIC draws the bye.
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