The Guyana Softball Cup III is just under two weeks away and already the foreign teams are expressing their delight to be part of the
annual competition hosted by the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA).
Defending champions of the Open category, New York Softball Cricket League All Stars have made their intentions known early, as they are determined to retain the title, as well as add the Masters trophy to their collection when the competition is hosted on November 8-10.
President of the New York Softball Cricket Leage (NYSCL) and manager of the NYSCL All Stars, Eric Ferrier, said they are looking forward to playing in this year’s competition and reaping the kind of success they enjoyed in 2012.
“For many of us here in the United States the opportunity to visit Guyana to play cricket is truly a nostalgic occasion.
This sentiment is underscored by the fact that NY Softball Cricket League will once again be sending two teams- New York All-Stars and the Legend Over-45 team- to our motherland to participate and compete in the Guyana Softball III. We therefore wish to thank the Guyana Softball Floodlight Association for affording us this opportunity by inviting us to participate,” Ferrier said in a statement to the GFSCA recently.
“As defending champions of the premiere competition, we wish to signal that it is our intention to successfully defend the cup, as well as add the Over-45 [Masters] trophy to our collection. However, while it is our expressed desire to win both competitions our principal mission is to entertain the cricket loving fans of Guyana, “New York Style.” Parallel to entertaining the cricket loving fans we anxiously look forward to bonding with our “brothers and sisters “in the land of our birth.”
Ferrier said the GFSCA and Guyanese on the whole have always been welcoming to the NYSCL and they are expecting no different this time around.
“Given our past experience as guest of the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association, the New York Softball Cricket League anxiously looks forward to enjoy the hospitality and camaraderie of our Guyanese brothers and sisters, not withstanding our plan to win both competitions.
However, at the same time we sincerely wish the other teams the best of luck. Finally, we wish to congratulate the organisers of the competition for organising this wonderful tournament and express our thanks for being invited to participate,” Ferrier concluded.
Meanwhile, Softball Cricket International Miami (SCI Miami), another foreign team invited to this year’s competition, said they would be using the tournament to honour a few outstanding players. President of SCI Miami, Ranji Singh, highlighted the team’s intention during the stay here for the tournament.
“Softball Cricket International would like to honour some old pioneers in softball cricket, meaning great players, at this year’s tournament. I have a few in mind; we will be bringing some awards for this,” Singh said.
He added, “As always, this tournament is top priority on my cricket list, ever since I moved to the states, my dream was to one day see such a tournament like this held in Guyana, and it has happened. We look forward to coming to Guyana and having a good time, and most of all, we rather the tournament be in Guyana than anywhere else, so we can support our local economy.”
Chairman and Coordinator of the Guyana Softball Cup, Ricky Deonarine, said the GFSCA is happy to witness the enthusiasm shown by the foreign teams. He noted that the GFSCA will work overtime to ensure the time spent in Guyana by the overseas teams is an enjoyable one.
Preliminary action in the competition will take place on November 8-9 with the grand finals of the two categories- the Open 20/20 and the Masters 20/20- set for November 10 at the GCC ground, Bourda.
During the two days of preliminary action, which will comprise 36 games, the venues will be the GCC, Police, Sport Ministry, Demerara Cricket Club, YMCA and Education Ministry grounds.
In the Open 20/20 competition, the teams will battle for a first prize of $800,000 and a massive trophy, with the runner-up team carting off $200,000 and a trophy.
The Man-of-the-Match in the final will be the recipient of a trophy, while the player of the tournament will receive a gold bracelet, compliments of Steve’s Jewellery.
In the Masters 20/20 segment, of which Savage XI of Guyana are the defending champions, the participating teams will vie for the coveted prize of $600,000 and a trophy, with the losing finalist having to settle for $150,000 and a trophy. Like the Open category, the Man-of-the-Match in the championship game and the player of the tournament will receive a trophy and a gold bracelet respectively.
On November 10, prior to the two category finals, there will be three female exhibition games, featuring four of the leading teams on the distaff side.
Two semi-finals will be followed by a grand final, with the winner pocketing $50,000 and the loser $25,000. The MVP will collect $5,000 and a trophy.
While admission to the venue for the first two days is free, a fee of $500 will be charged per patron on the final day, with the first ball set to be bowled at 10:00 hours.