Oct 23, 2020 Sports
The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) earlier this year had unveiled plans to host a historic Semi-Professional Tournament. Sadly, the BCB was forced to temporarily shelve those plans due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The BCB’s 2020 season was suspended in early March and would likely restart until the second quarter of 2021. The board has used the last eight months to put into place several plans with the objective of hitting the ground running whenever the Government gives the green light for sports to restart.
The BCB has been involved in a Covid-19 response effort, countywide coaching programme, securing sponsorship, assisting clubs and youth players with cricket gear, equipment along with hosting several meetings with Government officials.
BCB President Hilbert Foster is heading a special committee to make sure that the proposed Semi-Professional Tournament is successful. The tournament for the first season would be played on a knockout basis with twelve teams.
The teams selected are Combined Upper Corentyne, Port Mourant, RHT Namilco Thunderbolt Flour, Albion, Rose Hall Canje, Young Warriors, Tucber Park, Police, Blairmont, West Berbice, East Bank Berbice and Berbice River.
It would be the first time that East Bank Berbice and Berbice River would be playing in a BCB first division tournament. Foster disclosed that each player and team official would receive a stipend per match with the amount rising for every match in the tournament. A combined prize package of $1M is been proposed with the winner taking home $500,000.00.
The grounds to be used are Albion, No. 69 Vikings, Rose Hall Canje and Port Mourant while two matches would be played at one venue per day. The organisers are expected to cover the cost of balls, transportation, meals, umpiring and scoring while the finals is expected to be broadcast live via Facebook and radio.
Foster disclosed that clubs, if they so desire can have one non-Berbician player. One of the highlights of the tournament would be a Say No/ Say Yes campaign by the twelve teams. The main objectives would be to get youths to Say No to Drugs and Yes to Education.
The BCB President expressed confidence that all of the plans would fall into place. Foster and his executive have already met with incoming Honorary Patron Vickram Bharrat, who committed himself to making the tournament a success.
Meetings with potential sponsors would start shortly and Foster disclosed that several major companies have already indicated great interest. Funds raised from the hosting of the tournament would be used to expand the County’s coaching programme, assist weaker first division clubs and players as well as host the regular tournaments at the junior, female and senior levels.
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