Speaker’s Cup International softball tournament launched

Tournament to become annual feature…

By Timothy Jaikarran

The Everest Cricket Club Masters, in partnership with Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir, launched the Speaker’s Cup International softball cricket tournament yesterday at the Everest Cricket Club. This tournament is scheduled to be staged from April 2-4.
Delivering the feature address at launch of the tournament, President of the Everest Cricket Club and Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, noted that the game of softball is popular because it keeps veterans like himself active.
Nadir added, “I thought that we needed to bring more to the people. The state has three arms: The Executive, headed by the President; The Judiciary, headed by the Chancellor; and the Legislature, headed by the Speaker. Our people, especially our younger people, need to be more aware of the function of the state.
“As part of bringing the Legislature closer to the people, we have to bring it closer to the campaign. What I envisage is that we can engage with the children; be more prevalent on social media, inform the public; and work through sport to promote cohesion.
“I spoke with the Executive and looked at formats of the game, that even during COVID, we can attract a large audience; so that is how we came about with this tournament. This softball version is going to happen over the Easter weekend, and we have many sponsors that are on board and are coming on board.”
Nadir is adamant the tournament needs to be more sustainable and that it shouldn’t be a one-off event. He said he is prepared to commit the seed resources to make the tournament happen for the next four years, hence making it an annual competition centred around the Easter weekend.

VNet are one of the many sponsors onboard

Shedding some light on the rules of the game, first class umpire Ryan Banwarie said the umpires would be provided by the Georgetown Cricket Umpires Scorers Association, who would safeguard the integrity of the games in the Speaker’s Cup. He reiterated that to be eligible to contest the Over-45 category, a player must be born in the year 1976, or celebrate his 45th birthday on December 3rd.
Likewise, to contest the Over-50 category, a player must be born in the year 1971 or earlier, or celebrate his birthday by the 31st December 2021.
Banwarie relayed that the games would be played under the supervision of a match referee, and in the case of rain, the Duck Worth Lewis System applies.
The tournament would feature 16 teams, six from overseas and ten local, who would compete the in Masters (Over-45) and Legends (Over-50) categories.

Ryan Banwarie stating the rules of the tournament

Attractive cash prizes and trophies would be awarded to the winners and runners-up, while the man-of-the-match in each game would cop an award, and there would be a cash prize for the player-of-the tournament.
The final will be played at Everest as part of its fund-raising efforts, and all of the established COVID-19 protocols would apply.
This tournament is expected to be the third since the pandemic, with the Prime Minister’s T20 Cup being held in November last year and the President’s Cup tipped for March of this year.
Some of the sponsors on board are General Marine, GBTI, GK Ink, Cos Cutters, Raj Ace Auto, New Building Society, Trophy Stall, MMD Hollow Blocks and Pavers, New DOC Clinic, V Net and Beacon Café, among others.