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The Regional Super50 cricket tournament is in good hands for the next three years, as Nagico Insurance has given it the financial comfort of US$1.2M.
This was revealed by Nagico’s CEO, Dwayne Elgin at the official launch of the tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
The company will give US$350,000 for the first year and the rest of the sponsorship will be split over the next two-year period.
Elgin said that the company had a long standing relationship with cricket, having sponsored Leeward Islands cricket for ten years and was now looking to assist cricket on a regional scale. He added that his company had high hopes for this tournament and was eagerly looking foward to the first tournament.
Also on hand at the launch was CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Michael Muirhead and he challenged regional cricketers to make it a run-rich tournament.
Muirhead said: “For far too long our batting has been a problem and I want to challenge our batsmen to go out there and put down some big scores for us. We had a good tournament last year and although the Windwards played well and deserved to win the tournament, we did not see the kind of runs that 50-over cricket normally brings.
“There was no score over 300 and only three men scored centuries. There was Denesh Ramdin for T&T, Nkrumah Bonner for Jamaica and Devon Smith for the Windward Islands.”
Muirhead said one of the reasons scores had been low in the Caribbean was because of the state of the pitches and they were currently in discussion with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to do soil testing and other work in order to improve the pitches.
President of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath was very happy that the tournament is being played in this country and said it served as a great indication that sports tourism can be big in this country.
He said: “Our country’s investment in this Super 50 event is guaranteed to be a success. The cricket will be Super and any investment is sure to procure a very positive return. We urge corporate Caribbean to hop aboard this Event which will be filled with World Stars, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne & Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Smith, prodigal sons Jerome Taylor, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sulieman Benn and Devendra Bishoo together with emerging talents such as Evin Lewis, Assad Fudadin, Kyle Mayers and Delorn Johnson—to name a few.
The Nagico Super50 tournament gets going on January 30 with defending champions Windward Islands playing Jamaica. T&T play their first match on January 31 against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC).
There are eight teams taking part in the competition, T&T, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, windwards, Leewards, Ireland and CCC. Matches will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval and two will be played at Shaw Park in Tobago. The games at Shaw Park starts at 9am, while all the games in T&T will start at 1.30pm and played as day/night matches.
Zone A: Windward Islands, Jamaica, Guyana, Ireland
Zone B: Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Combined Campuses & Colleges
Thursday, 30: Windwards vs Jamaica
Friday, 31: Guyana vs Ireland
Saturday 1: Leewards vs CCC
Sunday 2: T&T vs Barbados
Monday 3: Jamaica vs Ireland
Tuesday 4: Guyana vs Windwards
Wednesday 5: Leewards vs T&T at Shaw Park
Thursday 6: CCC vs Barbados at Shaw Park
Friday 7: Ireland vs Windwards
Saturday 8: Guyana vs Jamaica
Sunday 9: CCC vs T&T
Monday 10: Barbados vs Leewards
Wednesday 12: Semi-final 1 – Zone A winner vs Zone B second
Thursday, 13: Semi-final 2 – Zone B winner vs Zone A second
Saturday 15: FINAL – Winner of Semi-final 1 vs Winner of Semi-final 2.