Action Galore Promised as Tourney Launched
Guyana Masters Cup 20/Twenty and Guyana Cup Open 20/Twenty cricket tournament
After expending more than $4.3M dollars the executives of the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) are envisaging an action packed tournament when the first ball is bowled to signal the start of three exciting days of softball cricket in the Guyana Masters Cup 20/Twenty and Guyana Cup Open 20/Twenty tournament slated to get underway at three venues, the Carifesta Sports Complex Ground, the Everest Sports Club ground and the Bourda sward from October 28-30.
This is the inaugural championships staged under the aegis of the GFSCA and would witness the participation of 10 international teams; 5 out of New York, 3 from Florida and an additional 2 from Canada.
These teams would compete against 6 local teams, 4 competing in the Guyana Cup competition including Memorex from Berbice, Cotton Tree from Essequibo, Trophy Stall from the East Coast Demerara and Regal out of Georgetown. The other two teams, Regal Stationery and Savage Masters are competing in the over-40 category but the organizers have intimated that they are awaiting word from 2 other North American teams that have indicated an interested in participating in the Masters category of the championships.
Should they be unable to keep their date, two other local teams are standing by to fill those slots. The winners of the Guyana Cup Open tournament will receive $800,000 while the victorious team in the Masters Cup tournament carts off $400,000.
The organizers joined with officials from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, in that entity’s boardroom yesterday afternoon and briefed the media on issues relating to the tournament among other issues. Representatives of several of the corporate entities supporting the event were also present at the function as were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Frank Anthony and Permanent Secretary of that Ministry, Alfred King.
Vice President of the GFSCA, Ricky Deonarain explained that local cricketers have been traveling to North America over the years to match skills with their counterparts in a similar tournament. He said that players from North America suggested that the locals consider a similar initiative here in Guyana and after some thought, supported by hard work, the local players instituted the requisite modalities for the inaugural tournament.
The two government officials lauded the initiative and wished the organizers well. Mr. Anthony said, “Initiatives such as these surely boost the tourism drive and as such my Ministry is supportive and wish to encourage the support of all Guyanese.” Mr. King concurred even as he promised to donate the use of the Ministry’s buses to offset the cost of transportation.
Meanwhile, several corporate entities have supported the venture in different ways, all with an aim of enhancing the quality of the venture. Jewelry magnate, Steve Narine of Steve’s jewelry, donated two gold bracelets for the player of the series in each category while support was had from International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) in the form of bottled water throughout the tournament. Representative of that organization, Rowling Khan endorsed his company’s pleasure in supporting the cause even as he implored the participation of the public.
Digicel also pitched in its lot and Head of Sales and Distribution, Nalini Vieira, endorsed her company’s support for the event. She also urged the public to come out in its numbers to view the matches. The other sponsors include Bel Air Texaco and Mike’s Pharmacy. The proprietors of those entities, L Gainda and Lakeram Singh, respectively, also exuded pleasure in rendering support.
Most of the matches will commence during the evening and culminate under floodlights and apart from the official matches; fans will be treated to several exhibition encounters among the female teams on the final night.