By Romario Samaroo
After an absence of over two decades, the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) brings back Inter-County Softball Cricket Tournament after a herculean injection from Lakeram “Mike”Singh.
The tournament was officially launched at the latest location of the Mike’s
Pharmacy chain of businesses, located at Bel Air, Georgetown where sponsors and organisers of the tournament gathered to give the highly anticipated event their blessings.
Set for the Easter weekend (April 15-16), organizing secretary, Wayne Jones explained that the tournament has attracted a large fan base and team participation along the East Coast of Demerara corridor and fittingly, the competition will be held at the Ogle Community Center Ground.
The action will see four teams vying in 45 years and over category otherwise known as the Masters category over the two-day period. Jones noted that a special initiative of the tournament is that each team will be allowed to have two players under 45 years old but not younger than 43 years.
While the competition is only for masters, representing Permaul’s Trading and member of GFSCA Anil Beharry highlighted that this is just the initial phase and over time there will be an introduction of the open category but for this tournament it is only for the masters due to the fact that a lot of interest has come from the elder folks and over time the youths will learn from them.
Beharry also predicted that the competition should be able to promote camaraderie and competitiveness.
Along with Permaul’s Trading, who will be sponsoring the Berbice Masters, other integral sponsors include Sankar Auto Works through the Valvoline brand who will sponsor Demerara. Trophy Stall is the title sponsor of Essequibo masters. The fourth team is Wellman’s Demerara who will be sponsored by Mike’s Pharmacy.
Speaking at the launch, the architect behind this tournament, Lakeram “Mike” Singh stressed that “for two decades we didn’t have inter county competition so it was in the making for some time.” Comparing it to what is traditional “inter club games with the regular club members and club teams and you find that the teams are not working together so we thought it best to go back to the years gone by and see the best way to get more competitive cricket.”
The tournament which is a 20 over per side competition will be played on a round-robin basis with the first two preliminary matches starting from 09:30h.
Jones explained the structure of prizes which will see the successful team taking home $200,000 with the second place $100,000, both with trophies. The best batsman and best bowler in the preliminary rounds will receive $5,000 and a trophy while man of the finals will also be $5,000 richer and will get a trophy for his efforts.
Additionally, fans will see an exhibition game between the Great Demerara and Mighty Berbice in a female gigantic clash. The winner will be rewarded with $50,000 and a trophy and $25,000 for the runner up. The female of the match, best bowler and best batter will all be rewarded.
President of the GFSCA, Ramchand Ragbeer was in high praises of the sponsors for coming on board with the revival of softball action and is expecting to see a high level of competition with the best team coming out on top.
Admission to the venue is not heavily priced, however persons who hold tickets for the BBQ that will be on sale in the ground will be allowed to enter the ground at no additional cost.
The BBQ tickets are available at all the sponsors’ locations and members of the GFSCA at a cost of $1,000. Also persons desirous of purchasing tickets can do so by calling 661-8263 or 650-1790.