GCB launches inaugural U-19 franchise tournament

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The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) on Friday launched the inaugural Under-19 franchise tournament in partnership with General Marine, Tropical Spring, Trophy Stall, 4R Bearings and E-Networks.

The tournament, which is proposed to be an annual event, will be conducted after the annual Inter-County Under-19 tournament. The franchise tournament will present a selected pool of talented players involved in a number of competitive trial matches.

This year’s tournament is scheduled to be held at the National Stadium, Providence, from Saturday (May 29) at 10:00h. The tournament will include three teams, namely Falcons, Eagles and Amazon Hawks, which will be captained by Matthew Nandu, Zeynul Ramsammy and Marvan Prasad, respectively.

At the launch, President Bissoondyal Singh, who outlined the purpose of the tournament, indicated that due to the fact that CWI was unable to host the Regional Under-19 Tournaments in 2020 and 2021, the executives of the GCB are of the view that such an Under-19 tournament (which is being livestreamed with commentary) will provide valuable feedback to the CWI selectors and relevant coaching staff on players’ ability and current form.

Singh went on to indicate that the players will also be able to showcase their talents to a wider audience within Guyana, the West Indies region and beyond.

4R Bearings representative, Isai Thorne (right), hands over sponsorship of Amazon Hawks to Bissoondyal Singh, President of the GCB

He further mentioned that the franchise tournament will create a competitive trial match environment in a teamwork context, as against a heavy focus of individual player performance.

“This trial environment in a tournament setting will provide the national selectors with a good indicator to the players’ form,” Singh said.

Further, the Under-19 franchise tournament will provide players with more opportunities for national selection, since it would build on their club, Association and county tournament performances.

President Singh was high in praise of the sponsors, who readily came onboard. He thanked them for their invaluable contributions and wished that their businesses will continue to excel.

Representative of General Marine, Floyd Allen, indicated that the company was privileged to be associated with the GCB and other sponsors in running off this tournament. He wished the players every success in their endeavors.

Young teenaged national player and former West Indies Under-16 player, Isai Thorne, presented the 4R Bearing sponsorship cheque to president Singh. He praised the GCB for taking this initiative to give Under-19 players an opportunity to play cricket at such a competitive level.

He indicated, that based on feedback, players were keen to participate and to have an outside chance of being involved in the West Indies ongoing preparatory activities for the 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup.

General Marine representative (right) hands over sponsorship of Eagle’s team

Representative of Tropical Spring, Aravinda Gainda, said the company was very pleased to once again be part of the GCB activities.

He remarked that this was Tropical Spring’s second engagement in sponsoring GCB’s cricket. He indicated that Tropical Spring was looking forward for another successful partnership.

Further, he indicated that their decision to sponsor the Falcons Under-19 team is based on their belief that investing in youths is the best way to proceed with cricket development.

Gainda added that the vision their company has and would like to share is that the GCB maintains this league and possibly expand on the number of teams that can be sponsored by various businesses.

Gainda posited, that this will greatly strengthen the relationship between the private sector and the GCB. He went on to suggest that this approach will simultaneously provide mileage to the sponsors.

Additionally, Gainda thanked the GCB for offering Tropical Spring the opportunity to sponsor and pledged their company’s continued support.

Proprietor of Trophy Stall, Ramesh Sunich, spoke of his company’s delight in being part of youth development, and in doing so, pledged to donate all trophies for the tournament.

Colin Stuart, Territorial Development Officer of the GCB, outlined the structure of the tournament, indicating that it will take on a round-robin format with the winner being decided on a point system, which may necessitate the use of Net Run Rate to determine the champion where two or more teams end the final round on equal points.

The tournament will progress as follows:

On Saturday May 29, 2021, Falcons will play Eagles

On Sunday May 30, 2021, Eagles will battle Amazon Hawks

On Saturday June 5, 2021, Amazon Hawks will challenge Falcons.

The GCB trusts that this tournament will help to give the U-19 players an opportunity to be selected in the CWI U-19 preparatory activities for the 2022 World Cup.

The GCB has arranged for an independent match to be played upon conclusion of the tournament on Sunday June 6, 2021, to involve the best performers from the tournament.

All matches will commence at 10:00h.

The link for the livestream is: https://youtu.be/W1d9no_WTqg

Teams

Falcons: Matthew Nandu (Captain), Sheldon Charles, Sarwan Chaitnarine, Tomani Ceasar, Jason Holder, Addul Ramsammy, Jeremy Sandia, Andre Seepersaud (Vice-captain), Brandon Jaikaran, Wazim Mohamed, Pavindra Ganesh, Rudranauth Kissoon and Ajay Gainda. Manager: Yeuraj Khemraj; Coach: Julian Moore.

Eagles: Zeynul Ramsammy (Captain), Ricardo Ramdehol, Mavendra Dindyal (Vice-captain), Oren Gibson, Isai Thorne, Romal Hubbard, Chanderpaul Ramraj, Jonathan Rampersaud, Aryan Persaud, Daniel Mootoo, Chatram Balgobin, Nicko Vincent, Anthony Khan and Alvin Mohabir. Manager: Kumar Bissoondial; Coach: Orin Bailey.

Amazon Hawks: Marvan Prashad (Captain), Rampertab Ramnauth, Ushardeva Balgobin, Shamar Yearwood, Trevon Charles, Thaddius Lovell, Gourav Ramesh, Leon Cecil, Zachary Jodah (Vice-captain), Collis Noble, Niran Bissu, Anthony Williams and Jadesh Dowlatram. Manager: Shaun Massiah; Coach: Winston Smith.

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