Flashback! Cotton Field Wild Oats captain Travis Simon (left) collects the winner’s trophy from GFSCA representative Mike Singh for topping the Open category in the first edition of the tournament in 2011
They were the first champions in 2011 and were booted from the 2012 competition on poor net run rate, but Cotton Field Wild Oats (CFWO) are coming harder this year to regain the Open 20/20 category when the Guyana Softball Cup III is staged from November 8-10.
When action bowls off next week Friday, CWFO will be one of the favourites to lift the title, but will have to contend with red hot defending champions, New York Cricket League All Stars, and 10 other teams for the $800,000 top prize and a massive trophy.
The successful captain from 2011, Travis Simon, is still at the helm of the team made up of Essequibo players, and during an interview with this publication he expressed confidence in his team lifting the title once again.
“After winning the inaugural Guyana Cup in 2011, the players has become much more accustomed and confident playing with the “big ball”, as is used in the Guyana Cup, and after being knocked out of the second edition on net run rate after only one defeat to the eventual champions out of New York, myself and the boys were very disappointed. We now set out to make that right in this the third edition, starting on November 8 by trying even harder to reclaim our title,” an assured Simon pointed out.
The skipper revealed that in order to go all the way and lift the title on November 10, CFWO will be entering the competition with a more experienced and stronger team than previous years.
“For this year’s tournament our first goal would be to get to the semis and then we take it from there. The team for this year’s tournament is much more experienced as oppose the other teams we would have taken,” Simon boasted.
He added, “We know pretty well that all the other teams would be coming at us very hard and so we have to be very prepared and focused for everything and anything they will throw at us. The team’s batting is very strong and include some very experienced campaigner at this level led by the very versatile Ramesh Narine. The bowling department may be a little short.”
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.
In the Open 20/20 category, New York Cricket League All Stars will look to defend their title against South Florida Softball Cricket League, Ontario Softball Cricket League, Regal XI, Cotton Field Wild Oats, Berbice Titans, Trophy Stall, Wolf’s Warriors, Memorex XI, Smith’s XI and Farm XI with one of Corriverton or Speedboat XI to be confirmed.
In the Masters 20/20, Savage XI will put their title on the line against Floodlights XI, New York/Better Hope, New York Softball Cricket League Legends, New York/Sea View, Brooklyn Legends, Ontario Softball Cricket League Masters, Industry Super Kings, Regal Masters, Parika Defenders, SCI Miami and New York President’s XI. The standby team is Success XI.
The event has attracted corporate support from Top Brandz Distributors, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, Trophy Stall, Survival Supermarket, Mike’s Pharmacy, Nauth’s Motor Spares, Rohan Auto Spares, Clear Waters, Steve’s Jewellery, Guyana Beverage Company, Rubis (Bel Air), Metro Office and Computer Supplies and Motor Trend.